Building a Tight House
A construction engineer on the path to energy efficiency describes his strategy for air-sealing the envelope of his own home.
Build a Fold-Down Bed and Get Two Rooms From One
How to design and install a built-in bed to increase the flexibility of living spaces.
Torture Test: Job-Site Radios
Newer models can play MP3s, charge batteries, and power accessories, but only the best radios survived our cruel trials
Blown Insulation for Attics: Fiberglass vs. Cellulose
Both perform better than batts and are less expensive than spray polyurethane. Neither is perfect.
Careful planning and commonsense rough-in make a well-performing, safe, and easily maintained system. Guaranteed.
Sliding Shutters for a Cold Climate
This modern approach to traditional storm windows offers better air-sealing and thermal insulation.
The American House: Where Did We Go Wrong?
Cheap fossil fuels led us astray. Here’s a look at how it happened.
What's the Difference: Plumbing Cement
For ABS, PVC, and CPVC
How to Choose MDF
Medium density fiberboard comes in regular weight and lightweight; so what's the difference?
What is the Difference
Make a saw guide for faster, cleaner cuts
A cutting guide, often called a shooting board, makes it easy to get straight, clean, accurate cuts from your circular saw. Not only is it great for cutting bulky panel…
Making a Beaded Circular Casing
My foray into the world of circular trim began with the round window over my front door. The window looked nicer than the hole it replaced, but it had no…
Problem-solving entry stoops
The first impression of a home begins at the curb and is shaped with every step toward the front door. Once our feet leave the ground and climb an entry…
Hot Water Recirculation Systems: How They Work
Whether controlled by a switch or by gravity, hot water recirculation systems put hot water where you want it fast
How it Works
Frost-Protected Shallow Foundations
Use less concrete and save on labor with this alternative method for building an energy-efficient foundation for a house in a cold climate.
Energy Smart Details
Tailgate: Art Ludwig, Integrated Systems Designer
This Californian is known for his work with gray-water systems, but he actually sees them as part of a bigger picture—a better way to build houses and to think about the way we live.
Air conditioner in an unconditioned attic
Ridges in drywall seam
Tapping into a dryer vent for heating