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  • A Job-Site Office

    A fully wired and heated trailer provides this GC with an organized space from which to run a complex and long-term job.

  • Designing Concrete Basement Walls

    An engineer explains how wall thickness, rebar, and proper drainage all affect the ability of poured concrete foundation walls to resist lateral soil pressure.

  • Engineered Trim & Siding

    Engineered wood, fiber cement, and plastic can provide the look of natural wood siding and trim without the limitations of the real thing.

  • Framing Floors With I-Joists

    A Cape Cod builder tells how to frame flat, squeak-free floors with wood I-joists.

  • Getting Water From a Well

    Dependable rural water supply starts with sizing the pump and using high-quality fittings. A master plumber explains the details.

  • Successful Sound Control

    Two researchers dampened the noise from an industrial wood shop next to an office. Here are the details they used.



  • Letters

    Preventing posts from heaving, comments on legal-pad estimating, Andersen windows revisited, more



  • Notebook

    Phaseout of CCA lumber, Marvin wins lawsuit, Stanley Tools moves offshore, exploding water heater saga, more



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    Q&A: Steam Room Details

    Q. My customer wants to have her combination steam room–shower tiled with a nonglazed floor and wall tile she has already purchased. Is the tile suitable for this type of application? I would use Hardie’s Tile Backer for a substrate and the appropriate thinset mortar.

  • Q&A: Caulking Siding — or Not?

    Q. When installing cedar clapboard, should gaps between the siding and trim be caulked?

  • Q&A: Bolting a Ledger to Brick Veneer

    Q. What’s the best way to attach a deck ledger board to a wood-framed house with brick veneer?

  • Q&A: Blueprint Abbreviations

    Q. Where can I find a key to architectural abbreviations used on blueprints?

  • Q&A: Asphalt Felt Under Vinyl Siding

    Q. Can asphalt felt be used directly under vinyl siding? I have heard that the two products are incompatible.

  • Q&A: Nailing Sheathing on Valley Roof Trusses

    Q. We’re framing a gable-roofed house with roof trusses. The roof includes a bumpout with a smaller gable roof that intersects the main roof, forming two valleys. A valley set will be installed on top of the main roof sheathing. The sheathing along the valley doesn’t have blocking for continuous...

  • Q&A: Excavating in Frozen Ground

    Q. What’s the most cost-effective way to thaw a site for excavation? We are building a 16x24-foot addition with a crawlspace underneath, and the frost is already 12 inches deep.

  • Q&A: Copper Pipes and Armored Cable

    Q. If a copper water pipe is in contact with the metal sheathing of BX cable, can that contact cause the cable to corrode?

  • Q&A: Cellular PVC Pipe

    Q. What is cellular-core PVC pipe? Is it as strong as solid PVC pipe?

  • Q&A: Drilling Holes in Wood I-Joists

    Q. I need to run wires through Boise Cascade I-joists. The joists come with prepunched holes, but the holes don’t line up. I’d like to drill some 1-inch holes in the joist webs. Are there any limitations on where these holes can be drilled?

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    Q&A: Drooling Drip-Edge

    Q. Most of the houses we build have 12/12 roofs with plumb fascias. Even though our roofer uses drip-edge, water still sometimes drools down the fascias. What are we doing wrong?





Trade Talk


Kitchen & Bath


  • Products

    Floor joist patch kits; saws with lights, dust controls, deeper cuts; decorative vinyl windows; gutter cleaning; more