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More stories about Backfill

  • The Music of the Spheres

    Spherical buildings present some obvious practical challenges. But because a sphere provides the largest possible interior volume per unit of surface area, the form has long fascinated designers and architects, and quite a few reasonably successful spherical structures have actually been built. 

  • Heavy Equipment Simulators

    Until about five years ago, the only way to practice operating an excavator or bulldozer was to climb aboard and start moving dirt, ideally in an area without too many buried power lines and gas mains.

  • Using Shrink-Wrap To Keep Out Rain When Roof Is Under Construction

    Keeping dry with shrink wrap

  • Simple Math for a Slow Economy

    Earlier this year, timber-framer Paul Freeman, owner of Brooks Post & Beam in Lyndeborough, N.H., realized he had a problem.

  • A History of Eel-Grass Insulation

    A remodeler encountering a layer of Cabot's Quilt inside an old building might mistake it for the tattered remnants of a Hawaiian grass skirt -- hastily stuffed into a wall, perhaps, during a police raid of some Prohibition-era costume party.

  • Rammed-Earth Construction in the Modern Age

    Rammed-earth walls used to be elementary.

  • Reflections on Reconstructing an Old Barn

    The materials for this project arrived on the job the usual way — via truck delivery — but that was pretty much where any resemblance to a normal job ended.

  • Hillside Elevators

    Waterfront property never goes out of style, and everyone likes a spectacular building site perched on high ground.

  • Weatherization Skills Competition

    Weatherizing older homes is hard, isolating, and often thankless work.

  • Artist-Renovator Makes Tile-By-Number Mosaics

    When artist-renovator Doug Hopkins arrived at the kitchen and bath phase of his first remodeling project, he decided to make his own decorative tiles for the showers, baths, kitchen counters, and wood-stove surrounds.