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    Bidding Errors To Avoid

    Taking shortcuts when preparing contracts, job specs, and estimates could cost you your profit margin. A seasoned contractor tells how to avoid typical pitfalls.

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    Compound Miter Saw Review

    Our tool editor takes a close look at 10- and 12-inch compound chop saws, and compares them for power, accuracy, and durability.

  • Installing Direct-Vent Space Heaters

    Proper installation of these fan-assisted units can provide comfortable, energy-efficient heat in room additions and small dwellings.

  • On Site with Advantech

    Field testing of this new-generation OSB subfloor shows improved resistance to swelling, even in severe weather exposure.

  • Waterproofing ICF Foundations

    Even foundations built with insulating concrete forms need to be made water-resistant. A builder shows how he applies a self-adhering membrane to guarantee a dry basement.

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    Working with Preprimed Wood Siding

    Factory priming protects wood siding from moisture and UV degradation until the finish paint can be applied. Here’s what to look for when speccing this cost-effective product.



  • Letters

    Bonding to gas pipes; Frank Lloyd Wright rebar mystery; vinyl siding comments; recipe for roof algae cleaner



  • Notebook

    International code finally a reality; housewrap performance; OSHA takes on repetitive stress; innovative temporary shelter



  • Q&A: Notches & Holes in Joists

    Q: What’s the largest hole I can drill in a 2x8 joist? What about notching? Also, how close to a bearing point can I drill a hole?

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    Q&A: Ceiling Vapor Barrier — Yes or No?

    Q: Should you put a vapor barrier in an insulated ceiling or not? I build in a cold climate, where many longtime builders swear that you shouldn’t put a ceiling vapor barrier in. The reasons go something like, "Because you have to let the moisture escape," or "Because the house has to breathe out...

  • Q&A: Performance of Wood vs. Steel Beams in a Fire

    Q: Is it true that a wood beam is safer than a steel beam in a fire? I’ve heard that metal twists and deflects in the presence of heat, while a wood beam will withstand the heat and a great deal of fire before burning through enough to collapse.






Kitchen & Bath


  • Products

    Noise-reducing batts; cool eye protection; simple cord connector; generator power panel; aluminum fence system; foolproof GFCI receptacle; thin profile radiant heat for tile