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Features

  • A Simple System for Turning a Profit

    There are only so many billable hours in a year. By including overhead and profit in labor charges, a small construction company can ensure that all its costs are covered.

     
  • Clear Finishes for Interior Woodwork

    A trio of professional painters tell how to match a clear finish to the job and provide tips for blemish-free application.

     
  • CO Leaks Causes & Cures

    In today’s tighter houses, carbon monoxide leaks are potentially more deadly than ever. These three case studies show how careful detective work can uncover and eliminate common sources of CO contamination.

     
  • Update: Engineered Lumber

    The decline in the quality of solid-sawn lumber has led manufacturers to develop a growing variety of engineered lumber substitutes. We look at some of the new materials that are finding their way on to residential job sites.

     
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    Flashing a Leakproof Valley

    Valley flashing takes a beating, whether from heavy rain runoff or melting snow and ice. A long-time roofing contractor explains the proper way to waterproof, flash, and shingle a durable valley.

     
  • Structural Slabs With Foam Forms

    For builders using insulated concrete forms, attaching a wood floor system is the hardest part of the job. A structural slab, by contrast, is easy to install, has excellent resistance to fire and sound transmission, and works well with radiant floor heating. Here’s a step-by-step look at both steel...

     

Letters

  • Letters

    Kitchen lighting, lead carpenter speaks out, building beyond codes

     

News

  • Notebook

    Targeting an aging market, up-tick in manu-factured housing, high cost of water hookup

     

Q&A

  • Q&A: Roof Vent Requirements

    Q: By code, how many linear feet of ridge vent is needed per square of roofing?

     
  • Q&A: Retrofitting Plywood Clips

    Q: A friend of mine recently tried to sell a home. The buyers’ inspector discovered that no plywood clips had been installed on the roof sheathing. The roof has trusses 24 inches on-center and either 1/2-inch plywood or 7/16-inch OSB sheathing. Does anyone know a quick and easy fix for this?

     
  • Q&A: Basement Vapor Barrier

    Q: Where does the vapor barrier go when finishing a basement? Since we use a vapor barrier on the inside of exterior above-grade walls to keep moisture in, it’s my contention that a plastic vapor barrier should be used against the wall to keep out the moisture in the earth. Many disagree and say...

     

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Products

  • Products

    Locknut wrench for electrical boxes, touch-up drywall mud in a tube, light-weight portable compressor, new hidden deck fastener