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  • Letters

    Fires from spray foam; exterior foam and moisture problems; SIPs fan; restoring old windows for efficiency



  • Attaching Wood to Concrete

    Q: Do I have to use pressure-treated lumber when I'm attaching wood to concrete or masonry in "dry" situations - such as inside a basement or under the protection of a covered porch? I seem to remember from reading the code that treated wood is only required within a certain distance from grade.


On the Job

  • Installing a Split Column

    During a recent remodeling project in Houston, we demolished a structurally defective balcony that had been supporting the corner of a roof. In its place we installed an 18 1/2-foot-long 4x4 steel post that extends from the soffit down to ground level.




  • Skinnier Shakes

    Fiber-cement siding manufacturer Nichiha recently introduced a low-priced line of shakes.

  • Cutting-Edge Tubs

    This year Kohler added three bathtubs to its Rªve collection of modern geometric bathroom fixtures.

  • Stainless Steel Railings

    Lavi Industries recently introduced a complete line of stainless steel tubing, brackets, and fittings that can be used to assemble — without welding — almost any type of interior or exterior handrail.

  • Prefab Post Wrap

    With KleerSnap Post Wrap, it takes as little as 10 minutes for a single worker to trim out a post, says the maker.

  • Air-Flow Enhancer

    When you need to increase air movement between rooms, the Perfect Balance In-Door Pressure Balancer offers a more elegant solution than leaving an enormous gap beneath the door.

  • Affordable Air Bath

    Mansfield Plumbing Products recently added a line of air baths to its Pro-Fit collection of whirlpools and soaker tubs.

  • PVC Deck Boards

    Wolf says its PVC Decking offers the performance of premium PVC at a more affordable price.

  • Weather-Resistant Sheathing

    Drywood is a structural wall and roof panel with an integral weather barrier that eliminates the need for roofing felt, waterproof membranes, or housewrap.

  • Lightweight Stone

    Although BellaStone looks remarkably authentic — thanks to the real stone used in the manufacturing process — the 50-inch-by-24-inch panels weigh a fifth as much as traditional stone and install 50 percent faster, says the maker.

  • Resistant Coating

    The Trex Transcend Decking & Railing System is made from the same durable, low-maintenance material as the company’s standard products, with one difference: The tops and sides of the boards have a hard-shell coating with a wood-grain pattern and low-sheen finish that allegedly resists stains...

  • Replacement Shower

    The Ciencia solid-surface shower is primarily designed as a replacement for an outdated bathtub.

  • Quick-Connect Patio

    EcoShield Deck Tile is a wood-plastic composite that’s made with 95 percent recycled content and never needs staining or painting, says the maker.




  • Super Sucker

    According to Metabo, the new ASR 35 Vacuum Cleaner was specifically designed to stand up to the rigors of continuous use in operations that generate clouds of dust.

  • Multi-Purpose Square

    The maker of the Combination-3D try square claims that it can do the work of a saddle square, a marking gauge, a bevel gauge, and a combination square — with no loss of accuracy.

  • Easy-Driving Nails

    Switch to Paslode’s Engineered Lumber Nails and you can eliminate the tedium of fixing proud nails and pulling bent ones, says the company.

  • Unplugged

    Milwaukee has expanded its lineup of hand tools to include such new items as Tongue and Groove Pliers, Reaming Pliers, Aviation Snips, and a PEX/Tubing Cutter.



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    Simple Math for a Slow Economy

    Earlier this year, timber-framer Paul Freeman, owner of Brooks Post & Beam in Lyndeborough, N.H., realized he had a problem.