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Other stories by Jon Vara

  • Permit Rules for Teardowns Are Tightening

    Teardowns aren't as common as they were during the boom, but they're still causing problems in some communities.

  • Plasma-Screen Windows

    Computer engineer and part-time carpenter Ryan Hoagland, has developed a system for configuring one or more high-definition plasma TVs as a remarkably convincing substitute for conventional windows.

  • JLC Report

    EPA delays enforcement of lead-safety requirement; employee-misclassification crackdown; showerhead uproar; more

  • Spiral Stair Rail from a Tube

    Spiral stair rail

  • JLC Report

    Bare-bones hvac proves its worth in affordable development; proposed clampdown on fly ash draws wary response; Hovnanian pays $1 million for Clean Water Act violations; more

  • A Brief History of Quonset Huts

    A hut for all seasons

  • Welcome to Your Future

    In October 2007, JLC illustrator Tim Healey envisioned a future in which pickup trucks would be replaced by freight-hauling bicycles. Who knew then that a few intrepid builders had already made the switch?

  • Haven for Homeless Homes

    When a northeast storm cut a new opening through a barrier beach in the Cape Cod community of Chatham, Mass., in April 2007, owners of seasonal cottages on the narrow strip of sand were dismayed but not surprised: North Beach, as it's locally known, is in a continuous — and sometimes dramatic —...

  • Tight Fit in Toronto

    To judge by its dimensions — 45 feet by 6 feet 6 inches — the structure at 128 Day Avenue in Toronto has more in common with a bowling alley than with a residence. And in fact, the site it occupies was originally meant to be an alley.

  • Where Have All the A-Frames Gone?

    If human scale is as essential to good design as architects say it is, the classic 1960s A-frame got it just right. You can confirm this by putting a ladder against an interior gable-end wall and climbing until your head is nestled snugly in the peak, as if you were wearing the structure like a...