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Features

  • Makita 5620D 18V

    Cordless Saw UPDATE

    Longer runtimes and greater power are making cordless circular saws more useful on the site. Our tool editor takes a close look at the available models.

     
  • Installing a Radiant Wall

    Sometimes heavy floor coverings, furniture, or built-ins reduce the area available for radiant heating. This heating specialist shows how to turn walls and ceilings into heat emitters.

     
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    Makeup Air For Combustion Equipment

    Fuel-burning appliances like water heaters, furnaces, and boilers need a steady supply of combustion air to operate safely and efficiently. In today’s tight houses, this means you may have to install dedicated air intakes. In this article, a venting specialist tells you what you need to know.

     
  • Millenium Notebook

    A lighthearted look at the state of the industry at the turn of the last millennium.

     
  • Prefab Shear Walls

    If the homes you’re building require tedious shear nailing and truckloads of metal connectors to protect against high wind or earthquake, you may want to consider these premanufactured panels. By saving time, they may save you money on your next engineered job.

     

Letters

  • Letters

    More on payment schedules, painting over knots, affordable design catalog announced, “green” building vs. “healthy” building, followup on tool pretenders, flitch beam details

     

News

  • Notebook

    Widespread problem with leaky copper pipes, toxic mold blamed for infant deaths, recharging your NiCad batteries, lumber export fee agreement reached with Canada, U.S. importing drywall from Britain

     

Q&A

  • Q&A: Adding a Garbage Disposal

    Q: My clients want to add a disposal during a remodel of their 1950s kitchen. The 2-inch waste line runs at a shallow pitch for about 30 feet (with three right-angle bends) before diving into the main 4-inch cast iron line. Over nearly 50 years, they’ve had only a few clogging problems with this...

     
  • Q&A: Stucco Cracking Mystery

    Q: We have had good luck using the old-fashioned technique for exterior stucco: 1/2-inch plywood, felt paper, wire mesh, then 1 inch of plaster in three coats. Last year our luck ran out. We built a house on a hill where the wind just didn’t stop. A year later, one face — the gable end of a...

     
  • Q&A: Bubbling Skim Coat Over Painted Surface

    Q: How can the bubbling be eliminated when skim-coating joint compound over a painted surface?

     
  • Q&A: Finishing Water-Stained Wood

    Q: I have an unfinished mahogany door that has gotten water stains. How can I get rid of these stains before finishing?

     
  • Q&A: A Fix for Bouncy Floors

    Q: As part of a remodel, I have to replace the carpet on a floor framed with 2x10s on 12-inch centers. The joist span is 20 feet, and the floor bounces so badly that things on the table shake when someone walks through the room. Is there a good way to fix this problem before recarpeting?

     
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    Q&A: Which Way With OSB Sheathing?

    Q: I recently inspected a home that had 3/8-inch OSB corner bracing. The surface stamp indicated that the strength axis of the panel ran in the long direction (see photo, below). I assume this means the panel should be applied with the long dimension across the studs, yet the builder had installed...

     

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Products

  • Products

    Plastic sump pit, convenient concrete anchor kit, safety lanyard, see-through storm shutters, stainless steel door, better duct tape, chimney-top vent fan

     

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