All You Need to Know About Types of Insulation
Insulation is a vital component in any home that aims to be energy-efficient. Typically placed in areas where air esc...
Bob Vila Radio: Focus on Framing Fasteners
If you’re framing new construction—a simple backyard deck, for example, or even an entire house—framing fasteners all...
What Makes the Ultimate Wall?
Homebuilding has only grown more sophisticated in recent years, with a far greater emphasis placed on energy efficiency. Though many elements of wall assembly hav...
Quick Tip: Engineered I-Beams
To save time and money on your next building project, one option is to use engineered I-beams. Made from engineered ...
How To: Toenail Lumber
When framing a house, there are many applications in which you have to join two pieces of wood at a right angle, such...
Quick Tip: Framing with Engineered Wood
Framing a house using engineered wood has many advantages. Glue-laminated beams are stronger than their conventional...
Quick Tip: Structural Insulated Panels
Building with structural insulated panels is becoming a popular way to save construction time and energy dollars. Com...
Quick Tip: Joist Hangers
When hanging floor joists, use joist hangers to make building a floor deck simpler. Place hangers every 16 inches on...
Quick Tip: Using Metal Studs
If your home improvement project calls for new walls, you might want to consider metal studs. They fit together like...
How To: Identify a Bearing Wall
There are two kinds of walls: bearing walls and non-bearing walls. You can do anything you like to a non-bearing wal...
If you are simply reshaping existing space, you don't have to worry about a big hole in your yard. You also won't hav...
Factory-Made Flooring and Roofing Systems
Most of the wood-frame houses built in the last hundred years have been assembled of dimensional lumber, the standard...
Advanced Framing Techniques
With the increased emphasis on saving the environment and costs, there is renewed interest in “advanced framing” cons...
Strengthen Your Roof with Trusses
After hurricanes ravaged Florida in recent years, building codes were strengthened to keep future damage to a minimum...
Installing a New Structural Support Beam
It’s time to start restoring the structure, marking an important moment in the house’s history.
Installing a Marvin Palladian Window
Michael Roche from Marvin Windows joins Bob in examining the house's existing windows and determining which to keep or replace. A new Palladian window will create...
Laying Out and Framing the Deck
Bob checks in with carpenter Bob Ryley as he lays out and begins to frame the deck.
Building a Metal Stud Wall in the Basement
Bob meets carpenter Danny Ruffini to see how a metal stud wall is built in the basement.
Installing Stud Lumber Partitioning for the Bathroom
Bob reviews plans for the kitchen remodeling and visits the second floor, where one of the bedrooms has been removed to accommodate his and her bathrooms. He help...
Adding a Third-Floor Dormer to the Roof
Bob meets up with carpenter Bob Ryley, who is adding two third-floor dormers to the roof in keeping with the house's original one.
Looking Behind the Walls and Installing a Pocket Door
Before putting on the blue board, Bob looks at what goes behind the walls: wiring, light fixtures, heat ducts, water lines, and a pocket door frame.
Fixing Squeaky Floors
Bob talks with a floor expert about how to fix squeaky floors.
Reviewing the Work Involved in Building a Hurricane-Resistant Home
Bob meets with Leslie Chapman-Henderson from the Federal Alliance for Safe Housing (FLASH) and Randy Shackelford to discuss an assortment of storm-resistant roof ...
Interior Demolition for Warehouse Conversion
Bob meets with the construction foreman to discuss the demolition work that's underway. Having removed the elevator shaft, the crew plans to move ahead by taking ...
Metal Stud Framing
Dino Koukoudakis of Dino's Construction prefers using metal studs, because of their light weight and resistance to warping. Easy to cut and fasten, metal studs to...
Pella Window Installation
Bob meets with Brian Kaley and Tim McFadden from Pella Windows to go over the design approach and installation method for this project's fenestration.
Building the Roof Deck With Ipe
Bob watches the ongoing installation of the roof deck, which is being built woth a sustainable tropical hardwood decking called Ipe.
Planning the Decor
Bob meets with Darren Brown and Jonathan Adler to discuss the interior design of the penthouse apartment, which Adler envisions being a casual space, enhanced by ...
Building a Pitched Roof
Bob reviews the construction of the pitched roof, from the framing to the shingling.
Picket Fence Installation
Jay Triandafilou and a crew from Architectural Fence are on location to install the exterior fence.
