Footing drains are one of those things that your customers will never see and probably won't get too excited about — until water starts seeping into their basement. Perforated pipe and stone work fine, but if you're looking for a faster method, you might try the DrainStar. At 12 inches high and covered with a filter fabric, DrainStar eliminates the gravel and, according to the manufacturer, installs faster than pipe. Special adapters allow connections to standard 4-inch pipe for getting the water to daylight. Prices are said to be comparable to those for conventional perforated pipe and stone. Tremco Barrier Solutions, 800/876-5624, www.guaranteeddrybasements.com.

I-joist manufacturers are very specific about the size and location of holes for plumbing and mechanicals, and cutting nonstandard holes or getting too close to chords or bearing points can create a problem. Fortunately, the fix doesn't have to be. ReWeb is a 16-gauge repair plate that has a higher load rating than any joist presently on the...

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