Best Practices

airtight soffit how-to

All images: Dan Morrison

Compartmentalizing the air barrier builds redundancy into the envelope, adding quality and improved performance to your projects

Photo: Matt Wittmeyer Photography

Best Practices

Five steps to problem-free installation

The ice dams that form on a roof can cause expensive damage, but a properly ventilated attic reduces the problem. Photo: Flickr user State Farm (CC by 2.0)

Best Practices

Creating an equal distribution of intake and exhaust vents can make a big difference in controlling temperature and moisture inside the attic

Photo: Flickr user teofilo (CC by 2.0)

Best Practices

Homeowners are often in the dark about what permits are required for the work they want done and who's responsible for obtaining them. Short answer: you are

Best Practices

Homeowners sometimes get blindsided when it turns out the GC they hired hasn't paid his subs or materials suppliers. The lien waiver in your contract protects homeowners against this.

retirement

Photo: courtesy Wavebreak Media Ltd / 123RF.com

Best Practices

You close your company and retire. Years later a former client wants to file a warranty claim. Are you still liable?

batavia

All photos: courtesy Tim Gillerlain

Best Practices

The 2016 Model ReModel home in Batavia, Ill., features design excellence, innovative materials, and construction best practices

Management

Timing is everything—especially with a "time is of the essence" provision

contractor licensing reform

Image is a derivative of "Pegboard Project (#2691)" by Flickr user Regan76 (CC by 2.0

Codes and Standards

Underfunded and underenforced, a fragmented contractor licensing system allows unlicensed and unregistered contractors to operate with impunity. Here are five steps to start fixing that situation  

Kickout flashing replaces the first piece on step flashing and redirects water away from the siding (ideally into a gutter). Without a kickout, water will eventually get behind the siding and into the wall, where it will wreak havoc for years before you notice any signs of a leak.

Kickout flashing replaces the first piece on step flashing and redirects water away from the siding (ideally into a gutter). Without a kickout, water will eventually get behind the siding and into the wall, where it will wreak havoc for years before you notice any signs of a leak. All illustrations: Dan Morrison

Best Practices

Poorly installed or missing flashing at roof-wall connections is a common cause of water damage. Here's the solution

Use Z-flashing above the insulation to keep water out.

All illustrations: Dan Morrison

Best Practices

A how-to guide for slab-on-grade foundations in either hot or cold climates

boots

Photo: courtesy Dan Morrison

Best Practices

Tips for insulating slab-on-grade foundations

Kitchen by Mellunasaw Modern Home Interior Design Ideas

Photo: courtesy Mellunasaw Modern Home Interior Design Ideas

Best Practices

Remodeling pros name key missteps guaranteed to cause headaches

How to insulate an older home

All illustrations: Dan Morrison

Best Practices

An insulation approach that seeks to find the balance between the real and the ideal

Deck Cable Railing. Photo: Deckorators

Photo: Deckorators

Best Practices

Whether it’s wood or composite, here’s how to ensure that water drains away from the walls, ledger, and joists 

Worker with dust in the air on a jobsite. Photo: courtesy ITW

Photo: courtesy ITW

Best Practices

Dust isn’t just a nuisance byproduct of remodeling; it’s nasty stuff that’s bad for employees, bad for subs, bad for clients—and bad for business

Best Practices

During a remodel, making dust is inevitable, but spreading it around is preventable

What to do when a jobsite accident occurs.

Photo: 123rf.com / innervisionpro

Best Practices

You just got a phone call. What you hoped would never happen has happened. Now what do you do?

Airtight drywall, electrical box detail

By sealing the holes created by electrical boxes, you can eliminate a major source of air movement into exterior walls. All drawings: Dan Morrison

Best Practices

Drywall can be the first line of defense against the movement of moisture-laden air into exterior walls, if you take these steps

Building Envelope: X Marks the Spot, Building Science, Professional Remodeler April 2016

The colored “X’s” in this 3-D view identify thermal shorts (red) and areas—such as framing joints and places where pipes,  wires, or fixtures penetrate walls or travel between floors—where air sealing (purple) and vapor control (yellow) are needed. Image: courtesy Dan Morrison

Best Practices

A simple way to check for continuous air, vapor, thermal, and drainage layers

Kyle Swarm, Operations Manager at Building Company Number 7, in Nashville, Tenn., 2016 Professional Remodeler 40 Under 40 awardee
Awards

Kyle implemented the use of an online software system that led to an increase in overall productivity and customer satisfaction.

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