Fastening a deck ledger with structural screws is fast and easy
Learn how to properly attach deck boards to the framing
Learn the basics of how to cut curves in tile with a wet saw
Learn how to use a wet saw to make this special cut
A common occurrence when tiling around an electrical outlet, cutting a hole in the center of a tile is easy to do by carefully plunging the blade of the tile saw through both the front and back of a tile.
Learn how to use a wet saw
Learn how to remove a load-bearing wall and install an LVL header
Learn the three essential measurements needed for ordering replacement windows
Learn the basics of installing a replacement window
Learn how to properly clean your paint brush
Learn how to use a rafter square to mark any angle between 0 and 90 degrees.
Huber Engineered Woods launched their Zip System Stretch Tape at the 2015 International Builders' Show
See more photos
Why they're necessary, for what types of construction, and how to get them.
Seasoned pros demonstrate, step-by-step, how to cast a custom countertop, tile a bathroom, build and install cabinets, and more in this compilation of videos.
The Three Little Pigs just had to worry about building a home that would survive a high wind. But in the modern version of the classic fairytale, there'd also be an earth-stomping bear, a fire-breathing dragon, and maybe a tsunami-causing Godzilla along with the big bad blowing wolf.
Get an engineer's-eye view of this unique model railroad
Signs that the construction industry has left its slump and is propelling itself forward into new prosperity are to be welcomed – and news that the US home building industry expanded in July is one...
The house was built with the intention of being an heirloom handed down through generations
This project was a whole-house renovation of a colonial that had been built in 1918 and renovated by different owners in the 1970s and 1990s
Have you reconfigured a garage to turn it into a playroom, family activity area, cabana, bedroom, man cave, or other special space? If so, post some pics for a chance to win some great prizes.
The one bedroom, one bathroom 550 square foot FabCab cabin was built on Lake Pend Orielle near Sandpoint, Idaho in 2012.
This 1957 California rancher got a complete overhaul incorporating some fun design features and new mechanicals, making it tighter than 99.9% of American homes.
A comfortable cutting bench for your miter saw and a solid, flat work surface for stacking and assembling headers and rough openings are essential for framing walls accurately, safely, and efficiently
A compact infill home is at the forefront of progressive urban development
A small addition and a savvy design transform a small California bungalow
A Maine architect designs Michigan’s first certified Passive House to be rooted in tradition, and outlines lessons for builders of custom homes
Architecture the way we like it. This is custom home design flush with practical lessons replicable in any new home or home remodel.
A smart remodel retains its arts-and-crafts bungalow roots
At 1,000 square feet smaller than the average custom home, this compact house is comfortable, practical and attainable
Fine Homebuilding associate editor Patrick McCombe describes the construction of an energy-efficient outbuilding he built for about $32,000.
In a presentation at NESEA's 2014 BuildingEnergy conference, Rick Nortz from Mitsubishi Electric explains why modern air-source heat pumps are poised to become the fastest growing segment of the US HVAC industry
Ken Lynch & Joe Studer from Tremco Barrier Solutions demonstrate how to apply roll-on and brush-on alternatives to housewrap and flashing tape at NESEA's 2014 conference
Building-science consultant Flemming Lund explains how to use IR cameras to identify missing insulation, air leaks, water leaks, and more
GreenBuildingAdvisor.com editor Martin Holladay takes questions from the audience at NESEA's annual energy-efficiency and solar-power conference
Decks & Outdoor Projects 2014
Justin talks with Mark and Theresa Clement about upcoming Project House videos, quick tips, and more
All it takes is a few minutes and a few simple tools to get access for repairs or modifications to a wall covered in this popular cladding.
Save time and work safely on your next electrical project with some sound advice from the Fine Homebuilding video archives
An architect rebuilds a midcentury wreck into a stylish, energy-smart home for $90 per sq. ft.
Tool Guide 2014
Inside & Out
Kitchen Planning Guide
Decks & Outdoor Projects 2013
Bathroom Planning Guide 2013
Framing Floors, Wall & Ceilings
The Energy-Smart House
Dec 2013/Jan 2014
If you got to carry a long extension ladder around, you could pick it up two or three times to find the balance point, but there's a better way...
If you are in the habit of marking your measurements on the side of your tape measure you could just buy a sticky pad and be done with it, but there's a better way.
