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Features

  • Choosing and Using the Right Saw Blade

    Understanding triple-chips, ATBs, hollow-grinding, blade tensioning, and other aspects of saw-blade art and science.

     
  • Jacks, Hoists & Pulleys

    How to use the laws of mechanical advantage to help you move heavy loads safely.

     
  • Power Nailers and Staplers

    A report on the new pneumatics: why they’re gaining in popularity in every job from interior trim to roofing.

     
  • Protecting Ears, Eyes, and Lungs

    A guide to common health hazards on the job and how to cope with them.

     
  • Table Saw Tactics

    If you want your table saw to work well, set it up correctly for the job, says this British woodworker of 30 years. Start with the right auxiliary fence.

     
  • Why Don't They Make a Tool That–

    A sampling of the new tools dreamed up to make life a little easier on the job site.

     
  • Barrier-Free Design

    The elderly and disabled don’t want their houses to look like institutions—and they don’t have to if the designer pays attention to some basic principles.

     
  • Bathroom Venting that Works

    In cold climates, a badly installed bathroom fan can be worse than none at all. Here’s how to do it right.

     
  • Installing Frameless Cabinets

    The new Euro-style cabinets demand more accurate layout and installation. This step-by-step guide shows you how.

     
  • Kitchen Design Trends and Techniques

    Space-saving tips and the return of the pantry.

     
  • New Ceramic Tile Technologies

    Sorting through the host of new additives, waterproofings, and substrates developed for thin-bed tile work.

     
  • The Mysteries of Plumbing Drains Unveiled

    Why do sewer gases back up into a home? How do you vent an island sink? What’s the difference between a vent stack and a stack vent? And much more.

     
  • Why You Need Membranes Under Ceramic Tile

    A tile contractor’s views on why every tile installation needs a membrane to protect against water arid building movement.

     
  • A Radon Guide for New Construction

    These low-cost measures will make radon removal easy if needed later.

     
  • Fighting Fire With Good Design

    Fire codes, fire cuts, fire walls, fire stops, draft stops, and almost everything else you ought to know about building safe houses.

     
  • Lighting Basics

    Tips and techniques for effective residential lighting, by two leading architects.

     
  • Sandblasting Saves Time and Money

    Sandblasting can be just the thing to save fire-damaged buildings. Here’s when you should and shouldn’t use the technique, and how to do it right.

     
  • Self-Leveling Underlayments

    Repair and level wood or concrete floors with pourable floor toppings. Here, we compare gypsum- and cement-based formulas.

     
  • Shopping for Pre-Built Stairs

    A survey of the options, costs, and construction details to look for in pre-built stairs.

     
  • The Biggest Trick of the Trade: Getting a Permit

    How to negotiate the growing obstacles to improving the neighborhood.

     
  • Chimney Relining Options

    A wood-heating authority evaluates several systems for bringing old, unlined chimneys up to current standards of safety and performance.

     
  • How to Remodel Around Electrical Systems

    A master electrician advises you on how to do your work without accidentally damaging his.

     
  • Keeping the Paint On

    Remedies for the age-old problems of peeling, blistering, and bleeding-through of paint.

     
  • Misreading a House

    One of America’s most experienced home-inspectors provides a checklist of problems to look for when you estimate your next remodeling project.

     
  • New Life for Rotten Timbers

    A Canadian preservationist uses steel, epoxy, and a chainsaw to save wooden beams that are worth saving.

     
  • The Bright Idea

    A tortured tale of fine craftsmanship and bad business planning—with plenty of 20/20 hindsight.

     
  • Finding the Flaws in Superinsulation

    The performance of many energy-efficient houses falls short of expectations. An in-depth field study of 144 houses shows why.

     
  • Grilles & Registers: Warm-Air Layout Tips

    Answers to the most frequent question on warm-air heating by one of the developers of forced warm-air heating.

     
  • Photo-What?

    An installer/consultant situated in southern Vermont, Gottlieb describes the typical home photovoltaic system, and the most efficient ways to use the electricity it produces.

     
  • Spray It: Two New Approaches to High-Performance Insulation

    Spray cellulose and spray urethane can give you top energy performance without a lot of headaches. Two insulation contractors describe how.

     
  • Tight Construction Made Easier

    Refinements on the airtight-drywall approach (ADA) make getting a tight shell easier on your framing crew and subs.

     
  • What's the Best Heating System?

    A veteran heating-system designer offers some pointers based on his experience in the field.

     
  • Zero-Clearance Fireplaces

    Prefab metal units stack up better than you might think against traditional masonry fireplaces. Menia, a mason and chimney sweep for 19 years, examines their pros and cons.

     
  • Computers: What Good Are They Anyway?

    How to decide whether computers are the best thing for your company since Sheetrock—or the business equivalent of “breaking your leg.”

     
  • Energy Design and PCs

    Back-of-the-envelope arithmetic vs. high-tech calculations to six decimal places. Which does the builder really need?

     
  • Learning Computers the Hard Way

    Interview with Ward Smyth. Lessons learned while building a successful, computerized contracting business—starting out in 1979 with a $50,000 electronic white elephant…

     
  • Low-Cost CAD

    Drawing by computer is easy and efficient with the right program features. Five systems are reviewed ranging in cost from $80 to $800.

     
  • Megabytes to Motherboards: A Friendly Guide to Computer Hardware

    How to select an economical, flexible system that will meet your needs and grow with your company.

     
  • Picking the Right Software

    Shopping tips for the most critical computer purchase you’ll make. Plus, in-depth reviews of 10 moderately priced construction software packages: Estimators, Schedulers, Accounting

     
  • Building With Brick

    A look at materials and methods of brick-veneer construction.

     

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