Interior designer Leslie Curtis shows off another of her decorating ideas in the dining room.
Building a Hip Roof
Bob talks with lead framing carpenter Dan Enright as he and his crew work on the shed roof over the kitchen/family room area.
Garage Truss Construction
Bob and general contractor Ted Riley watch the framing crew construct the garage roof using trusses.
Reviewing Attic Conversion Plans
Bob meets structural engineer Steve Siegel on the attic floor of the Medford, MA home to discuss the owner's desire for an office with cathedral ceilings.
Relocating the Front Door
Bob works with the general contractor Charlie Tomaszewski to move the Medford project home's original front door, so they will be able to frame up a new foyer.
Restructuring the First Floor and Kitchen Design
General contractor Charlie Tomaszewski completes the restructuring of the kitchen/family room, having replaced a rabbit warren of rooms with a 35-foot wide-open s...
Shoring Up the Attic With Supports
Engineers determined that the third floor roof was weak and in need of restructuring.
Building the Backyard Deck
Bob observes as general contractor Charlie Tomaszewski finishes up the picture framing for the mahogany deck.
Replacing the Barn Door
Workers replace the old barn doors with an oversized Ponderosa Pine door (from KML Industries in Canada).
Manufacturing the Engineered Wood Floor Joists
Bob visits the Willamette I-Joist Mill in Woodburn, OR, before returning to Yonkers where the crew is assembling the second floor walls with structural insulated ...
Engineered Wood Floor Joist System
Bob discusses the advantages of engineered wood flooring with Steve Barth (from Willamette Industries).
Tour of I'On Architecture
The neighborhood of I'On is built around myriad architectural styles and designs. Bob takes a look at, and remarks upon, some of these variations throughout the n...
Cutting and Laying Roof Rafters for the Vaulted Roof
Bob helps lay rafters and the ridge pole for the vaulted roof of the Lifespan House.
Roof Framing for Hurricane Safety and Energy Savings
Bob meets with Brian Redding (from the APA) to learn more about roof framing techniques for resisting hurricanes and high winds.
Reviewing the Home's Framing
Bob reviews the frame of the home and the interior layout.
Installing Stair Handrails and Balusters
Contractors install the stair railing and balusters, and carpenter Bob Ryley describes the techniques, and the various checks and balances, used to make sure the ...
Fire Codes and Installing Fireproofing Material
Bob and carpenter Bob Ryley review the interior construction, which must satisfy stringent fire codes.
Home Construction Project Plans
Bob meets with Arnold Johnson and George Chin (from Crosswinds Enterprises) to find out about the type of construction that will be implemented in building the ac...
Reviewing the Blueprints
Bob joins the contractors from Crosswinds Enterprises. With framing for the accessible home nearly complete, Bob gets a sense of the layout and looks over the blu...
Construction of the Roof Truss System
Bob explains the engineering and construction of the truss system supporting the roof of the accessible home.
Discussing the Northern White Cedar Picket Fence
A Northern White Cedar picket fence is discussed and installed.
Flooring, Plumbing, and Plastering
The old flooring in the Gothic Carpenter-style home in Elmwood has been removed. Bob outlines the process of installing the new floor and discusses the new suppor...
Porch Restoration: Custom Reproduction Moldings and Chatsworth's Columns
Porch restoration continues on the fifth Elmwood project house, with Forester Moulding and Lumber re-milling many porch elements.
Restoring the Front Porch
The front porch is undergoing full restoration, due to excessive water and pest damage to the columns and other structural elements. Demolition begins and repair ...
House Ten: Attic Conversion
Owners of the tenth Elmwood neighborhood project house, Peter Haraty and Brent Bachelder, want to create one large space on the attic level, a change requiring wa...
House Eleven: Renovating Attic Space
Homeowner Don DeSantis is transforming the attic level into an exercise space. The floor structure is being shored up in order to hold the wieght of excercise equ...
Installing High-Velocity, Flexible-Duct Air Conditioning in an Older Home
The air conditioning system for the third floor exercise area, with its unique features and ductwork, is installed.
Framing Begins on the Miami Home
As part of a Miami kitchen renovation, Bob frames a partition wall made to resemble a banana leaf. He also pours concrete to patch a floor.
Block Wall Demolition
Bob and contractor Ed Weller meet to demolish a block wall in order to open up the room for remodeling.