If you're framing a staircase, you could hope that the stair gauges on your framing square bear against the edge of a nice straight board, but they might not—in that case there's a better way.
If you've got to make a really accurate cut with your sliding compound saw, you could sneak up on that cut to get exactly where you want to be, but there's a better way.
With Nancy Hiller While shooting the "Build a Floating Vanity" video series, cabinetmaker Nancy Hiller shared some
Every issue of Fine Homebuilding is full of focused mini articles on recurring themes that dig deep into all areas of house design and construction
Help us choose the winner of our recent outdoor-projects gallery challenge
If you're working in a precarious place with a circular saw and you don't want it to become unplugged from your extension cord, you could tie the cords in a knot and hope they don't get snagged on the gutter, but there's a better way.
You don't have to order an expensive custom door if your rough opening is a non-standard size. Buy a stock door instead and make it fit. Watch this video to learn how.
Editor's note: We didn't quite have room for the entire interview in the recent issue of Fine Homebuilding so we're posting it here SUSAN MARVIN, WINDOW MANUFACTURER Keeping a labor force intact was...
Editors Justin Fink and Andy Engel layout and set posts, and assemble new fence panels at the Fine Homebuilding Project House
It's that time again--time to Break Out of the Indoors! We're inviting all you talented carpenters, builders, masons, and homeowners who have created inviting outdoor spaces to share them with us and the visitors to FineHomebuilding.com's project gallery. So upload those photos of your deck, patio, proch, shed, fence,pergola, pool, pond, swing, or other favorite summer hangout. You just might win a $100 merchandise credit to spend in the Taunton Store.
Plumber Mike Lombardi covers every step, from placing the wax ring to putting the lid on the toilet tank
Use these tips on your next electrical rough-in project to keep your Romex® brand cable or other non-metallic cables from getting all kinked.
Get an inside look at each of the 2013 Fine Homebuilding HOUSES Award winners, including the best new home, best remodel, best energy-smart home, best small home, best retirement home, and our editor's choice
Two experts from Conservation Services Group, Eric Wilder and Will D’Arrigo, explain how to seal duct seams with mastic and how to use a Duct Blaster to test duct tightness
two representatives from National Fiber, Bill Hulstrunk and Chris White, share their tips for installing dense-packed cellulose in wall cavities
A glass-fiber reinforced mix creates an elegant, lightweight vanity counter and sink
An inquiry into ways to eliminate waste and increase productivity on construction projects
If you are in need of a lighthearted distraction from your busy day and you like heavy machinery, you've come to the right place.
If you plan to design, build, or remodel an energy efficient house, Energy Nerd Martin Holladay's collection of how-to articles is a must-read
Use one to measure a building’s airtightness, to locate leaks, or to comply with a green building program
An all-star roster of experts will present workshops at the Building Energy 13 conference in early March
In the early 1970s, residential builders knew almost nothing about air tightness. Nowadays, there's plenty of data showing why it's so important to air-seal houses.
Don’t worry about the cracks around your windows until you’ve sealed all of the big holes in your house
The numbers are in. See if one of your favorites is on our list of most-viewed videos of the year.
Browse Fine Homebuilding's 2012 tool reviews to find the perfect present for the builder or weekend warrior in your family
Roofing project manager Dyami Plotke demonstrates how to fabricate complex pieces of flashing with a sheet-metal brake and describes the various pieces needed to make a chimney-to-roof connection watertight
The Fine Homebuilding archives are full of design tips and material reviews that could help you to plan your dream project. Take a look at some of our favorite details in this collection from our design galleries
We've collected several how-to video series from our archives to help you finish those special details in your new or renovated kitchen
Remodeling contractor Mike Sloggatt demonstrates how to use a professional spray-sealant gun to make this patio door (or any door) more energy efficient
Veteran plumber Mike Lombardi makes quick work of disconnecting this sink's water and drain pipes as part of our Project House bathroom remodel
Mark your calendars — the Energy and Environmental Building Alliance will meet in Scottsdale, Arizona, on September 25-27
We've collected five siding and exterior-trim painting videos from our archives to help you get a great finish on your house
Should you order a custom-sized insert or a full-frame replacement window? Veteran remodeler Mike Sloggatt shares the info you need to make the best decision for your project
Another couple of big dogs from the "gardens are job sits too" series...
n this "Feedback" article, homeowner Marilyn Widner writes about how she and her husband moved from the 3000-sq.-ft. home where they had lived for 26 years and into a new 800-sq.-ft. cottage in the backyard.
