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Building Foundations

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    Design: Fixing Wright's Wrongs

    Fixing Wright's Wrongs

     
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    High and Dry

    In the flood-prone Gulf region, an elevated home is a no-brainer. The classic poured-concrete slab-on-grade — a simple monolithic pour with nothing more than a thickened edge at the perimeter — is not enough where floodwaters from a storm surge or rising water levels pose a threat. Using a raised...

     
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    Hurricane-Resistant Concrete Homes

    Following the 2004 hurricane season, Florida-based Mercedes Homes paired up with researchers at the DOE's Building America program to design and build a truly hurricane-resistant home. But as researchers and builders have come to understand only too well, a home that provides complete protection...

     
  • Exposed I-Joists

    Q: A client has asked me to build a practical outbuilding with a wood floor system. For simplicity's sake, I'd like to place it on a Sonotube foundation and use continuous-span wood I-joists. The bottom of the I-joists will be about 16 to 24 inches off the ground, and the perimeter joists will be...

     
  • From Jailhouse to Supportive Housing

    John Fallon spent years trying to help a homeless man whom we’ll call patient R, a paranoid schizophrenic and alcoholic who spent 21 years on the streets, in emergency rooms, and in the jails in and around Chicago.

     
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    Driving Down Risk

    When a 1,500-pound drop hammer is falling from 10 to 15 feet, hitting the butt of a 25-foot timber pile a few hundred times, and you have 70 or 80 piles to do, the neighbors tend to get up in arms no matter how charmingly you may have introduced yourself, notes contractor Eric Borden. His company...

     
  • Lumber for Permanent Wood Foundations

    Q: Is ACQ-treated lumber and plywood suitable for building permanent wood foundations?

     
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    Wet-Set Mudsills

    With careful layout, placing sills directly into the wet concrete can save time.

     
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    Installing a ScapeWel

    This oversized window well adds emergency egress, light, and ventilation to basement living spaces.

     
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    Underpinning a Foundation

    Before adding new living space above an existing garage, make sure the footings can handle the load.

     
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    Framing the First-Floor Deck

    The work goes faster if you use a laser, install anchor straps instead of anchor bolts, and measure as little as possible.

     
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    Supporting Brick Veneer On Wood Framing

    When you can't support brick veneer on a masonry foundation, code allows you to use steel angles bolted to the framing - with strict limitations.

     
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    Block-Laying Basics

    Masonry techniques aren't hard to learn and can be valuable on small jobs

     
  • Q&A: Service-Entrance Cable Under a Garage

    Q: The proposed location for my client's new detached garage is right on top of a buried service-entrance cable. The electric meter is mounted on a pedestal about 100 feet from the house, and a conduit runs to the house through the area where the garage —

     
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    Piling Costs ~ Coastal Plans Source ~ Trade Knowledge

     
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    Building on Ledge - Erosion of Light-Commercial Property

     
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    Review: Strong, Safe, Foundations

    Faced with an unprecedented coastal reconstruction need post-Katrina, the mitigation arm of the Federal Emergency Management Agency has released FEMA 550, Recommended Residential Construction for the Gulf Coast: Building on Strong and Safe Foundations. This must-have document for coastal building...

     
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    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...

     
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    Soundings: Sealed Crawlspaces in Flood Zones

    Sealed Crawlspaces in Flood Zones

     
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    Building A Block Foundation

    Instead of subcontracting the work, invest in a few masonry tools and put your own crew to work building your basements.

     
 
 
 
JLC Field Guide to Decking