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Features

Letters

  • Letters

    Housing crisis; code approval for roll-in showers; a livable wage; no back-priming required

     

News

  • JLC Report

    Uncertainty abounds as lead-safe remodeling deadline nears; Haiti says no thanks to formaldehyde trailers; U.S. glassmakers lose out to Chinese company; more

     

Q&A

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    Wood-Steel Composite Beam?

    We're considering through-bolting LVL lumber to both sides of a steel I-beam. We'd install the resulting composite beam flush at midspan in an existing floor system, with the LVL providing convenient nailing for joist hangers. Can we assume that the combined load-bearing values for LVL and steel...

     
  • Wrong-Side Housewrap

    While preparing for an extensive remodeling project, we discovered that the housewrap was installed underneath the exterior 7/16-inch plywood rather than on top. According to the scope of work, we are supposed to install 1/2-inch foam board with taped seams over the entire exterior. Will the...

     
  • Best Mix for Pumped Concrete

    Plans for an infill project call for a poured stem-wall foundation, but the urban site has limited access for a regular concrete truck. A pumper truck would be ideal, but I'm concerned that the pumped mix won't provide the required 4,000-psi concrete. Is this a legitimate concern?

     

Business

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    Above the Line or Below the Line?

    In recent years I’ve spent a lot of time speaking to and consulting with builders and remodelers, big and small, and I’ve noted that there’s often confusion about what types of costs go where on a financial statement.

     

Products

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    Dry Wall

    Cosella-Dörken’s three-ply Delta Footing Barrier keeps groundwater out of walls by providing a waterproof break between a building’s footing and its foundation

     
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    Double Insulated

    Owens Corning’s EnergyComplete System has two components: a latex-based spray foam and blown-in fiberglass insulation.

     
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    Custom Kit

    Fantech’s Kitchen Ventilation System contains all the components needed to build a custom range hood: a stainless steel hood liner, a remote inline fan, and an optional inline silencer.

     
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    Splash Down

    DryFlekt Kick-Out Diverters help direct water away from areas where roof surfaces intersect vertical walls and into gutters.

     
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    Making It Up

    High-volume exhaust hoods can create negative pressure in a tightly built house, which can cause backdrafting of gas-heating appliance flues.

     
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    Fiberglass Tape

    FibaFuse paperless drywall tape by Saint-Gobain Technical Fabrics is composed of a porous fiberglass that makes it highly mold resistant and stronger than paper tape, says the manufacturer.

     
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    Clear Coat

    Stucco-Guard by Seal-Krete protects new and old stucco against freeze/thaw damage and rain driven by winds of up to 124 mph, says the maker.

     
  • High-Tech Hood

    Part of Jenn-Air’s new Glass Collection, the 32-inch JXP5032WS Perimetric Hood looks more like a flat-screen TV than a kitchen ventilation appliance.

     
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    Quiet Rock

    National Gypsum’s sound-reducing drywall now comes in a thinner size for residential use.

     
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    Temporary Plates

    Cooper’s SmartGuard Protection Plates protect electrical work from drywall mud and paint.

     

Toolbox

Toolbits

Backfill

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    An Affordable Solar Home

    Last fall, 20 college and university teams from the U.S. and abroad gathered in Washington, D.C., to take part in the 2009 Solar Decathlon.