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  • Exterior Trim: Alternatives to Solid Wood

    While good-quality finish lumber has grown more scarce and expensive, the lumber industry has been developing wood-based engineered alternatives. Here’s an overview of the best options on the market today.

  • Hip Rafter Layout Basics

    Have you misplaced your rafter table? Are your calculator batteries dead? Don’t worry: A framing square is all you need to lay out hip and jack rafters.

  • Low-Voltage Lighting

    Besides giving greater control to display and accent lighting, low-voltage fixtures are less expensive in the long term than conventional incandescents.

  • Roof Tile Fasteners for High-Wind Regions

    When it comes to securing roof tiles, minimum code recommendations may not be good enough. A seasoned roofing contractor discusses the right and wrong ways to install roof tiles in high-wind and seismically active areas.

  • Sales for People Who Don't Like Selling

    If you’re uncomfortable playing the role of salesman, you’re not alone. An experienced contractor gives step-by-step instructions on how to plan and present a sales pitch.



  • Letters

    Safety railings & OSHA, cathedral ceiling design, lumberyard CAD criticized




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    Q&A: Weathertight Windows for Wind-Driven Rain

    Q: As a general contractor in the Blue Ridge mountains of southwestern Virginia, we often build vacation homes higher than 4,000 feet altitude, where wind-driven rain is a regular weather feature. On one site, the wind regularly reaches 50 to 80-plus miles per hour and actually blows rain uphill...

  • Q&A: Preventing Drywall Corner Cracks

    Q: I’ve noticed that whenever I finish drywall, fine cracks start appearing at inside corners a couple of days after the job’s done. What is causing the cracks?

  • Q&A: Matching Old Mortar

    Q: In an upcoming remodeling project, we will be uncovering a section of hidden stonework that will need to be repointed to match the existing exposed stonework. How do we go about matching the color of the mortar?






Kitchen & Bath


  • For What It's Worth

    R-25 foam foundation form, low-VOC adhesive, no-itch batt insulation cover, adjustable screw plumbs windows and doors