Removing the Porch Columns
Bob helps remove the front porch columns, so they can be replicated and used on the home's new back porch.
Framing the Back Porch
Bob reviews progress on the joist system being constructed for the new back porch. The concrete has been poured and framing has begun.
Installing the Roof on the Back Porch
Bob confers with two carpenters, as they begin to install the Dutch gable roof system on the back porch. Once the ridge beam is secured, rafters are added.
Sheathing the Back Porch Roof
Bob confers with carpenter Cortney Lofton, who explains the framing technique used to replicate the front porch, before he sheaths the new back porch roof.
Australian-born architect and homeowner, Gavin Langley, shows Bob how attics are insulated in his home country.
Architectural Details and Framing
Bob reviews the framing for the new addition. Homeowner Linda points out the corner notches, which add architectural interest. And a large opening punctuates one ...
Removing and Relocating Windows
Bob and carpenter Bob Ryley look at the corner of the house, where the sidewall has been removed to reveal the plywood and Douglas fir sheathing. Next, Bob helps ...
Putting Up the Second Floor Exterior Wall
Bob assists the crew installing sidewall on the second floor of the addition.
Building Interior Wall Partitions
Bob and carpenter Bob Ryley demonstrate how to lay out and build interior partitions.
Framing the Deck and Laying the Deck Boards
Bob and carpenter Bob Ryley continue working on the backyard deck. Once they've finished theframing, they begin laying the deck boards.
The foundation has been hand-dug and the forms laid for the footings. Bob and contractor Bob Ryley discuss the layout of the greenhouse foundation and framing.
Installing the Rafters
The architect pays a visit to check on progress, while Bob and contractor Bob Ryley begin installing the Paralam rafters. Ryley goes into depth discussing these m...
The Home's Exposed Framing System
Bob discusses the home's framing with contractor Bob Ryley.
Installing the Decking and Joists
Bob helps contractor Bob Ryley install 4x10 douglas fir floor joists, and also put in 2 x 6 spruce tongue-and-groove decking on the second floor.
Building the Staircase
Bob and contractor Bob Ryley build and install the stairs between the first and second story. Ryley explains the math involved in building a staircase and the pro...
Adamson Estate Museum Tour
Bob tours the Adamson Estate Museum, just down the beach from the project house, where he gets a look at authentic California-Spanish architecture.
Installing a Grade Beam
Bob oversees the installation of a grade beam in the garage, which is in compliance with California seismic code.
Framing the Winding Staircase
Bob meets the framing sub-contractor, Ron Gates, and the two discuss framing the 18-step winding staircase, as well as the work of framing, in general.
Framing and Erecting the Second-Floor Walls
The second-floor walls are framed and erected at the Malibu beach house.
Hip Roof Framing
The framing of an authentic California-Spanish hip roof begins over the master bedroom of the beach house in Malibu.
Distressing Wood Beams
Juan Santos shows Bob how to distress the new Douglas Fir ceiling beams so they look like they're hundreds of years old. By using standard construction tools in a...
Reviewing the Dream Garage Project Plans
Bob and contractor Bob Ryley review the architectural plans. Features such as loft storage are discussed, in addition to the project's post-and-beam construction.
Tour of the Automobile Collection at the Heritage Plantation
Bob joins Bob Rogers of the Heritage Plantation, located in Sandwich, MA, for a tour of the post-and-beam Shaker round barn that houses the Josiah K. Lilly, III a...
Historic Windmill Tour
Bob tours the Old East Mill, a restored post-and-beam windmill, at Heritage Plantation in Sandwich, MA. In its day, the mill produced rye, corn, salt, and barley....
Framing the Barn
Bob confers with Paul Pacella (from Maine Post and Beam of Cape Cod) about framing the barn. Eastern white pine is being used; this type of pine is a popular lumb...
Discussing the Framing and Selecting a Garage Door
Bob and contractor Bob Ryley review the building plans and the progress made on the post-and-beam garage. Framing continues, and Bob discusses the various joints ...
Placing the Engineered Wood Glulam Roof Ridge Beam
Bob and Paul Pacella (of Maine Post and Beam) discuss the cutting and placement of the engineered wood glulam ridge beam for the garage.
Cutting Joists Using 17th-Century Techniques
Bob heads to Plimouth Plantation in Plymouth, MA, where artisan-carpenter Pret Woodburn shows Bob how mortise-and-tenon joinery was cut back in the 17th- and 18th...
