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Wall Structure

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    Fine-Tuning the Frame for Finish

    Inspecting the frame before drywall ensures the trim will look its best, and can save a bundle in repairs.

     
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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...

     
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    Framing a Dutch Gable

    This method uses calculations and layout shortcuts to speed production.

     
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    On the Job

    Rough framing and routers; curved wood gutter

     
  • A Quick Fix for Squeaky Floors?

    Q. When a floor is covered by wall-to-wall carpeting, is it possible to fix squeaks without taking up the rug to get to the subfloor?

     
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    Plumbing and Straightening Walls

    This quick, accurate method prevents problems with the framing and finishes that follow.

     
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    Toolbox

    PLS90E 90-degree layout laser; knives; heavy equipment

     
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    Unnecessary roof venting; dangers of thin plywood paneling; no freebies; more

     
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    On the Job

    Wainscoting for wavy walls; homemade dispensers

     
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    Letters

    Testing spray-foam jobs; ridge beams and collar ties; safety reminder; more

     
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    Getting Organized for Fast Framing

    Buy the right tools, make sure material's there when you need it, and break the job down into simple tasks.

     
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    Building a Beamed Ceiling

    Prefabricating the paneled sections on the floor speeds installation.

     
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    On the Job

    Strong gable overhang; on site with Durisol

     
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    License decision judged unfair; cheap fix for plywood paneling; deck-ledger brackets; more

     
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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.

     
  • Offsetting Bearing Walls

    Q: There's a framing rule of thumb I've used for years that says it's okay to offset a second-story bearing wall from the first-story bearing wall below, as long as you don't offset it by more than the depth of the joist. We use this rule for standard dimensional lumber, but would it also apply to...

     
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    Framing a Spiral Staircase

    Painstaking layout made it possible to build this lighthouse stair with standard framing tools

     
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    Fast-Tracking a Pop-Top Addition

    Using wall panels and trusses, framing and roofing took only four days.

     
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    Framing an Elliptical Staircase

    Recently, my friend Nick Ridge and I took on a job in Northern California that had an interesting challenge — an elliptical staircase with a self-supporting inside stringer.

     
  • 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...