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Features

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    Exposed Aggregate Concrete

    A concrete contractor explains how he creates good-looking walks, drives, and patios by combining aggregate finish concrete with inlayed brick and stone.

     
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    Getting Pipe Staging Right

    A contractor who depends on frame scaffolding for daily production relates some basic rules for safe setup and use.

     
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    Oil Paints: Going, Going, Gone?

    Environmental restrictions in the most populous areas of the country are making oils scarce, but painters have adapted as waterborne alternatives improve. If you're not in one of the affected states, here's a look at what's to come.

     
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    Timber-Frame Roofs for Great Rooms

    Classic mortise-and-tenon timber trusses add timeless appeal to open rooms without the expense of a whole-house frame. A timber framer tells how he coordinates the work with the builder.

     

Letters

  • Letters

    Lead hazards hit home; effective AC for humid climates; swimming with shocks; cupped LVL; more

     

News

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    In the News

    Southern California struggles to address wildfire risks; Florida grapples with soggy walls; a challenge to Michigan environmental law; more

     

Q&A

  • Drywall Orientation in Tall Rooms

    Q. I am about to install drywall in a workshop with 9-foot ceilings, and I don't see why I should install it the traditional way, horizontally. Why not buy 10-foot sheets, cut off one foot, and hang the board vertically? This would put all the butt seams

     
  • Does Lumber Grow Stronger With Age?

    Q. I've heard that in older buildings (at least 70 years old) the effective strength of wood members like joists and rafters increases with age. If that's true, how does one evaluate the increase? Or is the increase negligible?

     
  • Curing Concrete in Hot Weather

    Q. I've recently moved my contracting business to the South. Concrete finishers here tell me that a slab poured outside on a hot day won't cure properly unless it's kept wet. They do this by having someone periodically spray the slab with water from a hos

     

Design

Business

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    WIP Your Company Into Shape

    How often has this happened to you: After what looks like a really good month, you go out and buy an expensive piece of equipment, like a truck. Then the following month is a really bad one, and you wish you hadn't.

     

Legal

Kitchen & Bath

Products

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    Products

    Easy access panel; glass-tube fireplace; engineered lumber; housewraps; electrical equipment

     

Toolbox

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    Toolbox

    Lasers and levels; saw blades; Porter-Cable high-pressure nailer; inventional wisdom

     

Backfill

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    Building in a Bubble

    Ask any owner of a construction business what his biggest headache is, and chances are the answer will be scheduling — scheduling around permit issues, client indecision, and that least controllable of all contingencies, the weather.