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Features

  • 1200SM100

    Builder Blunders

    Nobody's perfect, but some builders are more imperfect than others. A veteran troubleshooter describes some memorable on-the-job mistakes.

     
  • 1203HELe

    Building Poured-Concrete Homes

    Forming and pouring four 2,500-square-foot houses is all in a day's work for this tract builder.

     
  • 1203uh-le

    Installing Fiber-Cement Siding

    Fiber-cement siding is no fun to cut and handle, but its price and durability make it a good deal for spec houses. An experienced installer tells you how to work with it efficiently.

     
  • 1203PA1

    Tool Test: Reciprocating Saws

    A veteran carpenter tests and reviews the current crop of pro-grade recip saws.

     
  • 1103YELE

    Repairing Slate Roofs

    With good technique and matching materials, repairs to a slate roof can be invisible and as durable as the original roof.

     
  • 1103la-lead

    Doing Vinyl Right

    When it comes to giving vinyl an authentic period look, the right details make all the difference.

     
  • 1103ma-lead

    Framing With Light-Gauge Steel

    Steel won't rot or get eaten by termites, and every piece is perfectly straight. A contractor who switched from wood to light-gauge steel discusses the differences and similarities between the two.

     
  • 1103me-lead

    Installing an Ornamental Tile Floor

    A stiff, strong subfloor and an accurate layout add up to a top-quality tile floor. A veteran tilesetter explains his approach.

     
  • 1103Pri_lead

    Replacing Factory-Built Fireplaces

    When a prefab fireplace wears out, the only solution is to remove it and install a new one. Here are some tips from a specialist.

     
  • 1103KE9

    Running a Production Trim Business

    An interior trim carpenter whose company specializes in servicing large national builders tells how to produce a high-quality interior finish quickly and efficiently.

     
  • 1003TO-1A

    Building a Sealed Crawlspace

    Sealed, conditioned crawlspaces can reduce callbacks and increase occupant comfort, says this North Carolina contractor. Here's how to build them — and how to sell the idea to the building inspector.

     
  • 1003HEle

    Cordless Impact Drivers

    Cordless impact drivers aren't as versatile as standard screw guns, but there's nothing like them for driving lags and other heavy fasteners. Our reviewer compares six models and reports his findings.

     
  • 1003DC_le

    Glazing a Custom Sunroom

    Besides providing a positive weather seal, sloped glazing needs to collect and channel condensed moisture to the outside. This flexible system of aluminum extrusions and rubber gaskets does just that.

     
  • Lateral-Force Collectors for Seismic and Wind-Resistant Framing

    There's more to wind- and earthquake-resistant framing than properly constructed shear walls. A veteran structural engineer describes the key connections that collect and control potentially catastrophic loads.

     
  • 1003CO1A

    Exterior Trim for Period Homes

    A New England builder tells how he takes advantage of shop-made trim and panelized walls to build authentic reproduction homes that can be shipped and erected anywhere.

     
  • 1003wi103

    What is Green?

    Green may sound simple, but it can be surprisingly difficult to define. An expert in the field explains what green means, and why it matters.

     
  • A Close Look at Stucco

    Traditional three-coat, one-coat, or EIFS, stucco is only as reliable as the water-management details behind it. A second- generation stucco contractor identifies common problems and offers proven solutions.

     
  • 0903MC4

    Heating with Panel Radiators

    These compact units provide the comfort and simplicity of baseboard radiators without gobbling up all the available wall space.

     
  • 0903GA1

    Salvaging Building Material

    A carpenter turned salvage contractor tells how he turns a profit keeping used materials out of the landfill, and shares some methods for removing common salvage items without damage.

     
  • New Products from the Kitchen & Bath Show

    Dazzle clients with your understanding of this year's crop of bigger, smarter, hotter, and cooler kitchen appliances.

     
  • 0903ZAlead_jlc

    Segmental Block Retaining Walls

    Longer lasting than timber and more user friendly than stone, segmental block retaining walls combine good looks with great structural stability.

