Are you a subscriber but don’t have an online account?

Register for full online access.



  • Electrical Q&A for Remodelers

    A master electrician addresses questions and concerns about old and retrofit wiring on the typical remodeling site.

  • 0700swartzentruber

    On Site With Duradek

    This single-ply membrane doubles as an impermeable, non-slip deck surface for porches and decks built over living space. A roofer shows how it’s installed.

  • Tool Test: Plate Joiners

    Biscuit joiners are useful for making tight, flush miters, attaching windowsills and jamb extensions, and building cabinets on site. This hands-on comparison will help you choose the one that’s right for you.

  • Tracking Your Profit

    Using the percentage complete method, you can accurately track revenue and profit throughout your jobs.

  • 0700holladay

    Undermount Sinks

    As stone and solid-surface counters have become more popular, so have undermount sinks. Here’s an overview of what’s available and what it takes to ensure a successful installation.



  • Letters

    Big box defense; source for adjustable steel posts; readers respond to low-flow findings.



  • Notebook

    Private-sector building inspectors; window makers avoid installer certification; FEMA report highlights garage doors in tornado failures; polyiso boards found shrinking on the job; SIPS used for Arctic shelter; more



  • Q&A: Must Remodel Come Up to Code?

    Q: If an electrician comes and does work, does he have to bring the whole house up to code? Are there certain things he has to do and others that are optional? What is permitted versus what is best practice?

  • Q&A: Upgrading Two-Prong Outlets

    Q: How about upgrading old two-prong ungrounded outlets from the ’70s and back?

  • Q&A: Should Older Wiring Be Updated?

    Q: When remodeling or adding to an older home, what are some things to look for that indicate the entire house’s wiring should be updated or replaced?

  • Image

    Q&A: Tying into Old Armored Cable

    Q: Can you keep old armored-cable circuits, or should you replace them? If you disconnect old circuits, what’s the rule around tearing out old wire versus leaving it buried?

  • Q&A: Tying into Aluminum Wiring

    Q: Why not just tie into aluminum wiring?

  • Image

    Q&A: Concealed Splices in Remodels

    Q: What are the rules for dealing with old concealed splices?

  • Q&A: Switching from 3-Wire to 4-Wire 240-Volt Appliance

    Q: How do you wire a four-wire 240-volt appliance (kitchen range or dryer) if there used to be a three-wire appliance there?

  • Image

    Q&A: Extending the Depth of An Outlet in Remodeling

    Q: When you add a new layer of finish, what is the easiest way to bring the electrical boxes flush to the new wall surface?

  • Image

    Q&A: Putting New Devices in Old Boxes

    Q: What are the choices for putting new switch and outlet boxes in old walls? Any hints for attaching the boxes?

  • Q&A: Tips for Snaking Wires

    Q: Any tips for wire-snaking?

  • Q&A: Causes and Cures for Bubbling Laminate

    Q: Over the past five years, I’ve built more than 30 laminate countertops, and I’ve never had any problems with them. Recently, however, one of my countertops started to bubble in a few places about five weeks after I built it. I tried taking an iron and heating the laminate, then flattening it...

  • Image

    Q&A: Saw Blade Depth Adjustment

    Q: We have an ongoing debate on our job site concerning the proper way to adjust the blade depth on a circular saw. One group says that the blade should be set just slightly deeper than the thickness of the material being cut. The other group says that the blade should usually be left at the...

  • Q&A: Too Much Thermal Mass?

    Q: When designing a radiant floor, can there be such a thing as too much thermal mass? Here in Alaska, we sometimes see the temperature jump from -10°F up to 40°F above in just a few hours.

  • Q&A: Should EIFS Extend to Grade?

    Q: Is it acceptable to terminate EIFS at grade? I’m worried that this might provide easy access for termites, or might allow moisture to wick into the wall.

  • Image

    Q&A: Laying a Hardwood Floor Parallel to the Joists

    Q: For aesthetic reasons, I would like to run 3/4x3-inch oak strip flooring parallel to the floor joists, instead of perpendicular as is typical. Is there any reason I can’t do it? The subfloor is 3/4-inch tongue-and-groove plywood.





  • Resources

    Managing the subtrades; building problems primer; self-help for builders; more


Kitchen & Bath


  • Problem-Solving Products

    Building materials are always changing and so are the tools used to install them. Here’s a look at what’s new and worthy, from foundation to finishes.