As a framing and finish subcontractor working in the suburbs north of New York City, I get my share of interesting remodeling projects. One recent favorite was a two-story addition on the back of a conventional two-story colonial. The first floor of the addition doubled the size of the existing kitchen; upstairs we added a new laundry and a master bath complete with a 6-foot whirlpool tub.

Generally speaking, the framing was straightforward, but as with any remodel there were complications. The biggest challenge was the nearly 20-foot-wide opening we had to create to connect the first floor of the new space to the existing kitchen. Because the addition is on the eaves side of the house, I had to temporarily support the second...

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