Issue 274 – April/May 2018
Working With Steel
A collection featuring the basics you need and clever tricks when working with lightweight steel studs and other steel framing.
Installing Rooftop PV
Get a detailed overview of how homes are evaluated for solar, how a photovoltaic system works, and how it’s installed.
Decking on the Diagonal
Dress up your next deck by setting the boards at an angle.
Build a Japanese-Style Garden Gate
Versatile assembly can be adapted to any gate design.
High-Priority Energy Efficiency
This home is headed to net-zero energy, with very little impact on its site.
6 Tips for Net-Zero House Design
Architect Garth Schwellenbach shares the lessons learned from a high-performance, low-impact, and zero-maintenance home with stunning views to spare.
Rhode Island Rock Star
This New England home is low-impact, no-maintenance, and zero-energy, but it also has big views from its rocky shoreline site.
How to Hang Half-Round Gutters
This classic look is made even better with modern materials, but getting the installation details right is key for functional and good-looking gutters.
Building to Survive in Wildfire Country
Don’t get burned: The right materials and details are a start. Landscaping and regular maintenance can help. But even these steps sometimes aren’t enough.
Your Best Defense for Wildfires
Three ways to improve the chances that your house will survive in wildfire country.
Get Your Deck Joists Right
Learn how to calculate cantilevers and determine simple spans–plus find a series of installation tips for creating robust joist connections, weatherizing, and more.
Online Calculators Help Cover Deck-Load Requirements
Span tables don’t cover your deck load requirements? The American Wood Council has two handy online calculators that can handle a range of specifics.
A Remodeler’s Approach to Replicating Plaster Moldings
Foam backer and a few jigs are the keys to reproducing this traditional cornice detail.
Modern Approach to a Plaster Cornice
Use a built-up rigid-foam backer and a benchtop jig to repair or reproduce historic plaster moldings.
What’s the Best Impact Driver?
Ten brushless impact drivers put through their paces.
10 New Brushless Impact Drivers
Modern impact drivers have longer run times, smaller housings, and better features than your old driver.
Building to Help Withstand Wildfires
The important of creating homes that are more likely to be there after the flames are extinguished.
Contortionist Drill / Driver
A great tool for cabinet installers and finish carpenters.
Compact Thermal Camera
The Flir One Pro can turn your smartphone into a thermal imaging camera, giving you the ability to find hidden problems without resorting to demolition.
Builder-Grade Smartphone Protection
The biggest surprise is how the textured slipcover prevents the user from bobbling the phone when retrieving it from a tool belt or pocket.
The FeatherPro locks into a miter slot to provide just the right amount of pressure needed to prevent kickback.
Tools & Materials
Project Gallery: The Hathorn Acorn
“If you are going to build a treehouse like this, don’t start with a budget!”
What’s the Definition of “Green Building”?
Martin Holladay analyzes 10 factors for eco-friendly home design.
Musings of an Energy Nerd
Design/Build: A nearly infinite range of profiles are possible. Here are four common designs.
Laying Out Stud Walls
From load path to jack studs, keep these four considerations in mind.
Wall-Framing Layout, Step by Step
Following a systematic sequence will ensure that your wall framing comes together without any mistakes.
Keep Craft Alive: Josh Ford, PV Installer
”I want to do something that actually makes a difference.”