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Transformation of the Week by:
Learn how just about anything works, including brushless motors, standby generators, insulation, framing, and more. They say knowing is half the battle, so arm yourself with these How it Works articles and be prepared to tackle any job.
In this How It Works article, structural engineer Rob Munach explains how trusses carry their loads and how T-bracing and roof sheathing add strength.
When built well, a house protects its inhabitants from relentless physical forces. Learn what the eight building loads are (dead, live, wind, seismic, snow, rain, flood, and earth), how each one affects a house frame, and how a house resists those forces.
Cordless Finish Nailer
Cordless finish nailers take the hassle and some of the frustration out of working with pneumatic nailers tied to an air hose and a compressor. In this article, associate editor Rob Yagid takes one model, the Paslode IM250A, and explains what powers it, how its combustion process works, and how it drives a fastener through a piece of trim.
While fiberglass batts continue to be a widely used form of insulation, they don't always perform to their rated R-value. This article highlights some of the ways you can avoid common mistakes that prevent fiberglass batts from performing well.
If you have ever experienced a long term power outage you know first hand how frustrating and downright inconvenient it can be. To help ease the burden many homeowners have begun to use standby generators but how do they work? This article explains how a standby generator functions and more.
The Stack Effect
In the winter, pressure differences between indoors and outdoors drives air out of the top floor and sucks air in through the first floor of most houses. In the summer, when indoor air is cooled, the reverse occurs. Whatever the season, the best way to remedy the stack effect is by air-sealing gaps and holes between indoor and outdoor spaces.
In seismic zones and high-wind zones, shear walls are an important structural asset for a house. This article explains how overwhelming natural forces can destroy a regular wall and then how a shear wall can withstand those forces.
Power tools use electric motors. Learn what the differences between traditional brushed motors and a new, more energy-efficient technology: brushless motors.
Urban Heat Island
While there are advantages to living in an metropolitan area its not without its downfalls, such as the generation of a huge amount of heat. This article offers some insights on how urban heat islands form and how homeowners can take steps to help reduce their impact.
The use of advanced-framing techniques reduces energy losses, resource consumption, and construction costs. However, it may not be enough to withstand extreme loads, such as a falling tree.
Although stud finders can detect the location of framing behind drywall and plaster there are newer tools that can do more. These wall scanners not only detect wood and metal studs, they also detect live electrical wires and ferrous and nonferrous metals.
Hot Water Recirculation System
Whether controlled by a demand switch or by simple gravity, hot water recirculation systems put hot water where you want it fast.
Explore the gravitational and lateral forces that conspire to topple backyard decks and the codes designed to counter them.
SLIDESHOW: Complete Guide to Roofs
Watch the Passive House video series
Sheathing Walls with Zip System
Transformation of the Week Gallery
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