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Foundations

  • Insulating a Slab With Spray Foam

    Closed-cell polyurethane provides a vapor barrier and good R-value in a single application.

     
  • Pop Quiz - Walter Moreau

    Walter Moreau is executive director of Foundation Communities, a nonprofit affordable housing developer in Austin, Texas.

     
  • MacArthur Foundation Awards $6 Million toHousing Research

    he critical ways that housing matters to children, families, and communities will be explored in 13 separate research projects funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

     
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    Installing a Wood Parquet Floor

    Assessing the moisture content and surface condition of the slab was the critical first step.

     
  • Lowering a Basement Floor

    Gaining an extra foot of headroom isn’t easy, but it can yield valuable living space.

     
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    Drying a Stone Cellar

    Letting the water run through keeps this 200-year-old basement dry.

     
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    Framing a 16-Sided Addition

    Accuracy in laying out and building the foundation helped keep the rest of the job on track .

     
  • Tree Roots and Foundation Cracks

    Can the roots of a tree actually dry out the soil beneath a foundation enough to cause the concrete to crack?

     
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    Attaching Deck Ledgers to I-Joist Cantilevers

    When I-joists are cantilevered over the foundation wall rather than directly supported at the sill plate, can a deck ledger be safely attached to the engineered rim joist?

     
  • Mudsills and Out-of-Level Foundations

    Recently we contracted to do a house with precast foundation walls that were set out of level - up to 3/4 inch over 30 feet, in some places. What's the best way to shim and air-seal the mudsill?

     
  • Insulating a Radiant Slab

    How much insulation is necessary under a typical basement radiant slab?

     
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    Replacing a Stone Foundation

    The trick was holding up the roof while leaving plenty of room to work.

     
  • Foundation Returns to Green Basics

    AUSTIN, TEXAS—Contractors for Foundation Communities are getting out their caulking guns— the nonprofit plans to make 1,800 of the affordable apartments it owns and manages more energy efficient.

     
  • Installing an Egress Window in an Existing Foundation

    With the right equipment, you can cut the opening and install the well in a day.

     
  • Block Foundations for Small Additions

    If your crew has the skill and you own the right equipment, it may make sense to lay your own masonry foundations.

     
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    Adding to an Existing Slab Foundation

    An engineered schedule of epoxied rebar pins reinforces the joints.

     
  • Are Windows Required in Basements?

    Q: We’d like to start building basements with precast concrete panels, but we’ve been running into resistance from local code officials. Are basement windows required when a house is built with a full foundation?

     
  • New Deck Footings Near an Old Foundation

    Q. Plans for a freestanding deck call for new piers about 2 feet from the house foundation. Is it necessary to dig down to the bottom of the house's footing to reach undisturbed soil, or would the dirt around the foundation of a 60-year-old house be compacted enough to be con sidered undisturbed -...

     
  • Acid Staining a Concrete Floor

    With careful preparation, this treatment gives a custom touch to a plain-Jane slab.

     
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    Welcome to Your Future

    In October 2007, JLC illustrator Tim Healey envisioned a future in which pickup trucks would be replaced by freight-hauling bicycles. Who knew then that a few intrepid builders had already made the switch?

     
 
 
 
JLC Field Guide to Decking