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Features

  • A Builder's Guide to Geothermal Heat Pumps

    Installed correctly, ground-source heat pumps can provide comfortable, efficient heating in many climates. Here’s an overview of the available options.

     
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    Framing Layout Rules of Thumb

    A California framer tells how to translate the information on the blueprints into a fast, accurate layout of walls and headers.

     
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    Getting the Final Payment

    If you’ve ever had a problem collecting that last check, you’ll appreciate the value of this builder’s systematic approach to getting what he’s owed.

     
  • Protective Supplies for Remodelers

    Remodeling an occupied home creates clouds of dust, splatters of drywall mud, and dings and dents in existing woodwork. Fortunately, there’s a slew of products designed to help you get a messy job done neatly.

     
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    Repiping with PEX

    Corrosive water is a major problem in many areas of the country, causing copper pipe to degrade prematurely. A plumber tells how he installs new domestic piping, using cross-linked polyethylene.

     
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    Troubleshooting Roof Leaks: Problems & Solutions

    A small roof leak can create expensive problems. An inspector with years of experience surveys the trouble spots on both flat and steep roofs.

     

Letters

  • Letters

    Differing viewpoints on sealing crawlspaces, NEC clarification, nuances of foreign-made tools, why clothes washers break trap seals

     

News

  • Notebook

    Cordless battery update, lumber price predictions, “green” building defined, geothermal heat pump rebates curtailed, job-site theft, storm shelters in tornado alley, algae-resistant shingles, residential silos

     

Q&A

  • Q&A: Dryer Vent Installation

    Q: What’s the right way to vent a dryer? The standard plastic flex-hose with the spiral wire always collects condensation and sags. There’s got to be a better way. Would metal or plastic pipe work?

     
  • Q&A: Rules for Splicing Romex

    Q: I want to lower receptacle outlets from 4 feet off the floor to 18 inches. I plan to make a splice at the existing receptacle and extend the new wire down through the stud cavity. Can the junction box be inside the wall or does code require that you have access to it by using the existing outlet...

     
  • Q&A: Heating Tubes in Basement Slab

    Q: A client wants a portion of a basement slab to have radiant heat to take the chill off the floor of a planned playroom (there will be supplemental heat). The hvac contractor wants the radiant tubing, which will be attached to wire mesh, to be lifted into the middle of the slab during the pour to...

     

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Reviews

  • Resources

    Guide to corporate paperwork, masonry reference, historic restoration resources

     

Products

  • K&B Problem-Solvers

    This selection of products will help you design, install, and customize functional, attractive kitchens and bathrooms.

     
  • Products

    Patch kit for oversized receptacle holes, new anti-scald shower valve, terrazzo tiles, premixed structural-anchor cement, comfortable safety harness, drywall crack repair mesh

     

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Other Articles

  • JLC Online

    Sales advice for novice remodelers