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Features

Letters

  • Letters

    Remodeling opportunities abound; weatherization wages too low; in defense of vinyl siding; more

     

News

  • In the News

    Who's liable for defective Chinese drywall?; top 10 OSHA violations for 2009; Texas requires water-saving toilets; more

     

Q&A

  • Back-Priming Fiber-Cement Siding

    Q: We ordered preprimed HardiePlank lap siding to finish a project, but when it was delivered, we discovered that the backs were left unprimed. Normally, we back-prime wood clapboards, but I'm not sure this step is needed with fiber-cement siding, and the manufacturer's Web site is mute on the...

     
  • Stainless Steel and Rebar

    Q: Can stainless steel tie wire be used with standard rebar?

     
  • OSB Subfloor Over Decking?

    Q: We're building a four-season addition over an existing raised deck framed with PT lumber. Is it okay to install OSB subfloor sheathing directly over the wood decking, or should the decking be removed first?

     
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    Best Nails for Drywall

    Q: I can't find the blued ring-shank drywall nails I started hanging drywall with 30 years ago. All that seems to be available are cheap and flimsy drywall nails that bend too easily when I nail them in, rust as soon as I apply mud, and leave my hands covered with black ink. Why don't they make...

     

Business

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    Before You Drop Your Prices, Read This

    Has it ever occurred to you that dropping your prices to stay in business could put you out of business? Many contractors tell me they’ve had to drop their prices to remain competitive in today’s market. They just know they’re losing jobs because the “other guy” is cheaper.

     

Products

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    Products

    Snow-melting stair mats; modulating gas fireplace; efficient heat-pump water heater; permeable pavement; sump pump; more

     

Toolbox

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    Bosch SN350-20F Framing Nailer

    When Bosch introduced its first line of pneumatic nailers last spring, it claimed that the tools were 20 percent smaller and 10 percent more powerful than the competition.

     
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    Stinger CH38A Cap Stapler

    When Bosch introduced its first line of pneumatic nailers last spring, it claimed that the tools were 20 percent smaller and 10 percent more powerful than the competition.

     

Toolbits

Backfill

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    Steam-Bent Shingles

    Renovations are a vital part of the routine at George Washington’s Mount Vernon, Va., estate, which is open to the public 365 days a year. Recently, Steve Ritter’s company, Cedar Shakes and Shingles, was called upon to install decorative red cedar shingles on the bell-shaped roof of a reproduction...