Cut the Fat. Looking to simplify your framing and save some money? Check out Ainsworth's 0.8E Durastrand Rimboard. Made from inexpensive oriented strand lumber, it's generally suitable for spanning openings up to 9 feet wide. According to the maker, using Durastrand Rimboard for rim joists can eliminate the need for headers above doors and windows. Ainsworth, 877/661-3200, www.ainsworth.ca

Drilling Allowed. I've heard of plumbers and framers coming to blows over holes drilled in critical structural members. Maybe Weyerhaeuser's improved TimberStrand LSL framing members will maintain the peace, because plumbers can drill holes in them. The 1 3/4- and 3 1/2-inch beams come in 9 1/2-, 11 7/8-, and 14-inch sizes; holes of up to 4 5/8...

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