As a GC and foundation subcontractor since 1984, I've seen countless new products designed either to improve job-site efficiency or to produce a better home — few do both. A couple of years ago, though, we found one that does: Form-A-Drain from CertainTeed (800/233-8990, www.certainteed.com).

Form-A-Drain works much like the dimensional lumber and metal footing forms I've used for years. But unlike traditional lumber or metal forms, which must be stripped once the footings are poured, these hollow plastic forms are left in place to become the home's foundation drain.

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