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Features

  • Charging For Estimates

    Twelve builders offer solid reasons for bucking the tradition of giving free estimates and tell how they get paid for the upfront work.

     
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    Commonsense Lead Safety

    A remodeling contractor describes the practical measures he takes to keep workers and customers healthy, avoid legal costs, and create a clean, comfortable work site.

     
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    Insulating with Spray Cellulose

    An insulation contractor explains why he prefers damp-spray cellulose for wall applications and how he installs it.

     
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    Laying a Stone Floor

    A custom builder and remodeler describes how her crew cut and laid a sandstone floor.

     
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    Cleaning Up After the Storm

    In the aftermath of Hurricane Fran, this North Carolina builder gained experience in insurance work — and helped his community rebuild.

     
  • Shopping for Clad-Wood Casement Windows

    JLC staff take a close look at ten windows from national manufacturers.

     

Letters

  • Letters

    Better marketing for energy savings, plywood standards, ICF foundations, more

     

News

  • Notebook

    Job-site waste, training older workers, results of JLC Internet use survey, more

     

Q&A

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    Q&A: Finishing Basement Walls

    Q: To finish an existing basement, I will be installing 2x4 walls around the perimeter. Should I install some type of waterproofing to the concrete walls? Can the 2x4 walls touch the concrete, or should I leave an air space?

     
  • Q&A: Weight Limits for Ladders

    Q: Do the listed weight limits for ladders and scaffold planks include a safety factor? If so, how much weight can be added beyond the listed weight until failure occurs?

     
  • Q&A: Wooden Shelf Around a Whirlpool Tub

    Q: I will be installing a whirlpool tub for a customer who wants me to surround the tub with a horizontal shelf of natural wood. The customer has rejected my suggestion to install tile. Is there any species of wood that would hold up in this environment?

     
  • Q&A: Right Size for an Insulating Air Space

    Q: How big does an air space need to be before it stops working as insulation and starts working as a convective loop?

     
  • Q&A: Cutting Solid Surfacing

    Q: What type of saw blade should I use to remove about an inch from a solid-surface countertop?

     
  • Q&A: Makeup Air for an Exhaust-Only Ventilation System

    Q: Q. I’m building a tight house with above-average attention to air sealing, and I plan to ventilate with a Panasonic exhaust fan running continuously. Will the cracks around windows and doors admit adequate makeup air, or do I need to provide wall vents

     
  • Q&A: Advantages to 240-Volt Lighting

    Q: I am planning to install new lighting in a warehouse. Are there any advantages, either in installation costs or in operating costs, to installing 240-volt lighting fixtures instead of 120-volt?

     
  • Q&A: Fuel Cost Comparison

    Q: A customer asked me how to compare the cost of different heating fuels (natural gas, propane, oil, and electricity). Can you provide a chart with this information?

     
  • Q&A: Rebar in Sonotubes

    Q: To support a beam for a residential deck, does a Sonotube pier need any rebar?

     
  • Q&A: Sealing Garage Floors

    Q: Is a concrete sealer effective at protecting a garage floor from road salt damage? If so, what is the best product to use — a floor paint or a clear waterproofing sealer?

     
  • Q&A: Bending Metal Roofing to a Curve

    Q: Can regular sheets of metal panel roofing be installed on a curved roof with a radius of 28 feet?

     
  • Q&A: Preventing Storm Water Backup

    Q: The municipal storm drainage system in our city shares pipes with the sewer system. During heavy rainstorms, water backs up from the municipal drain line into a customer’s basement floor drain. Is there any type of check valve that can be installed in

     
  • Q&A: Installing New Stucco Over Old

    Q: The owner of a house with existing exterior cement stucco is unhappy with the finish. How difficult is it to install a new coat of stucco over the existing stucco?

     
  • Q&A: Vinyl Trim for Bay Windows

    Q: What is the best vinyl trim detail to use on the wide angles of bay windows? The house in question does not have enough room at the corners to use a vinyl outside corner piece, which would be too wide. Is it acceptable to use a piece of inside corner t

     

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  • Resources

    Hydronic heating guide, basic engineering text, more

     

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Products

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