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Features

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    Builder's Guide to Vinyl Siding

    Though manufacturers are improving the appearance of vinyl siding and making claims of greater durability, builders must choose the right product and install it carefully. Here’s what you need to know.

     
  • Choosing Collated Nails

    Cheap generic nails seem like a bargain up front, but you may pay the price later in jams and misfires. This article explains how to make an intelligent choice in generic nails, and looks at the many new collated specialty nails on the market.

     
  • Concrete Basics

    Concrete seems about as straightforward and rugged as any material on site. But the fact is, if you make certain common mistakes during placement, you can end up with a weak finished product. Here are some essential guidelines that will guarantee good work.

     
  • 0600Loughead

    Making the Switch to Steel

    Lumber price swings and declining quality convinced this California production builder to try framing with steel. Now, seven years later, he’s not looking back.

     
  • Putting a Limit on Allowances

    Three’s the magic number in this system for managing client product selections. Learn how one builder guides homeowners through this difficult process, creating goodwill and saving the schedule along the way.

     
  • Shopping for Recessed Lights

    For a few extra dollars, a typical off-the-shelf recessed fixture can be upgraded to provide more effective light for a variety of tasks. We look at how various bulbs, trims, and housings affect performance.

     

Letters

  • Letters

    Competing with big boxes; Nantucket reader sounds off on underground man; arch-scribing tool clarification

     

News

  • Notebook

    Drywall shortage is history; ASHRAE’s new ventilation standard meets resistance; rebates offered for affordable housing in Dallas; knee therapy holds promise for builders; precut stud lengths all over the map; more

     

Q&A

  • Q&A: Finishing a Basement Wall

    Q: I would like to install insulation and drywall to finish off a poured-concrete basement wall. Although the basement is high and dry, with no signs of moisture problems, I’m still concerned about condensation. I’d like to know where to install the vapor barrier, if any, and whether there is any...

     
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    Q&A: Insulating a Cathedral Ceiling Under Metal Roofing

    Q: I need to insulate a cathedral ceiling that will be finished with tongue-and-groove pine paneling. The house has steel roofing installed over 1x3 purlins. There is no plywood roof sheathing. I’m concerned about possible condensation on the underside of the steel roofing, and I would like to know...

     
  • Q&A: Covering Up a Brick Fireplace

    Q: I am building an addition that will enclose the back side of an existing brick fireplace, which is now on the exterior of the building. Can 2x4 furring be attached directly to the brick?

     
  • Q&A: Replacing Chimney Counterflashings

    Q: Whenever I need to replace chimney counterflashings, I seal the top of the flashing with Quickcrete, using a caulk gun. This product is made for concrete repairs, and comes in a tube. I know that some people will mix up a little mortar for this job, and others use silicone or urethane caulk...

     
  • Q&A: Does Wood Siding Need an Air Space Behind It?

    Q: I’m considering installing wood siding over a rain screen, but I’m unsure whether the potential benefits justify the extra expense. What is the real benefit of an air space behind wood siding?

     
  • Q&A: Installing Fenceposts

    Q: I am installing a fence with pressure-treated 4x4 posts. Is there any advantage to installing a base of crushed stone at the bottom of the post hole? If I partially backfill around the post with concrete, will the concrete hold the fencepost more firmly, or will it encourage the fencepost to rot?

     
  • Q&A: Drywood Termites

    Q: I work in and around Albuquerque, N.M. Do drywood termites cause trouble in this area? If so, what measures can one take to prevent damage?

     

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Products

  • Products

    New prefinished hardwood strip flooring; NFL hardhats; concrete anchors to withstand seismic vibration; airtight attic hatch; shears for asphalt shingles; contoured underlayment for vinyl siding; no-drip faucet connectors; strap-on sandals for gripping roof surfaces; more

     

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