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Features

  • After the Storm: Hard-Won Lessons

    Coastal communities need stricter, clearer codes, better training of builders and inspectors, and better quality control, say the experts after a year of studying the most devastating storm in U.S. history.

     
  • Hydronic Radiant Heat for Wood-Framed Floors

    You don’t need to pour a concrete slab to get the benefits of radiant heat. An engineer describes new approaches that combine radiant heating with conventional floors.

     
  • Getting the Most From Mechanical Cooling

    Most central air-conditioning systems, new and old, fall far short of their rated efficiency. Here’s how to install a system for top performance.

     
  • The Last Word (We Hope) on Vapor Barriers

    The moisture mavens at JLC tackle the tough questions we commonly hear from our readers about this ever murky, 6-mil membrane. We hope it puts to rest any lingering doubts.

     
  • Thinset Tile Countertops

    Expensive tile counters are often spoiled by layout errors or cracks in the grout. A tilesetter describes the methods and materials that guarantee an attractive and durable installation.

     
  • Top 10 Profit Eaters

    A remodeling contractor describes common problems that erode profits, and steps he has taken to solve them.

     

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  • Q&A: Rx for Bleeding Knots

    Q: What do you recommend for covering knots on exterior wood siding to prevent bleed-through?

     
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    Q&A: Ice-Proof Gutters

    Q: How should gutters be attached to prevent them from getting ripped off the fascia when ice accumulates during winter?

     
  • Q&A: Capillary Break at Footing

    Q: I have been told that crushed stone should be placed beneath foundation footings as a capillary break to prevent moisture from migrating up the foundation wall into the basement or crawlspace. Won’t this make the footing settle?

     
  • Q&A: Sizing a Steam Boiler

    Q: I am remodeling a large, older home that is heated by a low-pressure steam system. Because of the size of the house, steam seems to be a good system to use, but the boiler is obsolete. We are adding insulation and sealed double glazing. How can I calculate the required size of the new boiler? Or...

     

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