Issue 260 – June/July 2016
FHB House: A Valuable Resource for Designers And Builders
The FHB House is not a show house. The FHB House is a demonstration house that designers and builders can refer to when navigating the challenges of their own projects.…
A Difficult Site Shapes the House
The undeveloped lot in a neighborhood usually has its shortcomings. This one slopes steeply down from the road, and the surrounding area drains into it. Wetland and property-line setbacks left…
A Good Fit for the Neighborhood
With low eaves on a steep roof punctuated by dormers and an inviting front porch, the FHB House’s farmhouse style fits into the neighborhood of Capes and ranches from the…
An Open, Flexible Floor Plan
Designer Michael Maines’ challenge was to incorporate a flexible floor plan of about 1800 sq. ft. into a house inspired by a traditional farmhouse. The floor plan had to adapt…
Bringing Back Balloon-Frame Construction
This retro framing technique is a good fit for today’s superinsulated walls.
Remodeling a Staircase
Rebuilding these stairs in place preserved a finished ceiling below but added other challenges.
A Rural Electric House That Works
A tight building envelope and plenty of insulation mean low energy bills, even for a Minnesota home with electric heat.
It's Time To Consider Helical Pile Footings
These threaded steel piers make new projects easier to get out of the ground, including new decks, sheds, and even houses.
Spraying primer/surfacer can be faster and less expensive that skim coating drywall when you want a perfect paint job.
Long-Lasting Gravel Driveways
Get the drainage and base right, and gravel can be an economical alternative to asphalt.
Tool Test: Twin-Stack Air Compressors
If you choose wisely, your go-to air compressor can be quiet, durable, and easy to operate.
Meet the Design/Build team
A high-performance house like the FHB House requires the collaboration of a talented team. We’ve pulled together an exceptionally well-qualified group to ensure excellent design and quality craftsmanship. The designer…
FHB House Sponsors
Fine Homebuilding’s FHB House is being supported by a host of industry sponsors. We’ve taken a careful approach to these partnerships. As a brand, we’re not comfortable telling you to…
Capable Cordless Jigsaw
Cutting curves and scribed lines on a job site requires a jigsaw. From my original Elu to my current Bosch, I’ve always insisted on a barrel-grip model because it gives…
This high-performance drywall is one of the strongest out there.
When it comes to storing and transporting tools, everybody has to decide what works best for them. As a do-it-all remodeler, I need to carry a lot of different stuff.…
What's the Difference: Spray Lubricants
LITHIUM GREASE A mix of lithium hydroxide and oils, lithium grease is ideal for metal-to-metal contact, especially when pressure or a heavy load is involved. It works great in places…
Interested in learning the craft of timber framing? If so, check out Learn to Timber Frame by Will Beemer, Fine Homebuilding author, founding member of the Timber Framers Guild, and…
Designed for a 10-in. rough-in, the new PeeWee high-efficiency toilet from Gerber is a perfect fit for childrens’ bathrooms. With a 10-1/4-in. seat height, the recently introduced model uses 1.28…
As a finish carpenter and cabinetmaker, I sand things by hand every day. To make the process faster and easier, I use the Preppin’ Weapon by Time Shaver Tools. The…
Tools & Materials
A Marvel of a Mudroom
Steve Kuhl has been designing, building, and renovating houses since he started his business, Kuhl Design & Build, in 1999. He has incorporated some pretty interesting elements into many of…
How to Insulate Walls with No Sheathing
Use one of these two energy-smart details to make existing walls more energy-efficient when doing a gut rehab on an old home that has no exterior sheathing under the siding.
Energy Smart Details
Prefabricating Exterior Window Trim
Prefabricating exterior window trim makes installation easier and can save a lot of trips up and down the ladder.
Upgrading Colonial Exteriors
Exterior trim is worthy of more than just a few fleeting moments of design time.
Tailgate: Jordan Goldman, engineer
This principal of New England’s ZeroEnergy Design specializes in energy modeling and HVAC-systems design for the Northeast. What drew you to the work you do? I’ve always been environmentally minded.…
When the time came to build the main residence for a working ranch in rural Montana, the homeowners wanted an energy-efficient house with generous kitchen, dining, and living spaces for…