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Features

  • In the Path of the Storm

    As a structural engineer with the APA/Engineered Wood Association, I perform forensic assessments of single- family homes after hurricanes and tornados.

     
  • Making the Most of a Siding Replacement Job

    I don't think my client was planning on an energy retrofit when he first talked to me about repairing and repainting the shingle siding on his 120-year-old Massachusetts home.

     
  • Open-Joint Siding

    In the Seattle area, where I work, we get a lot of rain. From the mid-90s to the mid-2000s, there were many high-profile cases of water damage caused by improperly detailed siding, mostly on condos and other multifamily housing.

     
  • Remodeling for Accessibility

    Recently my Chicago-based construction company renovated a second-floor apartment in a 19-story building to make it more user-friendly for disabled and elderly residents.

     

Letters

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    Letters

    Flashing error; SIPs for tight houses; don't glue sheathing in seismic zones; phone smarts

     

News

  • JLC Report

    EPA abandons lead clearance requirement; California risks forfeiting home-weatherization funds; Nevada's OSHA program told to ramp up citations; more

     

Q&A

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    Attic Insulation for Hot Climates?

    Q: Builders in cold climates often go beyond code-required attic insulation levels, especially when using a relatively inexpensive material like blown-in cellulose. Is the same approach helpful in cooling climates?

     
  • Connecting Girders to Deck Ledgers

    Connecting Girders to Deck Ledgers In the article "Building Safer Decks" (6/11), Glenn Mathewson notes that the IRC's prescriptive bolting schedule is limited to uniformly distributed loads and that you may be able to use a tighter fastener schedule

     

On the Job

  • Smooth Window Replacement

    In this article I'll describe the method I use to install replacement windows - a method developed over 15 years and hundreds of windows.

     

Business

Products

  • Back-Up Power Supply

    According to Generac, the new CorePower System offers all the safety and convenience of an automatic standby power supply at a price only a little higher than that of a portable generator.

     
  • Exterior Sealant

    OSI QUAD is a premium exterior sealant that sticks to wet surfaces, does not accumulate dust, and “self-tools” into a concave shape, says the maker.

     
  • Enamel-Glazed Work Surface

    Pyrolave is made from slabs of lava extracted from a volcanic crater in France, then glazed with enamel and fired in a 1,000°F kiln.

     
  • Fiberglass Shingle

    CertainTeed’s Highland Slate is a single-layer fiberglass shingle that duplicates the texture and color of natural slate.

     
  • Water-Efficient Toilet

    Kohler’s Wellworth Toilet — which has been around for 75 years — hasn’t changed much on the outside, but its inner workings have been completely re-engineered.

     
  • Weatherseal Products

    Instead of replacing a leaky window or door, consider using Window and Door Weatherseals from Conservation Technology to fill in the gaps.

     
  • Easy-Opening Cabinet Hardware

    Designed specifically for overhead cabinets, the Aventos Lift System makes it possible to lift even the heaviest door with the touch of a finger, says the maker.

     
  • Rainwater Storage Pillow

    Looking for a way to capture water that doesn’t involve conspicuous rain barrels?

     
  • Laminated Countertops

    Formica says its 180fx laminates look just like natural stone countertops but cost a lot less.

     
  • Pop-Up Power Outlet

    The Kitchen Power Grommet provides convenient access to electricity on virtually any countertop.

     
  • Premium Redwood Decking

    Each board in the new Heritage Collection of 2x6 redwood decking is hand-picked and run through the planer at low speed to give it a refined finish, says the maker.

     
  • Glass Cabinet Pulls

    An easy way to add pizzazz to a humdrum kitchen is to upgrade the cabinet pulls.

     

Toolbits

  • T-Bevel Angle-Finder

    General’s Digital Sliding T-Bevel can be used to replicate an angle or determine its exact measurement.

     
  • Ladder Levelers

    Unlike most leveling devices, the Xtenda-Leg offers an unlimited range of adjustability.

     
  • Smooth-Cut Jigsaw Blades

    Thanks to teeth that face in two directions, Dual Cut jigsaw blades can perform burr-free cuts on both sides of a workpiece, says the maker.

     
  • Small-Scale Concrete Vibrator

    Until now, if you wanted to vibrate a small concrete pour, you either rented a commercial-grade vibrator or banged on the forms with a hammer.

     

Backfill

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    Reconstructing the Past

    The materials for this project arrived on the job the usual way — via truck delivery — but that was pretty much where any resemblance to a normal job ended.