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Keep Your Contractor Happy: 3 Major Missteps to Avoid
Is the roofer or tile setter not returning your phone calls? Don't take it personally.  Economists agree that home im...
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5 Home Improvement Apps for Your iPad
Big, clunky metal toolboxes are so 20th century. These days you can fit rulers, levels, manuals and even a whole squa...
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How To: Keep Your Tools Accessible
One of the great advantages of a workshop—as distinct from a tool­box carried to a workplace—is the opportunity to pu...
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The Ideal Workshop Layout
A landscape designer friend of mine tells a story about the college he went to. During his years there, the universit...
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Workshop Locations
Perhaps you already know exactly where you will be locating your workshop. Maybe you already have a workplace in some...
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Tool Storage
The way to avoid the I-can't-find-it syndrome is to have ap­propriate containers for tool storage and transport. Seve...
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The Language of Design
We’ll begin by considering a handful of words that are especially useful when the talk turns to buildings. SYMMETRYIn...
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Complying with the Code
A building code is a collection of regulations regarding building construction that is intended to ensure public safe...
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To Hire or Not to Hire an Architect or Designer
If know what I want, why do I need a designer at all?Perhaps you don't. But S understand that, strange as it may seem...
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The Architect Versus the Designer
You will probably have a choice when you look for someone to help design your remodeling project. The most likely can...
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How Much Will a Designer Cost?
The title "architect" conjures up in many people's minds fancy designer houses, monumental homes out of the pages of ...
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Finding the Right Designer
No other profession leaves such large tracks. The work that architects and designers do is hard to hide: buildings, o...
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Contracting the Contractors
Do you need contracts? Yes is the short answerContracts are a crucial part of the paper trail that will help assure t...
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How To: Settle a Dispute with Your Contractor
So, you tried to anticipate everything. But the fact is, no one can plan for every exigency. So here are some ways to...
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Sorting Waste After Remodeling
Homeowners who plan to undertake a do-it-yourself job should know the difference between waste and salvageable buildi...
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Flipping: Remodeling for Resale
With a glut of distressed properties on the market now, people are eager to make deals. But there’s little room for e...
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Working with Your Architect
Hiring an architect should save you time and money, minimize bumps, streamline the building process, and provide an a...
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Check the Label: A Guide to Green Designations for the Home
What is a green home? While “green” has yet to be given a universally accepted definition, a green home would be defi...
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Can't Sell It? Rent It Out
It was an unsuccessful attempt to downsize for a smaller house payment that led Joseph Cortez, a realtor in Corpus Ch...
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Protect Your Home from Job Site Theft
Job site theft is a rampant and growing problem that costs the construction industry more than $1 billion a year, acc...
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How To: Speak the Language of Design
Let’s consider a handful of architectural terms that are especially useful when talking about the forms of buildings....
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Take the Home Remodeling Questionnaire
Whether you plan to talk directly to a contractor or to begin by hiring a designer, you will save both of you time an...
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4 Ways to Reduce Your Renovation Waste
Home renovation is big business. And if you think renovation generates a ton of construction work, just think of the ...
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Inexpensive Ideas and DIY Tips for Storing Sandpaper
When you first start tackling home projects, it's no problem to hit the hardware store for one of those sandpaper mul...
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Smart Storage for Small Workshops
Since my wife and I recently downsized, I am making do with a much smaller basement workshop these days. Whereas I co...
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The 5 Apps You Won't Want to Renovate Without
If your file folders are bursting at the seams with to-do lists, contractor quotes, spec sheets and inspirational cli...
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Quick Flip: Is Now the Moment to Buy, Improve, and Sell?
All of a sudden there are not enough houses for sale to meet homebuyers' rising level of demand.  Could you pull off ...
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DIY Workbenches: 5 You Can Build in a Weekend
The workbench is a DIY project's hub. It's where supplies are kept and progress gets made.  Sure, you can buy a workb...
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Which PEX Is Best? The Right Tubing for Any Job
Polyethylene cross-linked tubing, better known as PEX, is a fine addition to the industrious do-it-yourself plumber's...
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Reading Between the Lines on Customer Review Sites
Unhappy with the job your contractor did? Peeved at your local hardware store's churlish service? Annoyed with the ru...
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Reviewing Redbeacon: The Contractor-Finder Market's Newest Competitor
[Ed: This post was updated with additional information from Redbeacon on 1/28/2013. ]Three-year-old startup Redbeacon...
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Free Pattern Books for Home Restorers
Interpreting historically accurate home design can be confusing, but a new series of free pattern books should help h...
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5 Basement Workshop Essentials
You’re probably thinking I’m about to list my all-star tool picks. Nope. My five must-haves for a basement workshop h...
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Capturing Your DIY in TimeLapse
It's a ritual that dates back to cave times—DIYers showing off their proud achievements. 'Before and after' shots are...
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Quenching Thirst on the Job Site
Working on a job site through a scorching, dusty summer day requires pacing and hydration, and now, perhaps for the f...
