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  • Cash accounting with Quickbooks Pro

    A construction accounting specialist shows how to generate detailed job-cost reports by using Quickbooks like a powerful electronic checkbook.

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    Job-Site Power: Handle With Care

    An electrician discusses several options for safe, economical temporary job-site power, and tells how to size extension cords so you don’t burn up your power tools.

  • Ladders - Top to Bottom

    Should you buy aluminum, fiberglass, or wood? What size? And what do those ratings mean? A scaffolding contractor answers these and other questions about ladders, and describes the most useful accessories.

  • Laying Out Unequally-Sloped Gables

    Here’s a simple method for figuring the rafter runs on a lopsided gable — where each side of the roof has a different pitch.

  • Quick Foundation Repair

    Rather than shore the house and replace the bulging block foundation, this builder used plywood slip forms to pour a concrete reinforcing wall on the outside.

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    Shedding Light on Lasers

    If you’re shopping for a laser layout tool but are confused by the variety of products on the market, this article’s for you. We compare cost and performance, and discuss whether a specific type of laser is suitable for the work you do.



  • Letters

    Defining vinyl, using sloped-seat joist hangers, pressure-washing debate, closed valley shingles, glulam commentary, slope vs. pitch, more on safety



  • Notebook

    Free business advice for builders, rigid foam banned below grade in heavy termite areas, safety liability protection for GCs proposed, deducting bad debts, photovoltaic roof shingles



  • Q&A: Shingling Over Stressed-Skin Panels

    Q: Is it necessary to provide ventilation under shingles installed over SIP (structural insulated panel) roofs? I’ve heard that shingles installed directly over SIPs, without a vent cavity, fail prematurely.

  • Q&A: Rust on Rebar

    Q: Our rebar was delivered to the site before excavation for a stemwall foundation began. After sitting in the weather, it’s gotten quite rusty. Is this a problem?

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    Q&A: Shoring a Balloon Frame

    Q: I am rehabbing an old two-story balloon-framed house with a crumbling limestone foundation. I need to jack the walls slightly to repair the foundation. The floor joists rest on a 2-by leveling plate, and the 20-foot-tall studs are face-nailed to the sides of the joist ends (see illustration)...







  • Resources

    Guide to small-claims court, solar design & construction handbook


Kitchen & Bath


  • Products

    Hydronic zone control valve, pro-duty kneepads, prefab corner moldings, emergency generator panel