With passive-solar strategies at its core, the home that Chris Larson designed is just as much about the homeowners' lifestyle as it is about energy use...
2012 Best Small Home of the Year: Matt Hutchins of CAST Architecture
2012 Best New Home of the Year Award: Anni Tilt of Arkin Tilt Architects
2012 Editor’s Choice Award: Obie Bowman
2012 Best Remodel of the Year Award: Andrew Webster of Coldham & Hartman Architects
2012 Best Retirement Home of the Year: Duncan McPherson of Samsel Architects
Learn reliable, time-saving techniques for getting your deck or shed project on level, solid ground in these free video episodes on building pier and block foundations
If you need to install baseboard along a curved wall, use string to measure and cut relief kerfs on the back of the stock so the baseboard will bend more easily.
We produced a record number of how-to and tool-tip videos this year. Here are the ten most-watched episodes from the past 12 months.
Painter Jim Lacey shares some tips for covering the inevitable blemishes on cedar shingles
This detail from Green Building Advisor was the basis of our front wall design..
This is a 2D image of a sketchup model we used to mock up the front window in the Project House garage shop.
An extrathin blade makes this saw great for any time you need to make a precise, easily guided cut in a piece of wood.
More on balance sheets Here, sal teaches us how...
The snow has almost melted across much of the Northeast; now it's time to repair the unprecedented and unbelievable damage caused by snow-laden trees.
An overview of balance sheets
Alexandra Immel’s vision for her new kitchen included a colorful backsplash that is definitely not off the tile-shop shelf.
Designer-builder Michael Chandler outlines three guiding principles for ensuring healthful indoor air in a house. First, choose healthful materials. Chandler recommends avoiding volatile organic compounds (VOCs)—which are found in paints, finishes, caulks, sealants, and cabinet sheet goods—and phthalate plasticizers, components of various household vinyl and plastic items. Second, handle and install materials with caution.
A former builder has some valuable lessons to share after surviving the collapse of his once-thriving construction company
Blaming the recession for my company's failure would be easy, but looking hard at my own mistakes is a lot more useful.
BY STEPHEN HAZLETT Some roof repairs—nail pops, for example—require replacing single shingles. Removing the damaged shingle without damaging the surrounding shingles is the tricky part...
This top-20 list of articles and videos covers everything you need to know to build or repair a roof right.
Learn a few quick tips to frame any wall perfectly and quickly.
Learn a few measuring shortcuts that make accurate rough-opening layouts a snap
If you're planning a tile project and want ideas for creating attractive patterns or combining the right colors, these two free chapters will help you get started.
Larry Haun and Scott Grice share some basic techniques and show off some unique tools in the latest edition of our framing-skills miniseries
From a full garage conversion to just renovating an area to live in over the garage, these free chapters will clue you in on where to start.
Framers Larry Haun and Scott Grice demonstrate how to efficiently lay down, cut to length, and tack down wall plates before assembling new walls
Whether you're still trying to decide between composite decking, cedar, and hardwood, or if you're ready to fasten the first ledger board to your house, these chapters will help you get started.
parking at a premium in this San Francisco neighborhood, the owners of this 1900s Queen Anne Victorian hoped to add a garage when remodeling.
Electrician Brian Walo shows an easy way to strip non-metallic cable plus a great way to keep track of which wires do what.
Building official, Lynn Underwood, discusses the pros and cons of installing residential fire sprinklers.
Framer Scott Grice and veteran builder Larry Haun hash out the the best way to measure and mark wall framing for a new Habitat for Humanity house.
Our readers helped design it, senior editor Justin Fink built it. See if this job-site saw stand is right for you, and find out how to build your own.
In this "Building Skills" video framer Scott Grice demonstrates a few easy ways that you can use line-of-sight to identify serious issues before they're buried under drywall.
The hinge side of a door must be trimmed to width at 90°. The latch side is usually trimmed at 5° off vertical for a beveled edge. Making these long cuts straight and smooth is easy with this...
I came up with a solution for weatherstripping a door bottom where a thick rug prevents a spring-loaded bottom sweep from retracting. I used a length of vinyl bulb weatherstripping, intended for a...
