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Fences & Retaining Walls

  • Robust Walls

    Contributing R-3 to R-7.5 per inch, sheet foam is a handy way to boost a wall's total R-value without adding too much thickness. Rigid foam sheathing can also function well as a drainage plane to help keep wind-blown water out of walls, and it can act as both an air barrier and as a vapor barrier...

     
  • Insulating a Block Wall

    Q. I'm renovating an uninsulated cape built with concrete-block walls. The plans call for gutting and reframing the interior and installing shingle siding on the exterior. Because the building needs to be insulated to comply with local (Long Island, N.Y.) code, I was considering adding a layer of...

     
  • Composing With Shingle Cladding

    Any time you use shingles as siding, you face an array of design decisions: Should you weave the corners or use corner boards? Should you use patterns — and if so, where, and which ones? Would a shingle flare or bow be appropriate?

     
  • Design: Rose-Covered Cottages

    Rose-Covered Cottages

     
  • Low Country Rx: Wet Floodproofing

    Regardless of what the flood maps say today, the statistics show that flood zones will likely change during the service life of a home, making flooding an often inevitable consequence of coastal living. The answer, says building scientist Joseph Lstiburek, is to use drainable, dryable assemblies...

     
  • Making Guardrails Look Good

    An exterior guardrail presents an opportunity to explore a house's design themes in detail. All too often, designers and builders opt for an ill-considered stock railing that technically performs the guardrail function but neglects the spirit of the building it serves.

     
  • Installing an Over-the-Post Handrail - Part One

    Simple-to-make railing stands allow accurate assembly right in position.

     
  • Building a Stone Retaining Wall

    Fully settled subsoils, a well-compacted base of crushed stone, and good drainage are essential for long-lasting results.

     
  • Products

    Synthetic roof underlayments; deck railings; fireplaces

     
  • Anchoring a Railing To Stone

    Q. Anchoring a Railing To Stone I need to secure the base of a wrought-iron handrail to an exterior granite landing. My plan is to drill holes into the stone and use anchors. What's the best way to do this without cracking the stone, and what should I use for anchors? I am concerned that wedge...