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  • Retainage: How to get Some When You're Halfway Done

    On public jobs, the halfway point is a milestone which, when reached, requires a reduction of retainage from all subsequent payments. Private contracts, on the other hand, treat retainage according to the contract. But nothing prevents you from negotiating a similar reduction at 50% completion.

  • More Than 'Tips' Needed to Improve Energy Efficiency (Subscriber content)

    A thorough, step-by-step analysis that treats the home as an integrated system is the only route to true performance improvements, including lower energy bills and better indoor air quality.

  • Seven Reasons Why Most Contractors Will Never Be Able To Retire On Their Own Earnings

    Most residential construction business owners will have to work until they die, without enough accumulated investments to support themselves during retirement. But it doesn't have to be like that.

  • 3 Reasons Contractors Don't Share Financial Info With Employees

    Few contractors do, but Shawn McCadden advocates for more transparency if (a big "if") your company has its books in order.

  • Why 'Energy-Saving' Tips Suck

    The truth is that commonly espoused energy-saving tips are worthless. We look at four common offenders.

  • Risk goes up the more a job differs from a typical project. To calculate disaster potential, multiply the first three columns, then divide by the last two in succession.

    Four Common Delusions Among Contractors (Subscriber content)

    Contractors are often their own worst enemies. Here are four ways they make it harder for their businesses to succeed.

  • Take the Discount

    Most lumberyards offer a discount for early payment. Don't let that 2% discount go to waste.

  • Nothing but Net (Subscriber content)

    Judging a company's profitability based on gross profit can be misleading. Your bottom line numbers are a better indicator of performance. Here's why.

  • Savannah, Georgia, Economy Shows Increasing Strength

    Georgia’s chief coastal metropolitan area shows continued signs of economic resurgence, according to a university report.

  • Paid in Full?

    What to do when the scope of work changes and the customer disputes your claim for full payment.

  • This list applies to new construction or a structural remodeling job. Your Job Start Package should be customized to the type of work your company does.

    How to Conduct a Job Start Review (Subscriber content)

    If you work with employees or subs, you need to be clear about what, exactly, the project entails and when it's expected to be completed. Everyone needs to understand. This job start package lays it all out.

  • Save the Trades

    Ottawa, Illinois high-school students shine in national spotlight for protesting the cut of building trades training.

  • Elevating Houses (Subscriber content)

    From financing to compacting fresh fill, we take an in-depth look at elevating a home.

  • Snow Hill, NC, April 19, 2011 -- Jim Sadler, FEMA surveys the Genesis Subdivision  during a preliminary damage assessment in Snow Hill, North Carolina following the severe storms and deadly tornadoes of April 16, 2011. David Fine/FEMA

    Getting Started as an Insurance Adjuster (Subscriber content)

    When a hurricane or other natural disaster strikes, CAT-adjusters go to work, assessing damage for insurance companies. Contractors looking for a job that takes their stiff joints and aching back off the jobsite might consider using their experience in construction as a licensed adjuster.

  • Cash Buyers And Investors Drive Housing Market

    The current housing recovery is driven by investors and cash buyers, not borrowers.

  • Government Shutdown To Hamper Hurricane Sandy Recovery

    The deadlock in Washington means more trouble for Hurricane Sandy victims.

  • Post-Sandy Property Tax Bump Averted (For Now)

    Federal aid has allowed local governments to hold off on a feared tax hike for towns whose tax base was hammered by Sandy.

  • Home Price Rises Moderate

    The housing market still has momentum, according to the latest numbers. But the price rises appear to be slowing.

  • Builder Optimism Index Surges

    A bellwether index of builder confidence in market conditions has reached levels not seen since the boom years of the last decade.

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    Lumber Price Plunge Puzzles Pundits

    Market watchers are wondering why lumber prices have dropped, just as homebuilding gets hot.

JLC Field Guide to Decking