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      Vermont Solar

      Going Through The Roof

      Things Are Looking Up

      "The sky's the limit if  you have a roof over your head." Sol Hurok.

      Architecture dazzles. Architect Frank Gehry knows, his metallic and light geometry in Cambridge, MA here pictured, draws you in and up instantly. It captures our hearts and minds. Design seduces buyers into bidding wars, captures in form the spirit of man and shelter.

      Vermont architecture varies dramatically, from urbanscape to quiet country lane. Roofs, the apogee of our homes, define the interpretation of form and visual appeal, not to mention purpose. Often overlooked as incidental, the roof is the backbone of a home, critical in preserving and protecting. Whether a simple gable sans skylight, a dormered cape, an ornate victorian or flat top rubber membrane, roofs are, second only to foundations, an essential architectural element in function and style.

      What kind of roofs have caught your eye and fancy? Do you prefer simplicity or complex lines and interaction? How important is light and elevation to you?

      Like us, roofs need to breathe. Adequately providing for soffit and peak ventilation can radically affect longevity of both the roofing and substrate. There's nothing as frustrating when you've found a great buyer, are under contract to close and the property inspector opens up the attic to find thick layers of mold covering the attic ceiling due to inadequate venilation and trapped moisture. Mold mediation companies can charge tens of thousands.

      This Maple Sweet Real Estate Mad River Valley listing at 146 Sugarhouse Lane features a half-hipped roof, sloped in four directions with post and beam accents. The hipped roof allows for more room upstairs; less knee wall space means high square footage and better maximization of vertical opportunities.
















      It's the materials that count. From adobe out west, grass tops in England, synthetic slate shingles made from baby diapers, roofing elements define the shelter from the storm, our year round umbrellas. Cedar shakes are durable and gorgeous and can last for many decades depending on thickness, length, rating, installation skill and maintenance. Other shingles include ubiquitous ashphalt in standard and architectural form and composite shingles. While rare in Vermont, terra cotta spanish and other ceramic tiles hold immense appeal. With heavy snowfall's vertical line, sheet metal satisfies in corrugated and standing seam. Think green...Solar shingles anyone?

      The real deal, slate shingles can last 100+ years; so durable, they make the others look like rice paper. Just be sure to build a frame and truss system strong enough to support their weight or the whole show will come tumbling down. From dirt cheap to blindingly dear as the labor is dangerous, something I can attest to. I was up refinishing a roof of mine when the ladder gave out. Shotgun descent, broken humurous (thankfully no broken back or neck), titanium plate, surgery and seven screws. This is one job you don't want to DIY.

      Poetry of roofing. Open vs closed valleys, pitch and concealed fasteners. Flashing, skylights and gutters, snow guards, peaks and valleys. Arched, domed and skillion, sheathing, sod and solar. Thermal emittance, ice dams and R factor.


      "Tin Roof" by Scottish Poet Nii Ayikwei Parkes

      "Wild harmattan winds whip you but still you stay; they spit dust all over your gleam and twist your sharp cutting edges.

      The rains come zinging mud with their own tapping music. Yet you remain -my pride- my very own roof."



      Maple Sweet Real Estate adds value and insight to better inform your real estate decisions. Thank you so much for reading the Maple Sweet blog.

      To learn more about roofs, find a roofing contractor, buy land to build, buy or list your own home, call 800-525-7965 or email



      Text 802-793-1515 or call toll free 800-525-7965 

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       Vermont Required Consumer Information Disclosure: please note Vermont real estate agencies represent Sellers directly or indirectly. Buyer representation can be gained for properties not already listed by Maple Sweet Real Estate. To better understand the merits of or arrange for buyer representation, please email or call for further details.


      Solar Vermont, eShine


      Parabolic dish and stirling engine system, concentrating sunlight to solar power.


      Solar orchards?

      That's right, step right up and purchase your little piece of paradise much as you would your own cemetery plot. Bask in hot water from the sun's radiation. Cover your roof with silicon. Shoot for the stars and plant a dozen massive kinetic solar trackers across your meadow and really make a splash. Solar is hitting the big time, a figurative and literal fruition.

