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  • 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.

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    Vent-Free Gas Heaters - How Safe?

    Unvented gas fireplaces and heaters are the latest craze at hearth product retail stores. But before you install one for a client, you'd better consider the liability.



  • Letters

    Implied warranties, utility defends energy program



  • 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: Treated Lumber’s Moisture Content

    Q: What is the moisture content of treated lumber? The treated lumber I use seems very wet, but it carries a grading stamp that lists the moisture content at 19%.

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    Q&A: Finding Buried Outlets

    Q: What’s the best way to locate an electrical box that was covered over when the drywall was installed?

  • Q&A: UV Blockers for Clear Finishes

    Q: Most species of trim that we install become darker as they age. I’ve read that this darkening is caused by exposure to the ultraviolet (UV) rays in sunlight. Occasionally, a customer will complain about this darkening. Is there a clear finish available that will block this UV action?





Kitchen & Bath


  • New-Tech Tools and Materials

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