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  • Foolproof Change Orders

    This standard form and tracking system for change orders, created by a practicing contractor who is also an attorney, will ensure that you get paid for all extra work.

  • Heating System Tuneups

    Most furnaces and boilers more than five years old can benefit from modifications that will improve performance. A seasoned hvac contractor explains which upgrades will be most cost-effective for gas- and oil-fired systems.

  • Presentation Drawings for Design-Build

    Selling professional design services requires more than an ability to sketch floor plans. An experienced design-builder offers advice on how to use quality perspective drawings and textured elevations to sell jobs.

  • Site-Built Modular Addition

    To avoid the expense of working off the ground and to keep disruption of the homeowners’ lives to a minimum, this custom builder and remodeler framed an 18x32-foot addition on the ground, then hired a crane to lift it into place. Here’s how he did it.

  • Tips for a Perfect Floor Finish

    A second generation floor finisher tells how to control job-site temperature and humidity for a durable floor finish every time.

  • Working with Architects

    Builders and architects need not be adversaries. These tips from an experienced site foreman show how common courtesy, planning, and a respect for the design process can promote a spirit of cooperation.



  • Letters

    Duct cleaning can help, housewrap prevents rot, pneumatic impact wrenches




  • Q&A: Insulation Won’t Trigger Asthma

    Q: I’m working on a beautiful old stone farmhouse. Inside, the house has wood-framed walls with the original lath-and-plaster finish. The owners would like to cut their heating bills, and we’re considering blowing insulation into the 4-inch voids between the plaster and the stone. The problem is...

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    Q&A: Splashback Causes Deck Decay

    Q: I am having a problem that’s not uncommon in my area (north-central Florida). I recently built a nice custom deck for a customer who wouldn’t accept pressure-treated wood because of its appearance. I used kiln-dried southern pine 5/4x6. We primed all sides of the boards with oil-based primer...







Kitchen & Bath


  • For What It's Worth

    Lightweight coil nailers, efficient two-fuel heat pump, hands-free fall arrest