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What You Might Not Know About HVAC Filters
Everyone agrees that you should change your HVAC filter on a regular basis, but not everyone agrees on the type of fi...
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Construction Contract Checklist
All contracts you sign should begin with the parties to the agreement. Your name and address and that of the contract...
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How To: Clean Your Toolbox and Workshop
While spring is generally considered the month for cleaning windows, airing out the house, reorganizing the cupboards...
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Today's Rents for Yesterday's Houses
Renting is suddenly cool: these days, renting is about lifestyle and flexibility, says Jane Hodges, author of the new...
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How To: Spring Clean Your Power Tools
Like everything with moving parts—your car, your computer, your body—your power tools will last longer and work bette...
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Add a Decorative Touch to Your Woodworking Shop
There's no reason why your woodworking shop can't be easy on the eyes, outside and in. The one pictured above was cre...
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Pegboard: Still a Classic Storage Solution for Today
As a kid growing up, I remember visiting my grandparents’ house and heading straight for granddad’s garage. It was im...
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Manage Noise in Your Workshop
Noise is an occupational hazard in any shop where power tools are used. Strategies must be employed to minimize the d...
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When Remodeling Uncovers Hidden Treasures
Ask any seasoned renovator or restoration contractor and they will have at least one good demolition story to tell—no...
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Touring the Waldun Forest Products Shingle Factory
Bob travels to British Columbia and tours the Waldun Forest Products Company shingle manufacturing plant.
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Installing a Decorative Inlaid Vinyl Floor and Reviewing the Workshop Layout
The generously sized workshop has a functional layout and a unique vinyl floor designed by architect Gregory Rochlin.
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Impact-Resistant Windows and PGT Factory Tour
Bob visits PGT Industries to learn what it takes to make impact-resistant windows.
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Building an Energy-Efficient Florida Home
Bob meets with Bill Zoeller to discuss the ways this property will be 50% more energy efficient that a typical Florida Home.
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Modular Home Construction Basics
Bob tours the Simplex Industries modular home plant and learns how the different pre-fab parts are made.
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Tour of the Simplex Modular Home Factory
Bob tours the Simplex Industries manufacturing facility where workers are precutting the plywood as they construct the interior and exterior walls.
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Touring the Tremont Nail Mill
Bob and crew travel to Wareham, MA, to visit the Tremont Nail Mill. Tremont Nail, manufacturer of cut nails.
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History of the North Bennet Street School
Bob takes a trip into Boston to visit the North Bennet Street School.
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Furniture Making at the North Bennet Street School
Bob visits with Alex Krutsky at the North Bennet Street School in Boston. Bob and Krutsky discuss the school's admissions process, which requires previous carpent...
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Hand-Carving a Mahogany Drawer Front
Furniture maker Tommy MacDonald demonstrates a few of the techniques he employs to create hand-carved furniture details.
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Crown Point Cabinet Factory Tour
Bob visits with Brian Stowell at the Crown Point Cabinet factory in Claremont, NH.
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Antique Brick Work at the Burtch-Udall House and Sumner Mansion
Bob and Professor Tom Visser (UVM) visit the Burtch-Udall house in Quechee, VT, and the nearby Sumner Mansion-- suitable locales for a running discussion on prope...
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Tour of the Premier Building Systems Factory
Bob tours the Premier Building Systems plant with general manager Steve Thompson.
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Manufacturing MDO Plywood
Bob visits the Simpson Plywood plant in Shelton, WA, where Jim Langenberg shows Bob how plywood, especially MDO, is made.
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Touring the LP Engineered Wood Siding Plant
Bob visits Two Harbors, MN and tours the plant where Louisiana Pacific manufactures a line of exterior trim products.
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Tour of the Simpson Door Factory
Bob visits McCleary, WA, where Jim Fielder (from Simpson Door) takes him on a tour of the company's manufacturing plant.
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Tour of the Perstop Flooring Factory
Bob visits the Perstop Flooring Factory to see how Pergo, wood laminate flooring, is made.
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Building Code Check
Bob meets with the general contractors and the architect for the project house to discuss mid-construction changes to the building plan.
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Tour of the Buderus Boiler Factory
Bob tours the Buderus factory in Wetzlar, Germany with Herr Schulte, vice president of research and development.
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Building for Hurricane Safety
Bob and contractor Ed Weller tour of another work in progress, a home being built using construction techniques unique to tropical climates.
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Tour of Boston Sand and Gravel
Bob takes a tour of the Boston Sand and Gravel concrete plant, located on the Charles River in Boston.
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Installing Baseboards and Making Moldings
Bob meets with carpenter Bob Ryley to install baseboard, then visits Paul Morse's workshop to see how specialty moldings are milled.
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Tour of the Georgia Pacific Pressure-Treated Lumber Plant
Bob visits the Georgia Pacific pressure-treated lumber plant in Sterling, GA to discover how pressure treated lumber is made to resist weather and rot.
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Tour of the Withers Industries Factory
Bob meets with restoration contractor Richard Marks to review the reproduction shutters that will be placed on the project house. They also visit the Withers Indu...