     
  • 0803EB100jlc

    Providing Employee Benefits

    The owner of a remodeling business tells how the company institutes and manages benefits to attract and keep quality employees.

     
  • 0803SP1

    Spray Foam Insulation

    Forget the separate air barrier, and hold the vapor retarder: Sprayed-in-place polyurethane foam takes the place of both and offers increased structural stiffness as well as other benefits

     
  • 0803SA5

    Safety Lessons

    Working safely may cost a few dollars in the short run, but the ultimate price of an on-the-job accident can be incalculable. Five construction veterans tell what went wrong for them, and why.

     
  • Image

    10-Inch Portable Table Saws

    The newest 10-inch job-site table saws combine the rip capacity of contractor models with the portability of 81/4-inch machines. JLC compares seven models.

     
  • Attaching Deck Ledgers

    Problems with deck attachment are common and the issues complex. Three experts home in on the forces at work between the deck ledger and the band joist and offer connection details that will support anticipated loads.

     
  • 0703KALEjlc

    Running Crown on Cathedral Ceilings

    A finish carpenter describes the pros and cons of four techniques for installing crown molding on a cathedral or vaulted ceiling.

     
  • 0703me1

    First Time Out With ICFs

    Foam forms can save time and money while providing a superior finished product. The key, an ICF newcomer reports, is providing strong connections and plenty of bracing.

     
  • Installing High-Velocity HVAC

    Streamlined ductwork, flexible vent placement, and efficient year-round performance make a strong case for high-velocity HVAC, says this veteran installer.

     
  • Making Sense of the Liability Insurance Crisis

    Insurance costs have gone through the roof, and availability is declining. What's behind the crisis, and how can builders continue to thrive in spite of it?

     
  • 0703IP7

    Problem-Solving Tools & Materials

    This year's collection of new products can help you work smarter and better.

     

Letters

  • 1203LE51

    Letters

    Humidity sensor, new pressure-treatment formulations, ledger support, hard-hat reminder

     
  • Letters

    Job safety, fire protection for foam, deck ledgers

     
  • Letters

    Spray-foam insulation, flashing deck ledgers, safety lessons

     
  • 0603CV

    Letters

    Deck details, defending gable vents, screening chimney pots

     
  • 0703LE1jlc

    Letters

    Tiling over laminate, decking tips, solar incentives, precast chimneys, ANSI water heater spec

     
  • Letters

    Condensation cure, more on hip framing, performance guidelines

     

News

  • 1203ne-08

    In the News

    No copyright for building codes, refinance boom dwindling, baking houses, tornado lessons

     
  • 1103NEchart

    In the News

    Lumber prices double, Consumer Reports rates building materials, Canadian study finds window leaks, more

     
  • Image

    In the News

    Nail gun accidents, California picks NFPA code, Minnesota stucco warning, mega-home tally, Business Tune-Up

     
  • 0903NEWS102

    In the News

    Fatal porch collapse highlights flimsy connections, self-draining housewrap, new wood preservatives raise corrosion questions

     
  • Amherst, NY Building Dept.

    In The News

    Buffalo's flawed foundations, soggy building season, blast-resistant insulating windows, sealed crawlspaces, N.Y. scaffold law

     
  • 0703IN5

    In the News

    Western water shortages, Weyerhaeuser antitrust suit, cold-weather concrete pours, scheduling part-time office help, California condo comeback, mor

     

Q&A

  • 1103QA51

    Q&A: Various Wall Flashing for Exterior Chimneys

    Q. What's the right way to flash an exterior masonry chimney to the wall of the house?

     
  • Q&A: Reinforcing a Slab Over Disturbed Soil

    Q. I need to pour a thickened-edge slab foundation for a two-story garage apartment across a recently dug 2-foot-wide utility trench. The backfill over the trench has subsided, and I'm concerned that the foundation may sag and crack at that point. Can I add rebar to the slab to span this area, or...

     
  • Q&A: Floor Tiles vs. Wall Tiles: What's the Difference?

