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Features

  • Innovative Products for 2001

    Every year, product and tool manufacturers vie for your attention with the latest, greatest releases guaranteed to help you work faster, better, cheaper. Here’s our pick for 2001.

     
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    Installing Central Vac

    Central vac is gaining in popularity, both in new homes and remodels. Here are the rules to follow for trouble-free installations, from experts of 20 years’ experience.

     
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    Making Brick Repairs Disappear

    Initial foundation settlement can leave vertical cracks in brick veneer cladding, which, though ugly, pose no structural problem. A North Carolina builder describes how he makes the repairs, using tricks gleaned from masons.

     
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    Have Asphalt Shingles Improved?

    Eight years ago, JLC took a look at widespread reports of cracking and splitting in fiberglass-mat shingles. In this update, we report how shingle manufacturers have responded to complaints, and how new product standards are making it easier to judge w

     
  • Teach Classes & Win Customers

    A Rhode Island builder tells how teaching free classes in his community brings a stream of prequalified prospective clients.

     

Letters

  • Letters

    Rafter cutting concerns, building with ICFs, retrofitting brick ties, more

     

News

  • Notebook

    Builders go online, low-cost energy upgrades yield two-year payback, new code reference, drywall study proves usefulness of corner clips, more

     

Q&A

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    Q&A: To Pigtail or Not to Pigtail?

    Q: I have always thought that the best way to wire a receptacle is to use a pigtail lead from the supply wires to the receptacle. My electrician prefers to run the supply wires, and also the wires to the downstream receptacles, to the screw terminals at t

     
  • Q&A: Hickory Flooring Over Radiant Heat

    Q: A customer wants me to install hickory flooring over radiant heat. Does hickory present any unusual problems in this application, compared to other species?

     
  • Q&A: Choosing Cellulose Insulation

    Q: What are the advantages and disadvantages of dense-pack cellulose versus damp-spray cellulose insulation?

     
  • Q&A: Staggered Rafters at Ridge

    Q: I am framing a gable roof with common rafters attached to a 2x12 non-structural ridge board. Must the rafters on either side of the ridge line up, or can they be staggered along the ridge board?

     
  • Q&A: Optimal Insulation Thickness

    Q: In a heating climate (central New York), I would like to know how to determine whether adding more insulation results in diminishing returns in terms of energy savings. Is there any reason to include more than R-50 insulation in an attic, assuming the

     
  • Q&A: Reusing Brick

    Q: When rebuilding a chimney above the roofline, is it okay to reuse the existing bricks? I have heard that mortar does not stick as well to reused bricks as it does to new bricks. Is this true?

     
  • Q&A: Particleboard Under Tile

    Q: We will be installing ceramic tile flooring in the kitchen of an existing house. The subfloor consists of 1/2-inch plywood over 3/4-inch particleboard (not OSB). The joists are spaced 16-inches on-center. My plan is to install 1/2-inch cementitious bac

     

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