Building a door buck (FHB #8, p.35) is a good idea if you find yourself dealing with a house full of door hanging from scratch, but for a quick setup, the answer is right in your toolbox. I use two...
For me, the most .frustrating part of making and installing a heavy, handmade entry door has been finding the right hinges. Even with a good set of heavy butts, the hinge barrels begin to grind down...
I use a router and a jig to mortise hinges in doors and casement windows. By using a 1/2-in. diameter hinge-mortising bit and a standard round-cornered hinge, I achieve a consistently clean fit that...
Recently, while building a half-circle window, I needed a way to make the casing and interior stops. Instead of transferring the curves from templates onto the stock and then joining these pieces, I...
Whenever I install door or window casings, I use the jig shown here to make sure that I get an accurate 1/4-in. reveal. It's made of two square pieces of hardwood, 1/4 in. thick, that are glued...
It's important for a door to fit snugly against its new vinyl-gasket threshold, particularly if the system you're using doesn't include a door-bottom sweep. But fitting an old door with one means...
I use a 6-1/2-ft. spirit level to plumb and straighten interior door jambs. In order to leave both hands free to handle the shims and to drive nails, I wedge the level against one of the jambs to...
Whenever I'm hanging a door with wood jambs, I use a chisel or utility knife to lift a small sliver in the center of the head jamb. Then I use it to anchor the string on my plumb line, as shown...
I had to drill holes for deadbolt locks in some steel doors that had foam cores, and I almost destroyed the first couple of doors using a standard hole saw because the 1/4-in. pilot bit would wander...
Here's a fast, accurate method that I use for locating the centerpoints for door latch and dead-bolt mortises. First I center a hole for a 6d nail in the end of a short piece of dowel (a 1-in. dia...
If you think about how most doors are mounted to most jambs and visualize the relationship of hinge-to-door and hinge-to-jamb, you may see some room for improvement. Standard butt hinges, heavyduty...
I typically use a router and a template to cut mortises or to enlarge existing mortises for new door hinges. But for small jobs where it doesn't make sense to cart along a lot of gear, I use a...
I was recently faced with installing windows in a new house, all by myself. Here's how I did it, First I cut a couple of 2x4s about 8 in. longer than my widest window. Then I measured the distance...
Faced with installing some 60, 3-ft. by 8-ft. prehung doors, I developed the jamb-setting fixture shown in the drawing. Not only did the fixture keep the hinge jamb and the head jamb at 90°, but...
In Brooklyn, where turn-of-the-century brownstones and bricks are the norm, window replacement often calls for some ingenuity. I have used both Bonneville and Andersen brick-to-brick replacement...
When I have to muscle a solid-core door into or out of its hinges, I let a drywall lifter (a tool designed for placing drywall on walls) do the heavy lifting. Unlike a flat bar, a drywall lifter...
Obtaining the right-size shims for a job can be quick, easy, and precise if you put in about 10 minutes’ preparation. Begin with the shim stock. A proper shim has grain running its entire...
In home building, square, level, and plumb are admirable goals, but we sometimes fall a little short of the ideal. As a consequence, we turn to shims. They are vital for adjusting the fit of prehung...
The last thing I want when struggling with a heavy window during installation is to drop it. Even small falls can fracture the flange, making for a time-consuming repair. After watching my glass guy...
A warped cabinet door can be a real pain. When you have spent hours matching panels, colors and grains, the last thing you want to do is remake a door. My approach takes a couple of hours and $5 in...
We preprime and varnish a lot of the trim we install in houses, and finding a good place to let the material dry without getting in the way used to be difficult. To solve the problem I came up with...
I had a fair number of doors that needed hanging, and I wanted to take advantage of my router and my 3/4-in-dia. straight bit to make quick work of the hinge mortises. I had tried freehanding the...
For accuracy and speed when hanging doors from scratch, I use a butt gauge (see drawing) that I made out of 1-in. aluminum angle stock. Bending one leg of the angle over 90° just 1/8 in. down...
I was recently confronted with the task of replacing a houseful of interior-door locksets. All the doors had three holes bored in their stiles -- a 3/4-in. hole for the spindle and two smaller...
This is a sketch of a jig I use to hold doors while routing them for hinges or planing them to fit. It automatically adjusts to doors of different thicknesses and holds them securely. The weight of...
