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  • Installing a ProBase Shower Pan

    An experienced tile setter takes a close look at a new way of installing a shower pan.

  • Practical Foundation Waterproofing

    Combined with a working drain, this new type of plastic membrane keeps groundwater out of the foundation while allowing moisture in the concrete to evaporate to the outside. Here’s how it’s installed.

  • Waterproofing ICF Foundations

    Even foundations built with insulating concrete forms need to be made water-resistant. A builder shows how he applies a self-adhering membrane to guarantee a dry basement.

  • Plumbing Venting Explained

    Ever wonder why the plumber insists on notching and boring the framing to run all those vent lines up through the house? A master plumber explains the whys and wherefores of venting rules, and tells how he goes beyond code minimums to avoid callbacks.

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    Foundation Drainage

    A concrete contractor and consultant explains how proper finish grading and footing drain details keep surface runoff and underground water away from the foundation.

  • Quick Foundation Repair

    Rather than shore the house and replace the bulging block foundation, this builder used plywood slip forms to pour a concrete reinforcing wall on the outside.

  • Shared Septic Systems

    High water tables and poor soils preclude the use of conventional sewage treatment methods on some new and existing house sites. One solution is a system that combines a sand filter and shallow drainage field designed for use by more than one household.

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    Mortar Bed Shower Floors

    Curbed tile shower pans have to be watertight. A veteran tile contractor shows how careful detailing of a waterproof membrane and special drain makes for a trouble-free shower floor.

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    Pinning to Ledge

    When it comes to footings, it’s hard to beat solid granite ledge. But when the rock is irregular or sloped, proper anchoring is crucial. A custom builder explains the tools, materials, and techniques he used to drill, pin, and brace a stem-wall foundation formed directly to a large stone...

  • Building With Styles: Site Drainage Strategies

    Draining the site

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    Q&A: Shingle Siding Layout

    Q: How do you lay out shingle siding so the courses break evenly above and below windows? And what’s the best way to secure the row of shingles below a window so the nails aren’t exposed?

  • Q&A: Orienting a Foundation Drain

    Q: Should the holes in a foundation perimeter drain face up or face down? And does the drain need to be pitched as it runs around the house?

  • Kitchen & Bath: My Beautiful Laundry Closet

    Better laundry designs

  • The Down & Dirty on DWV

    A plumber explains how vents and traps work and how to solve some difficult venting problems.

  • Beyond the Basic Septic System: Practical Alternatives

    Difficult sites, high-density development, and environmental concerns have inspired promising alternatives to traditional on-site sewage treatment.

  • The Mysteries of Plumbing Drains Unveiled

    Why do sewer gases back up into a home? How do you vent an island sink? What’s the difference between a vent stack and a stack vent? And much more.

  • Leakproof Basements

    Exotic and costly materials are not needed to make a leakproof basement—just good sense and careful workmanship.

  • New Plumbing Code: Cutting Costs or Cutting Corners?

    By Milton Snyder. The new CABO plumbing code allows smaller water, drain, and vent pipes that NAHB claims can save up to 36 percent in piping-materials costs. But at what cost in quality?