Are you a subscriber but don’t have an online account?

Register for full online access.


More stories about Backfill

  • Plumber's Worst Nightmare: A Five-Ton Tub

    Architects like Roger Hopkins. Carpenters and electricians like him, too. But plumbers? They hate him. It's not that they don't appreciate his stone benches and garden sculpture — but they're the ones who have to install the sinks and tubs he carves from giant boulders.

  • The Nail Gun Is Born

    According to Marvin Hirsch, who was present that evening in the mid-1950s, it all began when a group of veterans meeting at the Winsted, Minn., Legion Hall came to the sage conclusion that they could buy a lot more beer if they had more money.

  • Keeping Up With the Munsters

    Moving stairs

  • How to Dismantle a 400-Year-Old Fireplace

    There is currently a major expansion and remodeling program taking place at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

  • Backfill: Building in the Alaskan Bush

    Building in the Alaskan bush

  • Living Large in Less - Much Less

    With little - literally - to recommend them, Sebastopol, Calif., builder Jay Shafer's Tumbleweed Tiny House designs delight similarly small-minded clients.

  • Very Old Growth

    Carpenters often lament the scarcity of old-growth wood, which they prize for its dimensional stability and natural rot resistance.

  • Stare-Worthy Handrail

    The meticulously restored exterior of this late-19th-century mansard-roofed Victorian home in Cambridge, Mass., gives no clue to the presence of a beautifully crafted and surprisingly whimsical central staircase within.

  • World's Smallest Tract Homes?

    Construction competition

  • Insulated Swimming Pool, Anyone?

    When builder Todd LaBarge wanted to install a vinyl-lined swimming pool at his home, he looked no further than the stack of ICF forms left over from the construction of his house and workshop foundations.