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  • Back-Priming Fiber-Cement Siding

    Q: We ordered preprimed HardiePlank lap siding to finish a project, but when it was delivered, we discovered that the backs were left unprimed. Normally, we back-prime wood clapboards, but I'm not sure this step is needed with fiber-cement siding, and the manufacturer's Web site is mute on the...

  • Faster, Smaller, and More Connected Than Ever

    Four technology trends that will change how you build and remodel.

  • Web Sites For Rookies

    If you don’t have an online presence yet, now’s a good time to start.

  • Letters

    Raising rafter ties; computer help; venting reminder; more

  • Defining Your Niche Can Help in Downtimes

    I specialize in custom decks. I switched to this niche last winter, when my backlog of general remodeling work dried up and I had no jobs on the horizon. The suburbs of New York City — where my business is located — were hit hard by the economic downturn; many GCs I knew were going out of business.

  • The View From Above

    In its few years of existence, the virtual globe program Google Earth — which allows anyone with Internet access and a personal computer to zoom in on recent satellite images of almost any point on the earth's surface — has attracted millions of enthusiastic users.

  • Toolbox

    Makita compact cordless drill and impact driver; Kevlar work jeans; plumbing and heating; tile

  • Rome Reborn

    In 1816, Lord Byron left his home in England and, after traveling through Belgium and Switzerland, eventually made his way to Italy, where he encountered, among other things, the Roman Colosseum. “A ruin—yet what ruin!” he wrote in the fourth canto of the long poem “Childe Harold's Pilgrimage.” It...

  • Connecting All Contractors

    A retrospective on 25 years of builder technology: How did we get here, and where are we going next?

  • Communicating With Customers Through the Web

    Most conflicts between a service business and its customers can be avoided with good communication.