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More stories about Sitework

  • Model Home for Sale

    Every year since 2001, home builder Cape Associates of North Eastham, Mass., has built a playhouse replica of a local historic building. Past models have included the town library, the Coast Guard station, and the famous Outermost House, which was swept off the beach during a winter storm in 1978.

  • On the Job

    Tricky miter; giant jig for big ellipses; tree protection

  • Adding Under

    With nowhere to go but down, this basement addition carves out extra living space from within the home’s existing footprint.

  • Still Grinding After 200 Years

    Andy Shrake fixes windmills. Not the newfangled kilowatt-generating type, but the all-wood grain-grinding beauties built some 200 years ago. With 14 still standing on Nantucket, Cape Cod, and Rhode Island, repairing them is a full-time job.

  • Solar Cargo Trailer

    Paul Bias, a green builder in Arcata, Calif., frequently works on sites where it’s difficult to get temporary power. Rather than use a generator — which is loud and dirty and easy to steal — he powers his tools with energy from the sun.

  • A Pier-and-Beam Foundation For a Coastal Site

    Where unstable soil and periodic tidal flooding are a concern, helical piers topped with a concrete stem wall rise to the challenge.

  • Haven for Homeless Homes

    When a northeast storm cut a new opening through a barrier beach in the Cape Cod community of Chatham, Mass., in April 2007, owners of seasonal cottages on the narrow strip of sand were dismayed but not surprised: North Beach, as it's locally known, is in a continuous — and sometimes dramatic —...

  • Removing Rocks Without Blasting

    Q: We're building a home on a site with difficult access, and we need to remove a lot of boulders without using heavy equipment. Is there a way to break the boulders into smaller chunks without having to deal with dynamite and the associated permitting?

  • Turning Monster Posts on a Shop-Built Lathe

    When a local remodeler approached me about reproducing five porch posts for a 140-year-old house in Boulder, Colo., my interest was piqued. Despite the fact that I didn't have a lathe — much less one that could turn 10-foot posts — I took the contract, figuring I could build my own to do the job.

  • Soundings

    Storm-Water Regs Grow Up