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Features

Letters

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    Letters

    Radon check; backfill pressure; Spanish lessons; mold precautions; source for rising hinges; more

     

News

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    In the News

    New EPA lead-paint rules; hurricane relief; California's smog fee; cement supply; more

     

Q&A

  • Making Long Trim From MDF

    Q. Because it's a lot cheaper than most primed stock, I'd like to use MDF for running trim. But that means I'll have a lot more butt joints, especially if I use 8-foot sheets, which I find to be more manageable on site than 10- or 12-foot sheets, which we can also get. What's a good way to make...

     
  • Protecting Water Heaters With Expansion Tanks

    Q. We recently had to replace our relatively new gas-fired water heater when its internal flue tube collapsed, ruining the thermostat and causing hot combustion gases to spew out the front. The installer, who claimed that the water heater was ruined by thermal expansion, added a thermal-expansion...

     
  • Fixing a Ceiling Stain

    Q. When a leak left water stains on our client's No. 2 pine ceiling, a painter tried to sand and bleach the marks, and then applied a natural oil stain to match the ceiling's clear finish. Unfortunately, the repairs turned a little yellow. What caused this? Is there any way to fix the ceiling now?

     
  • Anchoring a Railing To Stone

    Q. Anchoring a Railing To Stone I need to secure the base of a wrought-iron handrail to an exterior granite landing. My plan is to drill holes into the stone and use anchors. What's the best way to do this without cracking the stone, and what should I use for anchors? I am concerned that wedge...

     
  • Skip the Primer?

    Q. Recently I discovered that an inexperienced member of my crew mistakenly used finish paint instead of an actual primer to prime a fir exterior door. Now the door has two coats of a 100 percent acrylic house paint, but no primer underneath. Since it leads to a covered porch, the door is protected...

     
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    Is All Drywall Mud the Same?

    Q. My drywall sub's crew members ran out of mud before they were able to finish the third coat of a recent project. But when the local lumberyard delivered three buckets of the familiar green-labeled compound, the two tapers refused to use it and instead drove nearly an hour round-trip to pick up...

     

On the Job

Design

Business

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    The Myth & Math of Square-Foot Cost

    No contractor wants to talk to customers about square-foot cost. But the topic will inevitably arise, because everything about planning a construction project — especially a new home — leads the customer to think in terms of cost per square foot.

     

Legal

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    When a Customer or Supplier Goes Bankrupt

    There you are, just trying to make an honest living as a contractor, when all of a sudden somebody you're doing business with declares bankruptcy. How will this affect you?

     

Kitchen & Bath

Products

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    Products

    Synthetic roof underlayments; deck railings; fireplaces

     

Toolbox

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    Toolbox

    DeWalt DW304PK recip saw; Cordpro; Ridgid R82233 right-angle impact driver; planes & rasps; painting tools

     

Backfill

Other Articles