One thing I've learned from investigating problems with wood in residential construction is that everybody makes mistakes. Most are minor lapses that don't rise above punch list or callback status. But as the following true stories show, every once in a while I see something that makes me wonder, "What were they thinking?"

A homeowner complains that the cedar bevel siding is falling off her house less than a year after it was installed. Turns out the builder fastened it with pneumatically-driven finish nails. The nail heads are so small that they pull through the siding as the wood shrinks and swells in thickness and tries to cup. This occurs where the nails are...

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