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Features

  • Permanent Wood Foundations

    Pressure-treated wood foundations (also known as permanent wood foundations, or PWFs) have been around at least since the 1940s, and my own experience with them dates back 20 years or so.

     
  • Tightening the Shell From Outside

    Our construction company recently completed a major remodel and energy retrofit of a split-level home in northern Vermont.

     
  • Building Safer Decks

    Decks have seen little attention from building codes over the years, despite the fact that they often bear the weight of parties and public gatherings.

     
  • 12-Volt Drill/Drivers

    The new generation of lithium-ion subcompacts are lightweight and surprisingly powerful for their size.

     

Letters

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    Letters

    Builders sound off about competitive bidding; sealing poly with mastic; questions about California roof tile standards; gluing sheathing for air sealing; more

     

News

  • JLC Report

    Sprinkler foes buoyed by Pennsylvania victory; federal court rejects challenge to revised OSHA fall-protection rules; more

     

Q&A

  • Reusing Barnboard

    Q: I was wondering what should be done to old reclaimed barnwood before it can be used inside a home. I plan on using it for wainscot in a basement remodel; should it be treated to kill any bugs or mold?

     
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    Dealing With Creaky Subflooring

    Q: I was asked to look at a job where the homeowners have issues with loud, creaking floors.

     

Business

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    Make More By Controlling Your Growth

    When I was a young builder in the early '80s, there was an old-timer in town who worked with a couple of his sons, a small crew, and a handful of good local subcontractors.

     

Products

  • Idiot-Proof Railings

    The Stair Simple Axxys Railing System uses unique pivoting connectors to join the stair rail to the newel post and the balusters to the rail, eliminating any need for complex miter cuts.

     
  • No-Fuss Drain

    All of American Standard's bathroom faucets feature the easy-to-install Speed Connect Drain.

     
  • Green Trim

    Outwater says its 100% Recycled Cornice and Crown Mouldings are made entirely from reclaimed polystyrene but match the quality of moldings made from virgin polymers.

     
  • Secret Passage

    Hiding the entrance to a utility room behind a moveable bookcase is a terrific idea until you try to find hardware that's up to the challenge.

     
  • Hands-Free Bath Faucet

    Three years ago, Delta introduced a line of kitchen faucets with a battery-operated sensor that made it possible to turn on the taps without touching them.

     
  • Mahogany Doors

    If you're looking to create a dramatic entryway but can't find the right door, consider a custom mahogany unit from Borano.

     
  • Easy-Going Foam

    TriggerFoam Pro Window & Door Foam will not disfigure window and door frames when it expands, says the maker.

     
  • See-Through Shutters

    According to its maker, the Armor Screen Fabric Hurricane Protection System defends windows from flying debris as effectively as plywood but installs and packs away much more easily.

     
  • Snap-Together Subfloor

    Barricade SubFloor Tiles combine a high-performance OSB top surface with an XPS rigid insulation base layer.

     
  • Inconspicuous Doorstop

    The DoorSaver II is a replacement hinge pin with an adjustable mechanism that uses the exposed portion of the hinge leaf (rather than the soft face of the door or casing) as a stop.

     
  • Less-Costly LEDs

    ViriBright LED Light Bulbs offer the efficiency, durability, and dimmability of LEDs at a price closer to what you'd expect to pay for high-quality compact fluorescents.

     
  • Premium Gutters

    The 5N1 Gutter System is intended to be installed when the house is built.

     

Toolbox

  • Max AKHL1230E 500-psi Compressor

    I was introduced to the Max PowerLite high-pressure pneumatic fastening system in 2007 while testing framing nailers for Tools of the Trade magazine.

     

Toolbits

  • Simplified Crown

    The Cut-N-Crown System features a plastic jig that replicates a molding's spring angle so that you can cut both sides of a miter without resetting the saw.

     
  • Tight-Space Drill

    With LED lighting and a head length of only 3 3„4 inches, Milwaukee's M18 Cordless 3„8" Right-Angle Drill Driver might make life a bit easier for cabinet installers - or anyone who works in dark cramped quarters.

     
  • Totally Tool-Free Recip Saw

    If you've ever had to rummage around for a lost Allen key, you'll appreciate Metabo's new ASE18 LTX 18V cordless reciprocating saw.

     
  • Cooler Than Shorts

    When temperatures soar, why not try a distinctive approach to keeping cool?

     

Backfill

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    Custom Tile by Number

    When artist-renovator Doug Hopkins arrived at the kitchen and bath phase of his first remodeling project, he decided to make his own decorative tiles for the showers, baths, kitchen counters, and wood-stove surrounds.