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Features

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    Bending Trex

    Special heating blankets were used to form the tight curves of this pool's retrofitted fiber-composite decking.

     
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    DeWalt's Sitelock Alarm

    If tools have a habit of walking off your sites, you may want to consider this system.

     
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    Innovative Products 2006

    Our annual pick of products designed to help you work smarter, faster, and better.

     
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    Installing a Twenty-Foot Header

    Retrofitting a half-ton steel I-beam into an existing house calls for careful shoring and lifting.

     
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    Tool Test: 23-Gauge Pin Nailers

    These guns allow you to fasten the smallest trim pieces without splitting, and they leave nearly invisible holes.

     

Letters

  • Letters

    More on immigration; rain-screen siding; guardrail codes; vinyl sunburst; theft

     

News

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    In the News

    Sinking homes and abandoned mines; Boston land-use regs study; storm-damage niche; more

     

Q&A

  • Fixing Voids in Engineered Flooring

    Q. A subcontractor glued down 4 1/2-inch-wide plank engineered flooring on a concrete slab-on-grade using flooring adhesive applied with a V-notch trowel. But the instructions on the bucket indicated that a 1/4-inch square notched trowel should have been

     
  • Are Bubble-Wrap R-Value Claims Accurate?

    Q. Are Bubble-Wrap R-Value Claims Accurate? Am I the only one confused by the claims of manufacturers of foil-covered bubble wrap and foil-covered flexible thin plastic foam? Apparently, if one is to believe the advertising, a 3/8-inch-thick roll of foil-

     
  • Hinge Mortise Templates

    Q. What's the advantage of using a router fitted with a template guide bushing to cut hinge mortises? Why not just use a flush-cutting pilot bit and a flush-type template?

     
  • Double Vapor Barriers

    Q: While building a new home in upstate New York, we installed R-15 kraft-faced insulation in the walls, but the local building inspector then made us install 4-mil poly over the kraft paper facing. We've been told by other builders and inspectors that this is not a good practice. Is this double...

     
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    What to Do About Wood Wasps?

    Q. We recently built a custom home in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan; construction began in the fall. During the warming months of spring, when the homeowners moved in, they began noticing perfect 1/4-inch-diameter holes in the drywall, as if someone had

     

On the Job

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    On the Job

    Hanging a pergola ledger; quick barrel ceiling; more

     

Design

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    Composing With Shingle Cladding

    Any time you use shingles as siding, you face an array of design decisions: Should you weave the corners or use corner boards? Should you use patterns — and if so, where, and which ones? Would a shingle flare or bow be appropriate?

     

Business

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    Management by Meeting

    After years of trial and error (mostly error), I've become a firm believer in management by meetings. Whether I like it or not, my primary job as company owner is overseeing meetings.

     

Legal

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    Alternative Materials and Code

    I can just hear your response to that topic: "Code enforcement officers are hassling me because I want to use a wood composite they haven't seen before, but they're approving houses made of straw. Who's running the building department, the three little pigs?"

     

Kitchen & Bath

Products

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    Products

    Panels; metal roofing; insulation

     

Toolbox

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    Toolbox

    Bosch Gravity-Rise table-saw stand; Ridgid Pro Pack vac; tile tools; levels

     

Backfill

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    Plumber's Worst Nightmare: A Five-Ton Tub

    Architects like Roger Hopkins. Carpenters and electricians like him, too. But plumbers? They hate him. It's not that they don't appreciate his stone benches and garden sculpture — but they're the ones who have to install the sinks and tubs he carves from giant boulders.