Installing a Salvaged Door
Bob helps contractor Bob Ryley install a salvaged door on the side of the dream garage, which is undergoing construction.
Reviewing the Post-and-Beam Garage
Bob pays a final visit to the garage for a tour of the full building and a review of all the features installed. Along the way, he details the construction techni...
Roof Framing and Constructing a Turret
Bob confers with contractor Bob Ryley, who is beginning demolition work on the roof dormer in order to make way for the planned turret.
Laying the Decking for the First Floor
Having reviewed their work on preparing the site, Bob and contractor Bob Ryley begin laying the first-floor decking by using glue and nails to attach the plywood ...
Gable Addition Framing
Bob reviews the turret structure that's been added to the project house. Then Bob and contractor Bob Ryley and the rest of the workmen raise a gable wall in accor...
Building a Victorian-Style Breezeway
Contractor Bob Ryley is creating a Victorian-style breezeway using modern materials, which will bridge the old and new wings of the home.
Reviewing the Frame and Attaching the Verge Board
As contractor Bob Ryley attaches the gingerbread-style verge board on one gable end of the Martha's Vineyard Victorian project, Bob remarks on the notable feature...
Building a Covered Porch
Bob helps contractor Bob Ryley begin work on constructing the covered porch. Once the joists are in place, and the decking has been laid down, Bob and Bob turn to...
Demolition continues on the roof, as the crew removes the sheathing, rafters, and some of the ceiling joists.
Framing the First Floor
Bob reviews the construction layout of the first floor. The old kitchen has been ripped out to make way for a foyer, coat closet, and staircase. In the garage, a ...
Raising Gable Ends and Cutting Rafters
Bob and contractor Bob Ryley raise an exterior wall on the second floor and Ryley goes on to how to use a framing square.
Building the Farmer's Porch
Bob discusses the process of building the farmer's porch with contractor Larry Landers. The natural crowning of wood is discussed, as are methods for ensuring a l...
Framing the Porch Roof
Bob confers with contractor Larry Landers, as Landers and his crew assemble the front porch framework on the Wayland project house. Landers goes on to explain how...
Insulating the Home
Insulation contractors Jim and John Case show Bob how to insulate the cathedral ceiling. To ensure airflow and prevent condensation buildup, channels are install ...
Framing the New Entryway
Bob helps carpenter Bob Ryley start building the frame for the new entryway.
Building a Free-Floating Deck
Due to flood plain regulations, the deck cannot be attached to the house-- it has to be free-floating. Bob helps the contractors set up the posts and joists, and ...
Raising the Girt Beam and Building the Deck
The girt beam is raised and the first floor deck is built.
Framing the Walls
Bob works with the crew on framing the walls of the Cape Cod house.
Bob reviews the new second floor and watches the gable end raised, the ridge pole set in place, and the rafters' installation.
Ceiling Joists and Roof Rafters
Some demolition is done on the old ell to prepare it for renovation, while ceiling joists and roof rafters go up in the new section of the house.
Completing the Raftering
Bob and carpentry contractor Bob Ryley complete the raftering job on the roof of the Cape Cod house.
Reviewing the Demolition
Bob and general contractor Ron Gan review the demolition and discuss replacing the bearing walls with special engineered beams.
Installing the Parallam Beam
The crew installs a Parallam beam in the living room along with iron beams on the back masonry wall.
The concrete floor has been poured in the basement, and general contractor Ron Gan explains how a ledger board is attached to the masonry wall to support ceiling ...
Securing the Roof Truss System
Bob talks with Bill York and Rob Davis of FLASH (Federal Alliance for Safe Homes) about the storm-resistant roof truss system. Bob explains how the roof is constr...
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...
Layout for a Container-Built Home
Bob joins Steve Armstrong, the project architect and engineer, to discuss the project. The challenge of building a home like this is marrying new methods of const...
Installing Cedar Deck Railings
General contractor Tim Berky is building the cedar deck railings, first by notching the edge board to receive posts, then by fitting one post into each notch. Onc...
Building the Deck Frame
General contractor Tim Berky and his crew remove existing cladding in order to fit the ledger board for the deck tight against the house, with an ice and water ba...
Removing Horsehair Plaster and Door Framing
General contractor Tim Berky and his crew remove the old horsehair plaster in the kitchen. The framing and sheathing are found to be original to the house. Bob lo...