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  • 0304an-04

    Building Stone Arches

    A veteran masonry contractor describes how he built a series of stone arches below a wood-framed terrace.

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    Installing Home Theaters

    The owner of a home automation company explains what GCs need to know to coordinate the installation of home theater systems.

  • 0304wo-03

    Practical Engineering: Load-Tested Deck Ledger Connections

    Virginia Tech researchers report the load test results of four ledger-board-to-band-joist connection details.

  • 0304be-02

    On-Site Septic for Problem Soils

    An excavation contractor describes the installation of plastic leach chambers on a site where a conventional leach field wouldn't work.

  • 0304al-01

    Post-Tensioned Slabs

    Expansive soils can wreak havoc on conventional wire-mesh reinforced slabs. A California structural engineer explains why post-tensioned slabs have become a popular solution for building on problem soils.

  • 0304kb-01

    Refinishing a Bathtub

    Spray-on refinishing can be a practical alternative to tearing out an unsightly but structurally sound tub or shower unit.

  • 0304st-01

    Scheduling Software 101

    Computer schedulers show you where the job stands and help predict where it's headed. We compare packages and describe the key features to look for.



  • Letters

    Mold and technique, necessity of building paper, flashlight recommendation



  • Image

    In the News

    Lumber trade standoff, builder's contract gag clause causes controversy, simpler energy code in the works, gravel pumping may be in your future



  • Roof Truss Spacing

    Q. We see ourselves as quality builders. We frame everything 16 inches on-center, including roof trusses. Most visitors to our job sites feel that this is overkill and that we're wasting the customer's money. Is putting trusses 16 inches on-center with 5/

  • What to Do About Mold on Framing Lumber?

    Q. We're seeing more mold and mildew on framing lumber (or maybe we're just noticing it more, with all the recent attention to mold). Should we try to remove this before we insulate and put up drywall? How? Or is it safe to assume that it won't be a probl



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    Troubleshooting Open Plans

    Over the last ten years or so, residential designers have made tremendous progress in offering open floor plans. Eliminating long hallways and unnecessary walls are both good ways to impart a spacious feel.



  • Business

    Saving on workers' comp; putting subs on the team; improving efficiency with the 80/20 rule



  • Sexual Harassment Liability Extends to Subs

    Okay, here's the situation: You've hired a female carpenter, and while your guys are cool, she's having trouble with the suppliers and the subs. Could you be in trouble if you don't do something about that?


Kitchen & Bath


  • 0304pr-08


    Low-maintenance gutters, 10-ounce epoxy, long structural screws; indoor ventilation; locksets; paints & coatings



  • 0304tb-01


    Ridgid 18-volt kit; cordless shop vac; jigs & clamps