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Features

  • Building Cabinets On Site

    For simple built-ins, a fully equipped cabinet shop can be overkill. This veteran contactor shows how to build professional-grade cabinets using just a circular saw, router, and drill.

     
  • JLC Live! West Coast Edition

    From job-costing to computer technology, these business tips have been gleaned from some of the most popular seminars at our first western Construction Business & Technology Conference.

     
  • New 15-Guage Finish Nailers

    We take a close look at the features and compare the performance of nine new trim nailers.

     
  • Pickup Truck Racks

    Compared to the homemade variety, commercially made racks are more durable and more versatile — and they come with a wide selection of handy accessories. Here’s what’s available in both steel and aluminum truck racks.

     
  • Replacing a Main Carrying Beam

    When a pair of sagging wood girders and support posts interfered with a new kitchen design, this remodeler replaced them with a clear-span LVL beam. This step-by-step description covers the entire process, from temporary shoring and demolition to site-building the new beam.

     
  • Working Smarter With Lead Carpenters

    A production manager for a large remodeling firm explains how the lead carpenter system improves communication, increases job efficiency, and boosts profits.

     
  • Big Bang Low Bucks Marketing

    A successful design-builder explains how to get the most results from the fewest marketing dollars.

     
  • Building Technology: Fifteen Years of Change

    We take a look back at the new products and technologies that have changed the way we build.

     
  • Curing Crawlspace Moisture Problems

    In hot, humid climates, more ventilation is not always the answer to excessive crawlspace moisture. This remodeler uses a variety of approaches, depending on the situation.

     
  • Getting Started With Brick Veneer

    A brick expert explains what to watch out for when contracting a brick veneer job, from flashing and weep details to properly cleaning the brick at the end of the job.

     
  • Hydro-Air Heating Options

    For climates where both heating and cooling are needed, this hybrid system offers the greatest flexibility. An hvac contractor shows how he makes it work.

     
  • Managing Multiple Jobs

    The production manager and president of a high-end remodeling company explain the procedures they use to coordinate several jobs at once.

     
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    Choosing High-Performance Caulks

    Confused by the competing claims of manufacturers? Here’s a guide to help you select the right caulk for tough jobs.

     
  • Detail: Site-Built Storm Doors

    To avoid the delay of special-ordering odd-sized storm doors, this carpenter used stock lumber and standard tools to build his own.

     
  • Job-Site Procedure Manuals

    This system of standardized forms, procedures, and construction details ensures good planning and keeps every job running smoothly.

     
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    Avoiding Moisture Problems in Cooling Climates

    Along the hot, humid Gulf Coast, buildings are more susceptible to damage from moisture entering from outside than from inside. A builder/architect explains the energy details that work in this climate.

     
  • Pressure-Treated Foundation Repair

    With cold weather setting in, this upstate New York remodeler decided to use a pressure-treated wood foundation to replace a crumbling cement-block wall in a hillside garage.

     
  • Case Study: A Retrofit Ridge Beam

    A site-bolted LVL replacement ridge provided structural support for long-span trusses in this second story addition, which was completed without interrupting the operation of a medical clinic on the first floor.

     
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    A Remodeler Takes On New Construction

    New construction ought to be easier than remodeling. But as one remodeler discovered, building a house from scratch has its own set of problems.

     
  • Patching Stucco

    Making durable patches in stucco finishes is as much art as science. A veteran stucco contractor shows how to use dry dusting, fog coats, and trowel mix plastering both to repair damaged stucco and to blend new stucco work with old.

     
  • Radiant Walls and Ceilings for the Bath

    In small bathrooms, there may not be enough floor area for adequate radiant heating. An experienced hvac sub describes the products and techniques that can turn the walls and ceilings — and even some fixtures — into radiant heat sources.

     
  • Setting Up QuickBooks Pro for Construction

    Should you use Items or Classes? Accrual or cash-based accounting? Budgets or estimates? This tour of the QuickBooks Pro setup procedure will steer you through the maze of options and help you make the right choices.

     
  • Stacking Supported Valleys

    A roof with intersecting hips and valleys will test the mettle of many a seasoned framer. Using examples from a recent project, a roof framing specialist explains the foolproof method he uses to lay out, cut, and install three complex configurations: valley-to-hip, valley-to-valley, and a...

     
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    Tying Down the House

    Properly installed, metal framing connectors provide good protection from earthquakes and hurricane damage. A field supervisor for a California construction company takes a step-by-step look at how to lay out and install common types of hold-down hardware.

     
  • Alternative Roofing Materials

    Plastic, metal and fiber-cement shingles and panels make for durable, fire-resistant roofs — without sacrificing good looks.

     
  • Controlling Moisture in Mixed Climates

    In climates that require both heating and cooling, humidity presents special problems for builders no matter what the season. These wall details will prevent damage to finishes and structural components from interior and exterior moisture.

     
  • Designing Kitchen Islands

    Space constraints and code requirements make it difficult to supply power and water to freestanding cabinets. These solutions will work for both custom and stock cabinets.

     
  • Detail: Making Curved Flooring on Site

    When the job calls for radiused flooring, consider this simple method, from a veteran flooring contractor, for site-bending hardwood to match the curve.

     
  • Medical Emergencies on the Job

    A physician trained in emergency medicine tells what you can do in the first five minutes to ensure proper treatment and a speedy recovery from a variety of job-related injuries.

     
  • Medical Emergencies on the Job

    A physician trained in emergency medicine tells what you can do in the first five minutes to ensure proper treatment and a speedy recovery from a variety of job-related injuries.

