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  • Carbon Monoxide Detectors

    Carbon monoxide poisons nearly 5,000 Americans every year. While national building codes do not yet require CO detectors in residential construction, many state and municipal codes do. Here’s what you need to know to select and install the right detector.

  • Foolproof Handrail Layout

    A long-time stair builder shows how to use a full-scale drawing to lay out rails, newels, and balusters quickly and accurately every time.

  • Getting the Most for Your Insulation Dollar

    When it comes to price versus performance, no one type of insulation is right for every situation. An insulation contractor explains how to use batts, blown insulation, and spray-in-place foams to best advantage.

  • Office Basics for Field Carpenters

    Let’s face it: Carpenters hate paperwork. But solid information from the field is essential to a company’s success. A veteran remodeler explains his system for teaching car-penters to take care of business on the job site.

  • Specialty Finishes for Concrete Slabs

    Exposed concrete slabs don’t have to look dull and gray. Here’s how to use dyes and stains, stamped patterns, and exposed aggregate to create an attractive and durable finished slab.

  • Well-Drilling Basics

    Hitting a vein of potable water is half science and half luck — and there are no guarantees. A rural housing specialist tells how to make sure you’re getting a fair shake from your well driller.



  • Letters

    Nailing deck ledgers, wire-snaking tips




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    Q&A: Standby Hot Water Without a Pump

    Q: I’ve been told that I can provide "instant" hot water to my second-floor bathroom sink by installing a return hot-water line to my water heater in the basement. Would I need to install a circulating pump with this system?

  • Q&A: Gaps Between Sheathing Panels

    Q: Most sheathing manufacturers recommend that panels be spaced at the edges and ends. Since panels measure a full 4x8 feet, the only way I’ve been able to provide this spacing (and maintain standard joist and stud layout) is by trimming the ends and edges of the sheathing panels. Why don’t...

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    Q&A: Cupping Clapboards Over Foam Sheathing

    Q: We were recently called in to make siding repairs on a five-year-old home. The wall system consisted of 1/2x6-inch beveled cedar siding fastened over 1-inch foil-faced polyisocyanurate foam, 2x4 studs with R-11 unfaced fiberglass batts, and an interior poly vapor barrier covered by 1/2-inch...







Kitchen & Bath


  • For What It's Worth

    Low-temperature paint, mahogany-veneered glulams, antivibration gloves, prefab job-site office