    Q. One of the tile showrooms where my remodeling clients shop has tiles displayed in two sections, one for floors and one for walls. What's the difference between a floor tile and a wall tile? Is it possible to interchange the two?

     
  • Q&A: Various Stucco Over Concrete

    Q. I'd like to finish the above-grade portion of a poured-concrete foundation with a color coat of stucco. The broken-off snap-ties are visible and are slightly rusty. Do I need to treat these with anything before I apply the stucco to prevent a rust stai

     
  • Q&A: Energy Payback From Instantaneous Water Heaters

    Q. Do the energy savings provided by instantaneous gas water heaters justify their higher cost?

     
  • Q&A: Detecting Live Romex

    Q. I'm a remodeler and often work around existing wiring. What's the most practical and inexpensive tool for detecting live current in either romex or wire in a metal conduit? Can you detect current inside the conduit without opening the conduit?

     
  • Q&A: Venting Bath Fan Into Soffit Not a Good Idea

    Q. It has become common practice in new construction around Nashville to vent bathroom fans into a nearby soffit. One problem is that the vent often gets covered with vinyl or metal soffit because the siding crew doesn't want to cut a hole in the finished

     
  • 0903QA51

    Q&A: Various Shallow Foundation for Flat Site

    Q. I have a client who wants me to build a 30x40-foot unheated barn-garage with a slab floor. The area where the building will sit is very flat, with no lower terrain nearby, so it's not feasible to build a typical 4-foot stem wall with a daylight drain. Frost depth is 48 inches around here...

     
  • Q&A: Insulating Around Knob-and-Tube

    Q. I am remodeling a 1920s house that has the original knob-and-tube wiring. I would like to blow cellulose into the stud cavities but am guessing that it's not safe to do that with the exposed wiring in the cavities. What does code say?

     
  • Q&A: OSB as Carpet Substrate?

    Q. Why can't I use 7/16-inch OSB over 1-inch rough pine boards for carpet underlayment?

     
  • Q&A: Various Recoating Wood Floors

    Q. We're renovating a home with hardwood floors that are somewhat worn and lack luster but don't seem to need resanding. Is there a way to restore the finish without sanding?

     
  • Q&A: Cleaning Grout

    Q. I have a client who had a tile floor put down a few years ago. The tile installer told her the grout already had a sealer in it so no additional sealer was ever put on. Now the grout is stained, and she has been trying to clean it with bleach (the grout is white) but cannot stand the fumes. Is...

     
  • Q&A: Lumber Choices

    Q. I recently requested a quote for 1x4 T&G fir for a covered porch. The lumber supplier added two new species, meranti and Brazilian redwood, to the quote list. How do those woods stack up against Douglas fir, which has been used traditionally for porch floors in my area? I plan to paint all sides...

     
  • 0703QA51

    Q&A: Various Reinforcing Mud-Bed Tile Floors

    Q. What's the right type of mesh to use in a mud-bed tile floor? Should I use a self-furring lath (like the type used in stucco work) so that it centers itself in the mud?

     
  • Q&A: Assessing Old Structural Timbers

    Q. I'm looking at a project to convert a 1920s-era three-story industrial building into residential lofts. Much of the heavy timber interior frame has been exposed to a lot of weather because of roof deterioration during years when the building was not ma

     

Design

Business

Legal

Computers

Resources

Kitchen & Bath

Products

  • 1203PR1

    Products

    Wiring raceway, remodeling shower valve cover, escape ladder, arch supports, sawhorse brackets, instant shelving

     
  • 1103PR24

    Products

    Decks & railings, insulation & air sealing, door hardware

     
  • 0903PR4

    Products

    Flexible moldings, fast-grab adhesive, dimmable CF; panel, flooring, and asphalt roofing products

     
  • 0603PR6jlc

    Products

    Heat pumps, siding and accessories, lighting, interior millwork products, more

     
  • 0803PR104jlc

    Products

    Push-on wire nuts, invisible deck fasteners, good-looking gutters, caulks, sealants & adhesives, drywall products

     

Toolbox

Tools of the Trade

Backfill