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Features

  • Backdraftng: Causes and Cures

    Despite better furnace and fireplace design, spilling of toxic flue gases remains a problem, especially in tight houses. A leading researcher offers solutions.

     
  • Hanging Up Your Tool Belt

    How to survive the two most difficult transition periods in the growth of your remodeling business — from a successful remodeler and consultant.

     
  • Housing Imports: Threat or Opportunity?

    On visits to Japan and Sweden, our Midwest editor found that foreign housing has a technological edge, but that U.S. builders retain a big home-court advantage.

     
  • Innovations From Abroad

    A number of foreign building products represent true innovation. Here’s a selection of recent introductions to the U.S. market.

     
  • Shopping for Transits & Builders Levels

    Not all transits are created equal. A repair expert tells what to look for and what to avoid when buying a new or used instrument.

     
  • Ten Shortcuts That Don't Pay

    Ever wonder how some building practices fare over time? A home inspector reports back on ten areas where cutting corners leads to trouble.

     
  • Bathroom Lighting Basics

    Too many bathrooms are badly lit for shaving, applying makeup, and other personal tasks. Here’s how to get it right, from a lighting specialist.

     
  • Building Curved Dormers

    A custom builder tells how he makes curved-top dormers using standard framing and trim and a little carpenter’s ingenuity.

     
  • Ceramic Tile Grouting

    An expert tilesetter describes step-by-step how to get top performance from today’s grouts, including the new epoxy grouts.

     
  • Passing On Control of Your Family Business

    To successfully transfer your business to the next generation, family members must face facts and forge a workable plan. A leader in the field guides the way.

     
  • Solid Surfacing

    A fabricator explains how Corian and similar materials are worked and describes design options and costs.

     
  • Up-Flush Basement Baths

    The old rule that sewage runs downhill does not apply here. A plumbing contractor tells how to handle drainage when adding a basement bath.

     
  • Detail: Ventilation Innovations

    Crawlspaces and roofs need vents, but the standard details don’t always fit. Here are two clever solutions to common venting problems.

     
  • Interview: Staining & Finishing Interior Millwork

    Two painting veterans discuss how to get superior results with stains and clear finishes on woodwork — from prep work and scheduling to brush care.

     
  • Laying Marble and Granite Tiles

    These materials are growing in popularity. An installation contractor tells how to get the best results and avoid the pitfalls.

     
  • Simple CAD for the Mac

    Computer-aided design won’t make you a great designer. But the right program can make drawing and revising much easier. Here’s what’s available for Mac users.

     
  • Successful Floorplans for Small Houses

    To allocate space correctly in a small house, consider using the component method, which matches floorplans to the needs of small home buyers.

     
  • Underlayments for Resilient Flooring

    With resilient flooring, the choice of underlayment is critical. This guide to selection and installation will help you get good performance.

     
  • The Basic Masonry Chimney

    Safety first is the chimney builder’s prime rule. An expert mason tells how to detail a masonry chimney that will meet both code and budget.

     
  • Design Fees for Remodelers

    Rather than give away free design work, this Georgia remodeler gets a retainer after his rough drawing and ballpark estimate are accepted.

     
  • Designing Additions That Fit

    If you want your additions to complement the existing building, follow these guidelines from a Denver architect who specializes in residential remodeling.

     
  • Detail: Cinching Up an Old Schoolhouse

    This repair of a cracked brick building illustrates the forces at work when an old foundation settles and how to master them.

     
  • Floating Hardwood Floors

    Longstrip floors, manufactured and prefinished in Europe, install quickly and can go over almost any level surface. An industry consultant explains how.

     
  • Interview: Sunspace Business: Changing with the Times

    Sunspace veterans Robert Chew and Ray Silva discuss the changing market for sunrooms, and their diversification from sunspace installers to successful remodelers.

     
  • Slabjacking Basics

    A veteran slabjacking contractor explains how grout injection can lift and level tilting slabs.

     
  • When You Have To Cut A Truss

    Trusses are engineered systems and cannot be simply cut and headed off like rafters. Two case studies demonstrate the care needed to safely modify a truss.

     
  • Detail: Fat-Wall Windows

    Extra-thick, superinsulated walls complicate window details. Here’s one solution that’s easy to build and appeals to customers.

     
  • Guide to High Performance Hydronics

    New boilers use condensing technology, boiler purging, and power venting to boost performance. A heating engineer describes how to choose the right features for your project.

     
  • Home-Run Holds Promise

    Plastic water-supply piping promises ease and economy, but it has been plagued by leaks and lawsuits. Now better materials and instructions offer new hope. We examine the problems and prognosis.

     
  • Interview: Teaming up with Distributors

    Remodeler Jack Tenhulzen explains how referrals from product distributors close at a high rate and can help your remodeling business grow.

     
  • PB's Troubled Past

     
  • Sizing Heating Systems

    An energy consultant shows how to do simple step-by-step heat-loss calculations to size heating systems and evaluate energy improvements.

     
  • Special Report: Plastic Plumbing: Home Run Holds Promise

    Plastic water-supply piping promises ease and economy, but it has been plagued by leaks and lawsuits. Now better materials and instructions offer new hope. We examine the problems and prognosis.

     
  • Ten Tough Energy Questions

    Puzzled by conflicting energy advice? We asked our panel experts to help out by summarizing the latest thinking on a number of thorny issues.

     

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