Sometimes we forget that a tool can be used to advantage for other than its original purpose — the ubiquitous screw clamp, for instance. I needed to plane the edge of a small door recently and...
Occasionally I'm hired to replace door jambs that have been damaged by burglars. Often, only one jamb leg is damaged (the strike side of the door). The other side jamb and head jamb remain...
My frame-and-panel garage door had a nasty gouge in one of the bottom panels. My job was to figure out a way to remove the 1/4-in. thick panel without ruining the rest of the door. To do so, I turned...
When an overhead garage-door spring breaks, it can do considerable property damage. But the potential for personal injury is even greater. Because of this possibility, whenever I service or install a...
When a new customer referred by one of our local sawmills asked me to make some storm windows for her screened porch, I said sure. Then I went out to look at her place.Her cottage was on the banks of...
The Parallam beams used as headers atop Simpson garage-door walls are heavy. They are typically 31/2 in. wide by 16 in. deep by 22 ft. long. I don't want to move one of these beams around any more...
I don’t paint enough trim to have the steady hand required to paint windows and trim without some kind of masking. Usually, I reach for my paint shield for some help. It has a bladelike...
I'm building an apartment in a commercial building that dates back to 1851. To remain true to the original detailing, the casings around doors and windows needed rosettes at the corners. So I checked...
As builders of passive-solar homes in a severe climate, we combine heavily insulated concrete and stud walls with fixed glass windows on the south side for direct gain.Large areas of insulated glass...
I've always been disappointed with the weatherstripping products for garage-door openings. In my experience, they're expensive and too fragile to accommodate the play in garage doors. The only piece...
Now that the fixtures are on the sink, see how to lay it into position, seal the edges, and connect the waste and water lines.
A builder in British Columbia will soon be building an off-the-grid house for an island couple. Although the house will be heated primarily with wood, it will still need a backup system, and he looks for advice on the best approach.
See how to prepare an opening in a counter top, and learn how to seal and fasten all the fixtures, before you drop your new sink into place.
Electrician Brian Walo gives a quick but important tour of a typical subpanel.
Get the most out of your cabinets and counter tops without spending an arm and a leg. Download this free book chapter on smart kitchen planning.
Plumber Bruce Norman will walk you through the steps to remove an old kitchen sink, and help you decide what to do next.
Fine Homebuilding is on a mission to design and build the perfect miter saw rig There’s no shortage of collapsible, portable job site miter saw stands on the market. Some are costeffective...
Carpenter Scott Grice shows how easy it is to frame an arched doorway using a few backer blocks and two plywood arcs.
Cut perfect plywood arcs to frame curved window or door rough openings. All you need is a tape measure, a pencil, and these simple layout tips.
Thank you to all who voted in our latest gallery challenge. See which lucky person took home three of our popular Graphic Guides to Construction.
There are many ways you can save energy, and keep more money in your pocket, by improving your home's hot-water system. Read this FREE eBook chapter to get some great tips.
Builder Scott Grice shows how to use a 2x4 brace and kicker to get your new framed walls plumb and straight.
I’m a stranger to the homebuilding world, but it’s nice to see you folks paying so much attention to important issues like water conservation. Low-flow fixtures and waterefficient...
The time has come to pick the winner of this recent gallery challenge. Take a look at the four top entries and help us decide which one deserves the new Senco cordless trim nailer.
We've been asked to offer a great deal on tickets to the world's leading interactive conference on green innovation for the built environment.
In this episode we’ll finish up our our series on lead paint. In the first two episodes of this three-part series we talked about tools, OSHA, and costs. In this episode we talk...
Welcome back to the Lunch Pail Podcast series. In this epidode, we continue our series on lead paint. Last episode, we talked about tools; now we'll talk about costs. In the next, and final, episode...
Welcome back to Fine Homebuilding’s lunchpail podcast. We’ve been on a bit of a vacation lately and we’re back now. This week we’ll begin a series on lead paint and the new...
The tighter the house, the greater the need for whole-house ventilation. But what system would work best for your house?
When high-performance builders talk about spray-foam insulation, they’re typically talking about polyurethane. But it turns out there’s more than one kind of spray foam used in...
The Taunton store now has eBooks! Download a FREE sample chapter on building drawers from 'Building Kitchen Cabinets', and browse our collection of digital publications.
Many people are having trouble getting loans to build better houses because appraisers and lenders won't put real value on energy efficiency and durability.