     
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    Pouring a Shallow Frost-Protected Slab

    A 4-foot-deep concrete frost wall can add thousands of dollars to the cost of a slab-on-grade addition. A Maine contractor explains how good drainage and rigid foam insulation can protect foundations placed above the frost line.

     
  • Detail: A Hidden Newel Post

    The architect specced a switchback stair rail with no newel post at the landing — a visually pleasing but structurally weak design. Here’s how the builder provided support without changing the designer’s intent.

     
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    Farewell to Competitive Bidding

    This remodeler improved his company’s performance — and service to clients — by dropping out of the bidding rat race. Here’s how and why he did it.

     
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    Fast Precast Foundations

    A Superior Wall foundation has as much strength as a poured foundation, plus it’s insulated, requires no footings, and can install in less than a day. If there’s a manufacturing plant in your area, this is a system worth looking at.

     
  • Building With Foam-Core Panels

    With structural insulated panels, you get framing, sheathing, insulation, and air barrier all in one neat package. A 15-year foam-panel user explains how to build houses with SIPs, and how the technique compares with stick framing.

     

Letters

  • Letters

    Another vote against vinyl, chimney spillage warning, on working with architects

     
  • Letters

    Vinyl siding defended, spray insulations, Model Energy Code

     
  • Letters

    Competitive bidding pros and cons, manufacturer defends housewrap

     
  • Letters

    Deck details, nailing metal hangers, vinyl siding

     
  • Letters

    Venting cedar shingle roofs, aluminum nails for wood roofing, stair-building details

     
  • Letters

    Implied warranties, utility defends energy program

     

News

  • New England Update

     
  • Notebook

    Contractor referral services, International Building Code becoming reality, OSHA enforcing fall protection rules

     
  • New England Update

     
  • Notebook

    How new tax law affects contractors, window installation certification programs, building market up and down in mixed economy

     
  • New England Update

     
  • Notebook

    Strong economy brings stiff competition, employee background checks, designing a home office

     
  • New England Update

     
  • Notebook

    Making the most of the construction boom, new joist bracing system, lumber price update, local codes limited in Florida

     
  • New England Update

     
  • Notebook

    States ponder adoption of Model Energy Code, on-line building permits, foam adhesives for roof sheathing, true cost of comp claims

     
  • New England Update

     
  • Notebook

    “Orphaned” gas water heaters ruin masonry chimneys, commercial steel framing method goes residential, ancient warnings about shoddy construction ring true today

     

Q&A

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    Q&A: Supporting a New Slab Next to Existing Foundation

    Q: What’s the best way to support a new garage slab next to an existing foundation wall?

     
  • Q&A: Attaching Metal Roofing

    Q: When installing metal roof panels, should you screw or nail, and should the fasteners go through the flats or the ribs of the roof profile?

     
  • Q&A: Radiant Heat Efficiency

    Q: My hvac sub tells me that hot water radiant heat is "more efficient" than traditional forced hot air. Is this true?

     
  • Q&A: Hardwood Floors Over I-Joists

    Q: Are there any problems with installing hardwood floor over wood I-joists?

     
  • Q&A: Adding Loads to Basement Piers

    Q: A client wants me to add a second story addition on a small Cape. The add-on would necessitate bringing new floor and roof loads onto existing steel columns in the basement that heretofore have supported only first-floor loads. Are the footings for those steel posts up to the additional loads...

     
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    Q&A: Strength of Header Hangers

    Q: How do header hangers compare, from a strength standpoint, with traditional supporting jack studs?

     
  • Q&A: Repainting Greasy Walls

    Q: I occasionally need to repaint kitchen walls that have a thin buildup of grease on them. Are there any products available that will cut through this film so I can apply latex or polyurethane?

     
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    Q&A: Wide Ridge Vent

    Q: I have a job with a ridge beam built-up out of four pieces of LVL. Is there a ridge vent available that will span the wide opening this requires in the roof?

     
  • Q&A: Removing Old Grout

    Q: Is there an easy way to remove old grout from a tub surround without working by hand with a grout saw?

     
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    Q&A: Using a Single Top Plate

    Q: Our local energy utility recommends framing exterior walls with a single top plate to cut down thermal conduction. We follow the CABO code when we do this, making sure we line up trusses and/or joists directly over the studs. We splice the top plate joints with Simpson TP37 straps for 2x4 walls...

     
  • Q&A: Painting & Staining PT Wood

    Q: How should paints and stains perform on pressure-treated wood? I haven’t had a lot of luck painting the PT wood decks I build: The paint seems to fail after only two or three years. Is this because pressure-treated lumber is so wet, or do the chemicals used to treat the wood cause the paint to...

     
  • Q&A: Metal Roof Over Asphalt?

    Q: I am bidding a job where the owner wants to install a new metal roof over a double layer of asphalt shingles. The roof has solid lumber rafters and plywood sheathing. Should I install 1x4 horizontal purlins over the asphalt and attach the metal roof to those? Should the purlins be...

     

Design

Business

Legal

Engineering

Reviews

Kitchen & Bath

Products

  • Products

    Cargo bar for the pickup, heavy-duty demo tool, preplumbed showerhead & tub spout, prefab wainscot panel

     
  • Products

    New clip provides drywall backing at corners, two-part urethane adhesive for rebar pins, innovative recirculator for hot water on demand, drywall joint tape for outside corners

     
  • Products

    Adjustable framing hangers, water-proof glue, faux stone veneer, self-clamping junction box

     
  • Products

    Double-bevel compound miter saw, graded glulams, all-in-one surge protector for the panel, versatile cable stripper

     
  • Products

    10-inch portable table saw, cold-weather caulk, new tooth design for recip saw blades

     
  • New-Tech Tools and Materials

    A survey of new tools, products, and materials that can increase productivity and profit on your next job.

     

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