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Other stories by Patricia Hamilton

  • Practical Engineering: Support for Sagging Trusses

    Beefing up sagging trusses

  • Long-Lasting Wood Roofs

    Where wind-driven rain is common, wood shingle roofs require extra detailing, both to keep moisture out of the house and to allow the shingles to dry. A coastal builder describes the materials and methods that work for her.

  • Q&A: Weathertight Windows for Wind-Driven Rain

    Q: As a general contractor in the Blue Ridge mountains of southwestern Virginia, we often build vacation homes higher than 4,000 feet altitude, where wind-driven rain is a regular weather feature. On one site, the wind regularly reaches 50 to 80-plus miles per hour and actually blows rain uphill...

  • On Site With Parallam

    For long spans and heavy loads, parallel strand lumber is a good substitute for steel. The beams are dimensionally stable, come in a variety of standard sizes, and can be worked with ordinary carpentry tools.

  • Framing a Complex Gambrel

    A large roof full of intersections, dormers, and fancy rake and cornice work can be complicated enough to build. Throw in curved roof planes and you’ve got a real head-scratcher. Here’s how one builder used full-scale drawings to work out the details.

  • On the Beach -- Coastal Construction

    A Delaware contractor tells how to build houses on wood pilings that resist the rigors of coastal weather from storm tides to gale force winds.