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  • A Pop-Top Shed Dormer

    A remodeler describes how he created a dormer by jacking up part of an existing roof instead of building it from scratch.

  • Financing Spec Homes

    A builder tells how he uses banks, home equity, subordination agreements, and private investors to get the money to build on spec.

  • Getting Quality From Fiberglass Insulation

    To get the most from fiberglass batts, you have to start thinking about insulation at the framing stage and coordinate with other subcontractors. An insulation contractor explains.

  • Innovative Products 2002

    This year’s roundup of problem-solving tools and materials will help you build better and work smarter.

  • Manufactured Fireplaces

    Manufactured fireplaces require no foundation or special framing, and most can be installed in a day. This article explains the available options and how to choose a high-quality product.

  • Repairing a Stone Foundation

    A Colorado builder explains how he poured a new foundation well around the existing one to provide support and a smooth surface for waterproofing.



  • Letters

    Roofing felt, rotary laser follow-up, plumbing a well pump, sizing supply pipes, more



  • Notebook

    NAHB pulls out of NFPA code process, new device for drying basements, California claimed unfair to nonunion apprenticeship programs, suburb’s no-step entry requirement dropped, Business Tune-Up, more



  • Q&A: Painting Popcorn Ceilings

    Q. Several of my customers have “popcorn” ceilings that are old and dirty. Is there any way of painting them short of spray-painting?

  • Q&A: Wood Floors in the Kitchen

    Q. I have a customer who insists on having red oak strip flooring in her kitchen. I’ve tried to talk her into a more durable, scrubbable flooring, but she won’t hear it. Is there anything that the floor finisher should do differently to protect the oak floor?

  • Q&A: Long-Span Floor Joists

    Q. Would floor trusses or wood I-joists be stronger over a 26-foot span?

  • Q&A: CAD Question

    Q. I’m looking for a CAD program that can produce 3-D drawings of a feature like a custom soffit that incorporates arches. I would also like to do standard house drawings. If I could take a digital photo of a project and make changes to the existing house for presentation, that would be perfect.


By Design


Legal Adviser

Kitchen & Bath


Tools of the Trade