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  • A Hiring Test for Carpenters

    The impression job applicants make in an interview may fail to predict how they’ll perform in the field. This simple test, given on-site, is a better indicator.

  • Foundation Replacement

    A foundation contractor describes the shoring techniques that make his replacement jobs safe and profitable.

  • Lead Paint Update

    With lead poisoning stories in the news, and state and federal regs swelling, remodelers are nervous. JLC proposes a commonsense approach to safeguard workers and clients, and avoid liability.

  • Prefab Masonry Fireplaces

    A mason describes how a new breed of hybrid fireplaces delivers the quality of a traditional masonry unit at one-third the cost.

  • Taking the Sag Out of Shed Dormers

    Shed dormers are a cost-effective way of adding space to a small house, but if not built right they will cause structural problems. An engineer tells how to avoid the pitfalls.

  • Working Cost-Plus

    Cost-plus contracts can ensure a profitable job for builders who keep careful records and maintain good communication with their customers. Here are the contract provisions and cost-tracking systems that have worked for one builder.





  • Q&A: Forced Air vs. Hydronic Heat

    Q: What are the advantages of hot water heating systems vs. warm air systems?

  • Q&A: Venting a Shed Dormer

    Q: We build a lot of shed dormers that start at the ridge and have a roof pitch of about 3:12. I have never installed a ridge vent because I am concerned that snow will build up and leak through the vent on the dormer side. Now the code inspector insists the roofs must be ventilated. How should we...