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Features

Letters

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    Letters May 2010

    More mold headaches; ice dam insurance; stair template available; choosing the right word

     

News

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    JLC Report - May 2010

    EPA waffles on HEPA vacs; low-E windows melt vinyl siding; drywall ruling favors homeowners; more

     

Q&A

  • Sealer Failure on Saltillo Tiles

    A past customer purchased Mexican Saltillo tile from a distributor and had it installed by a tile installer I referred her to. The tile came presealed and was installed - per instructions on the shipping boxes - using thinset mortar. Within a day or two, the sealer began to fail, appearing as a...

     
  • Can Fiberglass Batts Perform Well in Tightly Sealed Houses?

    I understand that fiberglass batt insulation can allow air to move through it and that this air movement degrades the insulation's R-value. Two causes I've heard about are wind-washing at the eaves and convective loops that can start in a wall cavity on really cold days and wick warmth from inside...

     

On the Job

  • Removing a Structural Chimney

    Two summers ago I received a call from some homeowners who wanted to remodel their kitchen and, as part of the project, remove a brick chimney that ran up through the center of the house.

     

Business

  • Things I Learned From My Piano Teacher

    Not only do I lack any particular talent for playing the piano, but I didn’t even start taking lessons until early middle age — far too late to develop the neural pathways I’d need to play well.

     

Products

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    Products

    Garage doors; heat-reflecting shingles; hurricane-resistant glass walls; clay plaster; decking with drainage; roof wrap; pergolas; more

     

Toolbox

Toolbits

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    Festool Compact Hand Planer

    Full-size 3 1/4-inch hand planers are meant to be guided with both hands for maximum control, but Festool has a compact model designed to be held in one hand, so the other hand can steady the work.

     
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    ModBox Storage Container

    The ModBox storage container is made of seven interlocking panels that can be carried and assembled by a lone contractor without tools — so it can be set up in places other storage boxes can't easily go.

     
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    Sortimo L-Boxx Stackable Toolboxes

    Stackable toolboxes help you carry a lot in one load while keeping parts and tools neatly in their places.

     
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    Porter-Cable 390K 5-Inch Random Orbit Sander

    Porter-Cable's 390K 5-inch random orbit sander has a powerful variable-speed brushless motor and delivers consistently fine sanding results.

     

Backfill

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    Masterful Columns

    Suppose you wanted some wooden columns about 20 feet tall and custom-turned in one piece from straight tree trunks? There aren’t too many places you could find such a thing.