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Features

  • The Cadillac of Filing Systems

    This thorough approach to office organization will help you manage your paperwork, keep an eye on costs, and ultimately run a more profitable business.

     
  • A Compact Job-Site Shop

    Why waste time running back to the shop when you can do precise millwork on site? A kitchen remodeler describes the setups that work for him.

     
  • Epoxy Concrete Repair

    For repairing concrete foundation cracks, you can’t beat epoxy for a strong, permanent bond. Here’s how to select the right materials and install them properly.

     
  • Finish Nailers: Hands-On Review

    A remodeler puts a selection of finish nailers to the test at the job site and reports on the results.

     
  • Safe Wiring With GFCIs

    This builder’s common sense system for shop-built wall systems dramatically increases efficiency and lowers costs.

     
  • Coping With Shrinking Wood Callbacks

    Whether it’s framing lumber or finish flooring, wood shrinks and swells, causing problems in your finish work. Here’s how to prevent callbacks.

     
  • Flashing a Chimney the Right Way

    A chimney specialist shows how to install flashing that will prevent leaks for the life of the chimney.

     
  • Glass Block in the Bathroom

    A master tilesetter shows how to incorporate glass block into a tiled bath.

     
  • Kitchen Design Basics

    An architect discusses the essential ingredients of a well-planned kitchen: cabinet and appliance dimensions, lay-out variations, storage schemes, and dining options.

     
  • New Products for Kitchen and Bath

    Our K&B reviewer finds some good values amid the glitz and glitter of this year’s industry show.

     
  • Putting Your Punchlist to Work

    A well-planned punchout procedure will ensure you exit the job gracefully — and get the last check.

     
  • 10th Anniv letter

     
  • Interview: Rafter Framing with Wood I-Beams

    Illinois builder Mike Hoch explains why he uses engineered members for rafters and offers tips on handling, cutting, and installation.

     
  • Leakproof Shower Pans

    A veteran tile contractor describes his favorite pan materials and techniques for a durable, leak-free job.

     
  • Ordering Ready-Mix Concrete

    There’s more to buying concrete than specifying compressive strength. Understanding cement types admixures, and batch-plant basics will help you get the right mix for the job.

     
  • Sill Repair & Jacking

    A third-generation structural repair contractor tells how to diagnose and fix rotted sills and joist ends.

     
  • Sub or Employee?

    As skilled labor grows scarcer, reliance on subs is increasing. To protect yourself from legal liability and tax penalties, make sure you follow these guidelines.

     
  • 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.

     
  • Wood Shakes & Shingles

    They’re pretty to look at, but they may not last as long as expected unless installed properly and maintained.

     
  • Flitchplates

    An engineer who regularly specs flitchplates for residential remodeling projects takes a look at their pros and cons.

     
  • How to Write Ironclad Contracts

    A professional arbitrator gives tips on how to prepare a fair but thorough contract.

     
  • Ramps and the ADA

    A remodeler experienced in accessibility explains how to design handicapped access ramps.

     
  • Recraft: An Environmentally-Friendly House

    A demonstration house in Montana proves it’s possible — and affordable — to build a conventional house with resource-efficient materials.

     
  • How to (Almost) Turn a Profit in Spec Remodeling

    For a profitable sale, buy at a good price, do quality work — and hope the Tarot cards fall your way.

     
  • Tying Into Existing Framing

    Joining new construction to old requires good detective work. Here are some pointers for the trouble spots.

     
  • A Builder's Guide to Wood-Destroying Insects

    This primer will help you identify the insects that cause damage to houses and specify the right treatment.

     
  • Finding Hidden Heat Leaks

    Even many “energy-efficient” homes lose heat through overlooked gaps in the building’s thermal envelope. Here are the most common weak spots and how to fix them.

     
  • A Finish Carpenter's Wish List

    For interior finish work to look its best, the framing must be accurate. A finish carpenter tells where to take special care.

     
  • The One-Man Crew

    In most cases, the more worker on site, the less efficient the crew. A field production manager tells how to get more out of less.

     
  • Radiant Slab Techniques

    A heating engineer with a number of radiant slabs under his belt offers practical guidelines for successful slab-on-grade installations.

     
  • Remodeling Stress Syndrome

    Most customers experience stress during a major remodel. Here are some tips for helping your customers.

     
  • Shopping for Setback Thermostats

    An energy specialist tells what features to look for when selecting a setback thermostat.

     

Letters

News

Q&A

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    Q&A: Tying Into Concrete Block

    Q: What is the best way to tie a new block addition into an existing block building?

     
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    Q&A: Unvented Roof Problems

    Q: We have been asked to bid on a home in upstate New York that has a "hot roof." Are moisture problems likely in this unvented roof assembly?

     
  • Q&A: Bonding Treated Wood

    Q: What kind of adhesive should I use to bond CCA-treated decking to treated joists?

     
  • Q&A: Waterproofing vs. Dampproofing

    Q: There seem to be a lot of products on the market that solve problems with leaky basements. Some are for "dampproofing" and others for "waterproofing." What is the difference?

     
  • Q&A: Drywall Callback in Bathroom

    Q: We are getting a callback on drywall screws in a bathroom that are showing through the paint and getting darker with age. What might be causing this?

     
  • Q&A: Redwood Stains

    Q: On elevated decks, the redwood decking often causes black streaks on the joists below. How can we prevent this?

     
  • Q&A: Concrete Tile on Shallow Roofs

    Q: We are getting a lot of jobs with Mansard-type roofs. The roof covering is concrete tile, but much of the roof has a slope of only 2:12. What precautions should we take?

     
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    Q&A: Reroofing Over Asphalt Shingles

    Q: Are there any drawbacks to reroofing over asphalt shingles? How many layers can accumulate before you should tear them off?

     
  • Q&A: Oversized Heating Systems

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

     
  • Q&A: Should Roofs Have Ventilation & Vapor Barriers?

    Q: 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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    Q&A: Do Radiant Barriers Work?

    Q: 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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    Q&A: Vented vs. Unvented Crawl Spaces

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

     
  • Q&A: Tight Houses & Air Quality

    Q: 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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    Q&A: Vapor Barriers & Insulation at Band Joists

    Q: 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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    Q&A: Vapor Barrier vs. Exterior Air Barrier

    Q: 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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    Q&A: Best Foam for Foundation Insulation

    Q: 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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    Q&A: Foam Sheathing & Moisture Problems

    Q: 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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    Q&A: Optimal R-Values for Building Shell

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

     
  • Q&A: Removing Water Scale From Fixtures

    Q: I’ve had several customers interested in salvage sinks and faucets for kitchen and bath remodels. However, most of these old fixtures are covered with water scale. What causes the scale buildup on kitchen and bath faucets and fixtures, and how can it be removed?

     
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    Q&A: Removing & Preventing Asphalt Shingle Stains

    Q: The photo below shows unsightly black staining on asphalt roof shingles. This staining appears to be caused by a mildew or fungus. It is common in this area of eastern Virginia, which is rainy and humid in the spring, hot and humid in the summer, and warm and humid in the early fall. I have made...

     

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