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Features

  • Exterior Trim That Lasts

    Exterior trim should last as long as the rest of the house. A finish carpenter describes the construction details and finishing tips he uses to make that happen.

     
  • On the Beach -- Coastal Construction

    A Delaware contractor tells how to build houses on wood pilings that resist the rigors of coastal weather from storm tides to gale force winds.

     
  • How To Use Span Tables

    Span tables simplify the task of sizing joists and rafters, and give you flexibility in choosing the right wood species. Here’s how to run the numbers.

     
  • Layout for Fast Framing

    A western production framer walks through the tools and techniques he uses to quickly and accurately lay out walls for fast assembly.

     
  • Photographing Your Work

    Good photographs can help put your craftsmanship in the best light. A builder describes the equipment and techniques he uses to capture his work on film.

     
  • Unit-Price Estimating

    Stick-by-stick estimating takes forever, but quick square-foot takeoffs are not accurate. Somewhere in between lies unit-price estimating. Here’s a step-by-step guide to designing and using your own unit-price system.

     

Letters

  • Letters

    Felt makes wrong-side vapor barrier

     

News

Q&A

  • Q&A: The R-Value of Compressed Batts

    Q: I have heard that the R-value of fiberglass insulation drops when it’s compressed. But now insulation manufacturers are offering higher-density batts with higher R-values. What’s going on here?

     
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    Q&A: Cure for Wet Basement

    Q: We are working on a house with water in the basement. The homeowner got a bid from a specialty contractor for a comprehensive dewatering system that includes injecting a coating around the outside (without digging up the soil) and cutting the slab to install an interior perimeter drain connected...

     
  • Q&A: Water-Based Urethane for Floors

    Q: Please comment on the durability of water-based polyurethanes for wood floors. Will these products hold up in heavy traffic areas as well as the solvent-based products?

     

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