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Foundations

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    Dressing Up The Garage

    A high-tech floor coating, slat wall, and cabinets transform a single-car garage in three days.

     
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    Testing for Moisture In Concrete Slabs

    Before installing flooring over concrete, do a calcium chloride test to make sure it's truly dry.

     
  • 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...

     
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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...

     
  • 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.

     
  • 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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    Preventing Condensation Under Basement Flooring

    Q: My clients want to use as living space the new walkout basement of an addition I'm building for them, but they're concerned about potential moisture-related problems with the planned carpet flooring. I've proposed installing a layer of rigid EPS foam f

     
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    On the Job

    Wet-location protection for hardwood flooring; an old nailing trick; recip blade compass

     
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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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    On the Job: Salt-Finished Concrete

    Salt-finished concrete

     
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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

     
  • Soundings

    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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    After Katrina: One Year Later

    A year after Katrina: voices and impressions from a region rethinking how to build