Fitting complex joints in trim and paneling can be easier than it looks if you have a few simple tools.
Board and batten siding is a popular choice, but how do you install it over foam sheathing? Do you use extra long screws, furring strips, or both?
A pencil and a scrap of wood are all the tools you need to mark molding before cutting it to fit flush with an uneven surface.
Builders once routinely stapled up sheets of polyethylene plastic on interior walls before the drywall went up to stop the flow of moisture-laden air into exterior walls. With moisture stopped in its...
Many say "Tight houses need to breathe." To which, tight house advocates say "Where should I poke the hole, and how big should it be?"
BY EVERETTE M. HILL Forty-three years ago, I left college with a diploma in my hand and a plan in my mind. I would marry my college sweetheart, who was in on the plan, and she would work to put me...
For more than 25 years, you’ve been sharing your best building know-how with us, letting us know how you make your projects look so great. You’ve also been taking us behind the scenes to...
Solar collectors crank out plenty of hot water during the summer, and can even make some contribution to space heating in winter. But conventional solar systems can’t store enough heat to make...
There was a time when opening, closing, and letting in light was all that any good window had to do. Nowadays, windows are anything but simple.
If your super-efficient tankless system gives you an endless supply of hot water, you might actually be more likely to waste energy and water.
Ground source heat pumps don't save energy because the electricity used by the 'pump' isn't part of the equation. Moreover, electricity is one of the least efficient ways of making power.
Learn how to seal building paper seams for water-tight exterior walls.
Read about deck railing designs, systems safety, and materials. Build custom deck railings that look great and last long. Pros and cons of different deck railing systems.
You can seriously cut your home's demand for energy by adding rigid insulation, but will wrapping your home with foam cause the walls to rot?
With its beautiful period details and perfect proportions, this adaptation of an original 19th century porch won our latest gallery challenge by a landslide.
We're having a tough time deciding the winner of our Outdoor Project Contest. Vote today and help us choose!
Remodeler and Fine Homebuilding editor Justin Fink shows us a straightforward way to measure and mark your plates before framing a wall.
Building Skills: Seasoned builder Mike Guertin shows a simple way to make a clean, straight cut when trimming a door to height.
When I started working at Fine Homebuilding in 1994, I had been a homeowner for less than a year and was petrified of doing any type of work on my house. Nearly 16 years later, I’m still...
Learn tricks for locating a shampoo niche, cutting the tile backer, building the sides and ensuring the base won’t collect water.
Leave a comment here by 1pm, Tuesday, May 18, for a chance to win the book "Toward a Zero Energy Home", a complete guide to energy self-sufficiency at home.
Basements, walls, and roofs that keep weather out and heat in are the foundation of a durable, energy-efficient home. Read this introduction to how heat, air, and water move and how to control them.
Help the Inspector find five ways to keep this deck on solid ground.
Pick your favorite tools in a short survey and you might win a great prize.
Ryobi's parent company was sued because their tablesaws do not have "flesh-detecting technology" that would prevent serious injuries.
The three winners of our most recent gallery contest are steeped in history and still sharp after all these years. See who took home the top honors.
Enter our latest gallery challenge today and you might walk away with one of three Stanley low angle block planes.
Fine Homebuilding editors ponder the future of the building industry, from the economy to best practices to upcoming trends in tools and materials
See who took home the top prize in our Best Built-ins & Cabinets gallery contest.
Don't try this at home. Catch the five most nail-biting home building videos from the year past.
Big curves and beautiful butcher block win the day.
Enter our "Best Built-ins & Cabinets" contest for a shot at winning one of three prize packages from Stanley.
When we said "It's All in the Details," this builder took it to heart.
Enter our latest gallery challenge for a chance to win an FHB prize package worth over $200.
What do you want to see in video and online? Post your thoughts using a new profile image for a chance to win a copy of the 2009 Fine Homebuilding Magazine Archive.
A simple way to provide nailing surface behind sheetrock.
Here are some pics from the interior of a 1928 Sears kit home that was remodeled and featured in Fine Homebuilding #200, "An American Bungalow: Before and After." If you want to read more about this...
Big stone fireplaces tend to be monolithic, unless they’re the creation of Martha’s Vineyard, Mass., mason Lew French. French’s definition of rock leaps from boulder to pebble to...