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  • Beating the Big Chill

    Productivity drops when it’s cold, and some materials, like caulks, glues, concrete, and plaster, just won’t perform well. We compare features on several types of portable heaters and give tips on how to match the heater to the job.

  • Design Rules For Adding On

    Additions don’t have to look like they were just stuck on. An architect tells how to blend new space with existing in ways that make the original structure more attractive.

  • Interview: Managing Subs

    Every successful builder has to learn to work effectively with subcontractors. A commercial contractor with roots in residential construction talks about the systems he uses to keep his subs on budget and on time.

  • Making Room at the Top

    Storage trusses have no center panel point and a heavier bottom chord, creating usable attic space for little extra cost.

  • New Laws New Lights

    Beginning this month, the federal Energy Policy Act will do away with some of the most popular fluorescent and incandescent bulbs. Here’s how to pick appropriate replacements.

  • Sturdy Site-Built Stairs

    Sawn-carriages are strong and easy to build, but housed-stringers hide shrinkage better. A finish carpenter explains a method for building stairs that takes advantage of both approaches.



  • Letters

    Baluster busting revisited, simple water level



  • Eight-Penny News

    Contractors working together, OSHA funding cuts spark changes, housewrap study



  • Image

    Q&A: Flaking Concrete

    Q: What causes a concrete slab to form a thin top coat that can flake off or, if something is dropped on it, chip off in big pieces? Some customers want a glasslike finish on their garage floors, but after screeding and power troweling, the surface often becomes a thin, flaky material that doesn’t...





Kitchen & Bath


  • For What It's Worth

    Skylight tubes, portable job-site cooler, flexible J-channel, low-VOC contact cement