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Indiana Limestone Factory Tour
Bob tours the Indiana Limestone factory with Dave Kern, who explains the fabrication process for the limestone columns being used in the greenhouse.
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Brick Plant Tour
Bob takes a field trip to East Windsor Hill, CT, where the bricks for the cabin project were made. Along the way, he learns about the manufacturing process bricks...
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Tour of the Weather Shield Window Factory
Bob meets Lee Shield of Weather Shield Windows in Medford, WI to find out how the company makes its special custom windows.
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Lumber Mill Tour
Bob tours the Ralph A. Esty & Sons Lumber Corporation in Groveland, MA. Operations Manager Ken Monaco explains the process of aquiring and milling the lumber. The...
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Discussing the Manufacture of Glulams
Bob visits the Willamette Industries glued laminated timber facilities in Eugene, OR to learn first-hand how glulams are manufactured.
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Plywood Testing Facilities Tour
Bob tours the American Plywood Association testing facilities with Tom Williamson, the Executive Vice President of Engineered Wood Systems. Tom explains the diffe...
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Tour of Vermont Castings
Bob tours the Vermont Castings factory in Randolph, VT in order to learn about the manufacturing process for the type of wood-burning stove being used in the Mart...
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Wallpaper Factory Tour
Bob visits a wallpaper factory, where the design, paper-milling, and printing aspects of the wallpaper fabrication process all take place.
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Tour of the Georgia Pacific Plywood Plant
Bob takes a tour of the Georgia Pacific plywood plant near Savannah, GA to see how birch veneer plywood is made.
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Tour of the Tile Factory
As tiling begins on the bathroom floor and in the shower, Bob takes a field trip to the factory where the tiles being used in the project house were made.
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Shopping the Architectural Salvage Yard
Bob shops an architectural salvage yard for used, inexpensive doors and bathroom vanities.
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Touring a Roofing Shingle Plant
Bob takes us on a tour of the IKO roofing shingle plant in Wilmington, DE.
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Visiting a Wooden Window Factory
Bob visits the Wes-Pine wooden window factory in Hanover, MA.
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Tour of the Parallam Beam Factory
Bob joins David Parker at Macmillan-Bloedel’s Parallam plant in Vancouver, BC to see how the special engineered beams are manufactured.
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Touring the Georgia-Pacific Drywall Plant
Bob tours the Georgia-Pacific drywall plant in Marcus Hook, PA with Monty Palmowski.
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Touring Salvage One Architectural Warehouse
Bob travels to Chicago’s South Side to tour the Salvage One architectural warehouse with Anne Steinweddel.
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Congoleum Factory Tour
Bob tours the Congoleum plant in Marcus Hook, PA with Jim Kogut.
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Touring the Parallam Beam Factory
Bob visits Dave Parker in Vancouver, BC to see how Parallam beams are manufactured.
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Tour of the IKO Roofing Shingle Plant
Bob visits the IKO roofing shingle plant in Wilmington, DE, where he becomes familiar with different types of shingles.
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Tour of Republic Window Factory
Bob tours the Republic Window Factory in Chicago. Ron Spielman, vice president, explains how the windows are manufactured.
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Converting Steel Shipping Containers to Housing
Bob meets with David Cross of Tampa Armature Works (TAW), a company that converts shipping containers into intermodal steel building units (ISBUs).
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Building a Hurricane-Resistant Home
Bob talks with Leslie Chapman-Henderson from the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH) about the technologies involved in securing a roof. Chapman-Henderson exp...
Put up a hinged mirror to conceal a recessed storage cabinet. In tight quarters, opt for a thin mirror that can sit almost... It turns out that many bath and kitchen cleansers contain chemicals that are dangerous to the skin and eyes, and often pro... So often we paint tiny nooks white to make them appear larger, but opting for a dark, dramatic wall color like this one—Be... Chocolate-colored walls and large window frames allow the exposed wood beams to take center stage in this small screened p... If you're not crazy about the idea of commingling plants and pool, this modern variation may be more to your liking. The s... Yes, a freestanding garage can become its own tiny house. Artist Michelle de la Vega has all the comforts of a modern resi... There’s nothing like a new set of cabinet hardware to refresh a room. The possibilities are endless: Go modern, rustic, or... Pursue what's known as the stack effect. To achieve it, open the windows on both the upper and lower floors, and as warm a... Like no other floor type, a checkerboard design works wonders to underscore the retro kitchen theme. Vinyl flooring, ceram... Twine lanterns add pops of crafty—but sophisticated—flair to any outdoor setting. Wrap glue-soaked twine around a balloon ... When securely fastened to a tree or the ceiling of a porch, a pallet and some cushioning make the ideal place to lounge. V... Incorporate nature into your lighting scheme by securing a dead tree in a concrete mold and draping your pendant lamp from... For the cost of a can of exterior paint , you can totally transform your porch. Paint the floor a hue that complements yo... In this urban apartment, a standard-issue patio became a serene and green perch by replacing the typical concrete with gro... If you put the washing machine in the mudroom, you can stop the kids from walking through the house in dirty, grass-staine...
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