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  • Flattening Walls for Paneling

    The quality of framing lumber being what it is, a perfectly flat, plumb wall is a rarity these days. An experienced finish carpenter describes the techniques he uses to create a flat surface before installing paneling and interior trim.

  • On Site With Polymer Moldings

    As an alternative to installing elaborate built-up wood profiles, one-piece foam moldings are lightweight, can be worked with ordinary woodworking tools, and produce a good-looking, durable finished product.

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    Pinning to Ledge

    When it comes to footings, it’s hard to beat solid granite ledge. But when the rock is irregular or sloped, proper anchoring is crucial. A custom builder explains the tools, materials, and techniques he used to drill, pin, and brace a stem-wall foundation formed directly to a large stone...

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    Plastic Plumbing Comes of Age

    Ten years of problems with polybutylene piping have made contractors wary of using plastic pipe for domestic water supply. That’s a mistake, according to this plumbing contractor, who has plumbed residential water systems successfully for 15 years using cross-linked polyethylene tubing.

  • Reinventing the Ranch

    Ranch houses from the 1950s are in many ways perfect candidates for ’90s’ remodels. Designed for relaxed living, they adapt well to informal contemporary lifestyles. An award-winning architect explains the guidelines he follows in remaking a ranch.



  • Letters

    Keeping termites out of foam-covered foundations, roof vent study attacked



  • New England Update

  • Notebook

    Coping with swings in lumber prices, back supports cut injuries, spray foam insulation outperforms fiberglass in extreme cold



  • Q&A: Filling Nail Holes

    Q: Is there an easy way to get a good color match when filling nail holes in natural or stained trim? The filler we use looks fine until the stain or clear finish is applied.

  • Q&A: Plastic Pressure-Relief Piping

    Q: Is it acceptable to use plastic piping for the pressure-relief discharge on a domestic water heater? The BOCA code in my area requires that the discharge piping be rated at or above the temperature of the system, but it’s not clear whether that refers to the temperature of the water in the tank...

  • Q&A: Attaching to Granite Countertop

    Q: What’s the best way to attach a dishwasher to a granite countertop?







Kitchen & Bath


  • Products

    Prefab plumbing access panels, hand-crank fork lift, electric radiant heat panels, nonyellowing clear caulk