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More stories about Features

  • The Savior of New Orleans?

    So much depends on Ed Blakely, the planner charged with pushing the recovery effort from idea to reality.

  • Air Leaks: Hidden Moisture Movers

    Along the coast where wind-blown rain is a regular weather feature, it's no surprise to builders that the exterior of a home must be carefully detailed to manage water. Properly installed housewrap and flashing are the key elements of an effective water-resistive barrier. But rainwater is not the...

  • Metal Connector Nailers

    As building codes address wind-zone construction with extra vigor, more metal hardware is being required to tie buildings together than ever before. Framing anchors, ties, hold-downs, braces, tie-downs, hangers, connectors, straps - every year more steel is needed to build and remodel houses. And...

  • Solving the Uplift Puzzle

    Where the codes once concentrated mostly on verifying that buildings could handle gravity loads, now coastal homes must also resolve the complicated load effects associated with high winds: uplift, shear (or "racking"), sliding, and overturning. Ted Cushman takes a closer look at one kind of...

  • Blown Away

    Because of the hurricane risk, many coastal states already have tough wind-resistant construction standards, and the rest are moving in that direction. But can structures built to withstand hurricanes offer any protection from tornadoes? The answer, reports contributing editor Ted Cushman, is yes …...

  • Driving Down Risk

    When a 1,500-pound drop hammer is falling from 10 to 15 feet, hitting the butt of a 25-foot timber pile a few hundred times, and you have 70 or 80 piles to do, the neighbors tend to get up in arms no matter how charmingly you may have introduced yourself, notes contractor Eric Borden. His company...

  • Replacing Windows in Brick-Veneer Homes

    Tall-Wall Studs ~ Breathable Roofs~ Paperless Drywall ~ Screws for Composite Decking

  • Best-Practice Wall Shingles

    A rain screen offers the ultimate defense against water intrusion, provided you get the details right. That's easy enough to do with lap siding but considerably more complex with shingles. Custom home builder and remodeler Mike Guertin, who is accustomed to wind-swept rains in his area of the Ocean...

  • Muddy Waters

    Few dispute that construction-site erosion poses a significant problem. Muddy roads and cloudy streams tied to a decade-long nationwide building boom have left many residents eager for a clampdown, especially in coastal areas, where water quality is a crucial issue. For contractors, the upshot is...

  • Common Callbacks

    Callbacks typically result from three things: poor design, faulty construction, or the actions of a clueless homeowner. While this is true everywhere, coastal environments are a whole lot less forgiving of such errors. Wind-driven rain and infrequent drying opportunities can drive moisture deep...