Robyn Doyon-Aitken, Newtown, CT, US

Robyn Doyon-Aitken was an associate editor at www.FineHomebuilding.com and is currently a web producer at www.FineCooking.com.

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How Do You Handle Customers Who Dont Pay?

How Do You Handle Customers Who Don't Pay?

What should you do if a paying customer becomes a non-paying customer? We wouldn't recommend the method one builder used in this YouTube video, but we can offer some (legal) advice.

Scott Grices Job-Site Dog

Scott Grice's Job-Site Dog

To start off our Job-Site Dogs contest, I'm sharing Fine Homebuilding contributor Scott Grice's dog with you. . .

Craziest Shingle Tear-Off Method Ever?

Craziest Shingle Tear-Off Method Ever?

I don’t care how skilled the operator is, or how much time this crew saves, I’d never let anyone scrape shingles off my roof using this method we found on YouTube.

Whats the Difference Between a Trellis, an Arbor, and a Pergola?

What's the Difference Between a Trellis, an Arbor, and a Pergola?

Although the terms often are used interchangeably, trellises, arbors, and pergolas are distinctly different structures.

Small Spaces That are Great Places

Small Spaces That are Great Places

A trio of diminutive buildings shows how thoughtful siting and exemplary planning can yield a backyard destination you won’t want to leave.

Whats the Difference: Joint Sealing with Teflon Tape and Pipe Dope

What's the Difference: Joint Sealing with Teflon Tape and Pipe Dope

Teflon tape and pipe dope are used to fill voids between male and female threads to make joints leakproof and to prevent metal parts from rusting together. People often use pipe dope on top of Teflon tape, but some manufacturers say there is no benefit to that usage. So, when should you use one over the other? What's the difference?

Recent comments

Re: Larry Haun (1931-2011)

The thing about Larry was that it didn’t matter to him if you were a woman or a man, a pro or a DIY-er, an editorial assistant or the publisher. If you loved houses and appreciated hard work, well, you were the same, despite the years and wisdom he had on you. Some people just emit light. You know it when you feel it; Larry was one of those people.

What I’ll remember most about him: In every conversation, in every email, in every letter, when we were done with the business of the day--maybe it was a proposal, maybe an answer to a reader’s question—-Larry always asked me about my kids, told me what was coming up in his garden (in glorious detail), and asked what was blooming in mine. There’s the light.

Re: Drawing and Ellipse-ish... A Better, Better Way

Glad you liked the video, vondohlen. And, thanks for posting your own "Better Way." If you've got any others, we want to see those too! Thanks again.

Re: Why I Don't Use Cellulose or Blue-Jean Insulation

As a homeowner, I appreciate the good information included in the debate below. And, as a producer of FineHomebuilding.com, I understand this is a hot-button issue. The last few comments, however, have become increasingly heated, insulting even, so they’ve been removed. Debate: good. Attacks: not good. It’s a good idea to deliver your points and counterpoints respectfully, without sandwiching them between subtle (or not-so-subtle) jabs, which are sure to raise questions about the value of the argument.

Let’s keep the comments respectful so homeowners and pros alike can stay focused on interpreting the information and come to some conclusions about the benefits and risks of the various types of insulation.

Thanks, everyone.

Re: Pneumatic Office Nailer

You know I'm going to need to borrow this. Watch out, Fink! Your cube's not too far from mine.

Re: Play Fine Homebuilding's Game "The Inspector"

Thanks for all your comments to date, everybody! I’m not sure I believe gadget2020, though. ; ) A perfect score the first time? Justin didn’t even break 300, never mind 3000 (course, he’s a carpenter, not a framer). Still, we better start making them harder! Anybody else get a perfect score on the latest one?

Re: Craziest Shingle Tear-Off Method Ever?

All right, I realized after my post that it wasn’t fair to criticize one method without offering an alternative from our archives. I searched our site and found some good stuff worth sharing. I’ve added a few links to the end of my post. Enjoy.

Re: Craziest Shingle Tear-Off Method Ever?

Maybe I’m just too skittish. . .

I read on YouTube this was the crew’s second time using this method. Maybe if it were their 102nd time, I might consider. Who wants to be a surgeon’s third major operation?

Re: 2009 Deck Code Changes - Pay Attention!

Awesome post, Mike. Thanks so much for sharing this important info with your peers.

Re: Simple Complexity

Hey Guys. @Kim: We're not set up to insert photo credits on images we use for the home page (sorry!), but anyone who clicks the image goes directly to your entry and will see the credit there.
@AZdreamer: We've featured photos from our Project Gallery in the last two issues of FHB. In fact, check this post out:
It's the house on the cover of this year's Houses issue! And, FHB#204, due out at the end of this month, includes four pages devoted to our Kitchen and Bath remodel contest winners. I agree that Kim's work deserves some attention. Stay tuned. . .and thanks for your comment. Keep em' coming!

Re: Simple Complexity

Very cool. Thanks for posting--and giving me an excellent deck to feature on our home page.

Re: Simple Complexity

Amazing. How many man-hours are we talking about here? --Robyn

Re: How to Set Deck and Shed Footings with Plastic Piers

Visit Redi-Footing’s site at: http://www.redifooting.com/. Once you’ve got the info you need, (for fun) click on their picture gallery, where you can see photos of an elephant balancing on a footing. That’s pretty amazing considering we’re talking about plastic here. Alternatively, if you want to talk to a person, call them toll free at (866) 586-6082.

Re: From Washington to Maine: Building A House for the First Time

In my mind, this house is an example of good ol’-fashioned homeowner ingenuity—and a very good answer to the question Alex Wilson asks in a recent blog: Is the U.S. ready for a passive house? Yes, we are. If more folks—builders and homeowners—took your approach to energy efficiency, which you proved is not cost-prohibitive, we’d be in a much better place, literally and figuratively.

Also, you’d make Gary Striegler very proud.

You guys are an inspiration. Thanks for sharing your house.