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Features

Letters

  • Letters

    Forming foundation walls; warranty caution; more

     

In the News

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    In the News

    Remodeling study predicts growth; builder gets jail time for worker's death; more

     

Q&A

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    Lumpy Setting Compounds

    Q: When we're working with what we call "hot mud"- setting-type drywall compounds that come in powdered form - it seems almost impossible to mix the stuff up without getting lumps. Do you have any suggestions for smoothing out the consistency?

     
  • Gluing Exterior Trim

    Q: When installing stained vertical cedar siding or fascia trim, what type of glue should be used for splices and corners? Some contractors like to dab a little stain on the cut ends of 3-degree splices or on 4-degree corner miters, but is there an exteri

     
  • Lumber for Permanent Wood Foundations

    Q: Is ACQ-treated lumber and plywood suitable for building permanent wood foundations?

     
  • Repainting Aluminum Siding

    Q: Does faded aluminum siding with a chalklike residue on the surface require any special preparation before repainting?

     
  • Does Drenched Insulation Dry Out

    Q: A winter's worth of rain fell on a large hillside home we're building before we could complete the roof. Though we tarped the project, rainwater seeped through the first-floor decking and into the floor framing of a basement wine cellar. I suspect that

     

On the Job

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    On the Job

    Office on wheels; all-weather blueprints

     

Design

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    Keeping an Eye on Chimneys

    Though it's but a single element, a chimney can do much to enhance a house's overall design. In its materials and form — how it rises and terminates — a successful chimney respects the context of the surrounding home.

     

Business

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    Scheduling With Post-it Notes

    When I was in commercial construction, I used formal scheduling procedures on all of my projects. With formal scheduling, each task or activity in the job is written down, placed in sequence, and assigned a certain amount of time.

     

Legal

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    Making Change Orders Work for You

    Many of the costly owner/contractor disputes I see in my legal practice involve change orders — or the lack thereof. I know of innumerable residential contractors who, having failed to obtain signed change orders, have eaten hundreds or even thousands of dollars of legitimate extra work at the end...

     

Kitchen & Bath

Products

Toolbox

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    Toolbox

    New cap nailers from Bostitch and Spotnails; DeWalt D24000 tile saw; framing; safety gear

     

Backfill

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    Hammer Museum

    Most carpenters still carry a hammer on their toolbelt. But even those who pound a nail the old way once in a while would probably admit, if pressed, that hammers are beginning to seem sort of, well, last century.