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  • Antiscald Protection for Showers

    Pressure-balancing valves are the most common way to meet antiscald requirements for showers. A master plumber tells how they work and gives tips for installing them.

  • Innovative Building Products

    Manufacturers of plastics and composites are finding ways to replace traditional materials with products that are lighter, stronger, more durable, and less expensive. Here’s a look at what’s new at the lumberyard.

  • Laying Wide Pine Floors

    In many parts of the country, softwood is a traditional flooring material. A veteran finish carpenter explains his method for installing wide-board softwood floors.

  • Post-and-Pier Additions

    Not all single-story additions need concrete stemwall foundations. Here’s how one Midwest contractor builds post-and-pier foundations from concrete and treated wood.

  • Rebar Tips

    Steel reinforcing bar is essential for strong concrete. A foundation contractor explains the fine points of proper sizing, handling, and placement of rebar.

  • Writing Your Own Warranty

    Homeowners can be fussy about minor defects that appear during their first year in a new home. Here’s how one company solved the problem by adding quality standards to their warranty.



  • Letters

    Another tale of FRT truss failure, lightning rods attract debate



  • Eight-Penny News

    Eastern s-p-f lumber expands its market, hearing protection on the job site, smart electric panel helps control costs, appliance specs by fax



  • Image

    Q&A: Shingle Siding Layout

    Q: How do you lay out shingle siding so the courses break evenly above and below windows? And what’s the best way to secure the row of shingles below a window so the nails aren’t exposed?

  • Q&A: Orienting a Foundation Drain

    Q: Should the holes in a foundation perimeter drain face up or face down? And does the drain need to be pitched as it runs around the house?








Kitchen & Bath



  • Backfill: A Narrow Victory

    This 10-foot-wide house barely fit its narrow lot. But the local code officials approved it — and so did the owners.