      From Hinesburg to Waitsfield, north, south, east and west, the rush to embrace alternative energy is on.

      Wikipedia: "Solar energy, radiant light and heat from the sun, has been harnessed by humans since ancient times using a range of ever-evolving technologies. Solar radiation, along with secondary solar-powered resources such as wind and wave powerhydroelectricity and biomass, account for most of the available renewable energy on earth. Only a minuscule fraction of the available solar energy is used."


      Fire boat response crews battle the blazing remnants of the offshore oil rig Deepwater Horizon, off Louisiana, in this April 21 photograph.

      Parabolic dish and stirling engine system, concentrating sunlight to solar power.


      Millions of gallons of spilt Deepwater Horizon oil this spring and summer have brought the issue of fossil fuels, global warming and the importance of alternative energy into sharp focus and Vermonters are taking action.

      Here in the Mad River Valley, solarscapes born almost overnight are transforming our scenic byway, our anti-development oasis into a high-tech crucible and a new reality in which local opposition forms against the visual blight of such high-tech colonization in an environment prized for its bucolic, undisturbed beauty. Wind farms, geothermal, hydroelectric and most beloved of all, it seems, from rooftop to tracker, here comes the sun.

      If you've caught the fever or are just plum ready to reduce your carbon footprint, here are two of many Vermont partner companies offering Vermont solar system installation options.

      Alteris Renewables The sun will never announce a rate hike. Experience. Expertise. Results.

      The number one solar and wind energy installer in the Northeast for homes and businesses. Solar Electric. Alteris solar installations provide 1/3 or 1/2 of your electricity needs, though they can be scaled up to provide 100%. They collect energy through photovoltaic (PV) cells, which are made of very pure silicon. These cells are electrically linked into modules which are linked to arrays.


      How Alteris Solar Electric Energy Works

      Parabolic dish and stirling engine system, concentrating sunlight to solar power.


      Electricity is produced as photons of sunlight hit and penetrate the silicon, bumping electrons into a flow, in a process known as the photovoltaic effect, which produces DC (Direct Current) electricity. This DC current is passed through an inverter, which converts the electricity to Alternating Current (AC) to match the American standards of AC frequency and voltage. & No Money Down.


      Parabolic dish and stirling engine system, concentrating sunlight to solar power.


      groSolar. Distributor, installer and integrator of solar energy solutions for residential and commercial installations. Founded in 1998, groSolar is the largest 100 percent U.S.-owned distributor in the solar industry, and is the fourth-larrgest installation company in North America. The company has offices and warehouses across the US, distributing solar electric and solar hot water systems from offices in VT, NJ, NY, CT, MA, MD, DE, PA, and CA. groSolar integrates components from leading solar manufacturers including Canadian Solar, Motech, Heliodyne, SMA, Fronius, and UniRac into simple solar energy solutions for customers that generate clean, reliable energy for decades. groSolar is a mission-driven company dedicated to providing high quality solar energy solutions and whole energy appreciation. groSolar's venture capital investors include NGP Energy Technology Partners, SJF Ventures, and Calvert Social Investment Fund. Sign up for a free evaluation. groSolar's mission: your peace of mind.


      Parabolic dish and stirling engine system, concentrating sunlight to solar power.


      Incentivize. In 2010, $5,275,000 in funding, made available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and the Vermont Clean Energy Development Fund, is available to the Vermont Renewable Energy Incentive Program. This program requires the installer be a partner in the program. Here's a list of the Renewable Energy Incentive Program Solar Hot Water & Photovoltaic Partners. DSIRE, or the Database of Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency includes a detailed summary of Vermont's solar incentives.

      Visit Vermont's 9th Renewable Energy Conference & Expo this Thursday September 30th & Friday October 1st at the Sheraton Conference Center in Burlington, sponsored by such luminaries as NRG Systems and the much more familiar Green Mountain Power.

      For more information on solar power in Vermont, to sell or purchase your own Vermont property, contact Maple Sweet Real Estate at 1.800.525.7965, or visit