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  • Flattening Walls for Paneling

    The quality of framing lumber being what it is, a perfectly flat, plumb wall is a rarity these days. An experienced finish carpenter describes the techniques he uses to create a flat surface before installing paneling and interior trim.

  • Practical Engineering: Earthquake Construction

    Seismic construction basics

  • Hanging And Finishing Drywall

    It’s sometimes difficult to schedule a drywall sub for small jobs. This remodeler avoids the problem by estimating, hanging, and finishing his own drywall. Here’s how he does it.

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    Q&A: Drop-Ceiling Elevation Change

    Q: Occasionally when we’re hanging a drop ceiling in a commercial building, we encounter a change in ceiling elevation. What’s the easiest way to deal with this transition?

  • Q&A: Insulation Won’t Trigger Asthma

    Q: I’m working on a beautiful old stone farmhouse. Inside, the house has wood-framed walls with the original lath-and-plaster finish. The owners would like to cut their heating bills, and we’re considering blowing insulation into the 4-inch voids between the plaster and the stone. The problem is...

  • Transit Tips

    A finish carpentry foreman explains how to use a transit for fast, accurate layout of framing and finish work.

  • Layout Tricks for Rough Openings

    As any finish sub knows, careful framing smooths the installation of drywall and trim. Follow these guidelines for fast, accurate framing of doors, windows, stairs, and fireplaces.

  • Brushing Up on Water-Based Paints

    Federal regulation of VOCs has made the change to latex finishes inevitable. A painting contractor explains how to get the same quality and performance from water-based paints that you were accustomed to with oil-based products.

  • Building With Style: Graceful Transitions

    Designing transitions between rooms

  • Q&A: Vapor-Retarder Paints

    Q: Do "vapor-retarder paints" really work? Can I rely on them as the sole vapor barrier in an old house? If so, can you recommend some brand names?