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  • Are Your Houses Too Tight?

    Tight construction is now standard practice, and though it makes the house more energy-efficient, it can create serious indoor air quality problems. Three energy specialists team up to explain how to test for tightness and improve ventilation.

  • Job-Site Report -- Working with Trex Lumber

    What’s it like to work with the plastic-based decking products that have recently hit the market? A builder tells the story of his first time out with one of the more promising materials.

  • Protecting Wood Roofs From Fire

    A wood products expert examines the effectiveness of fire-retardant treatments for both new and existing wood roofing.

  • Remodeler's Guide to Building Skylight Wells

    Skylight installations — especially those with splayed shafts — can challenge all of a remodeler’s skills. A California carpenter leads us step-by-step through layout, framing, and finish.

  • Water in the Walls -- Three Case Studies

    Whether it comes from green framing lumber or household sources, moisture trapped in wall cavities can cause major headaches. These real-life cases illustrate the expensive consequences of failing to get water out of the walls.

  • Wet-Spray Cellulose Insulation

    At first glance, paying more for insulation that puts moisture in the walls may not make much sense. But with the right installer, wet-spray cellulose provides outstanding results. Here’s an on-site look at how it works.



  • Letters

    Readers drive home points on nail strength, foam form bracing



  • Eight-Penny News

    L.A. quake leaves plywood sheathing looking good, material shortages slow building upswing, wash and dry laundry with the same machine



  • Image

    Q&A: Flashing Tile Roofs

    Q: What’s the best way to flash a skylight on a mission tile roof?

  • Q&A: Is Rusty Rebar OK?

    Q: All of the foundation specs we build on require rebar to be free of rust and mill scale. For years this hasn’t been an issue, until recently when a project manager called us on it. All we can think to do is wire brush the entire lot of rebar. Is this really necessary?







Kitchen & Bath


  • For What It's Worth

    Basement insulation leaves room for drywall furring strips, ladder support for exterior corners