Archives: Home Improvement

How to Hang a Large Picture: French Cleat

By Jeff Williams on Design & Planning, Interior Spaces

How to Hang a Large Picture: French Cleat Having a photographer for a wife lends itself to having many beautiful pictures of our family hanging on the walls. As a builder though it pains me every time I put additional holes in the drywall. I remember skim coating those very walls to get them smooth…

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WoodTrac Ceiling System Review

By Todd Fratzel on Basements, Finish Carpentry

WoodTrac Ceiling System I’m a huge proponent of using suspended ceilings (drop ceilings, acoustic tile ceilings) for finished basements because they allow easy access to electrical, plumbing and heating utilities that are typically suspended from the floor framing above.  Lots of my customers cringe when I make this suggestion because they don’t like the appearance…

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Walk-Out Basement Wall Insulation

By Todd Fratzel on Insulation

Insulating Wood Framed Walk-Out Basement Walls Walk-Out foundations create an interesting dilemma in when considering wall insulating details. I’ve written extensively on the subject of how to properly insulate basement walls which deals with concrete (and block) walls but I’ve never addressed the occasional wood framed walk-out walls that exist in some many homes today.…

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Outdoor Timber Pavilion by Western Timber Frame

By Todd Fratzel on Landscaping, Structure

Timber Frame Pavilion Project Editors Note: We installed this pavilion in the late Fall here in NH and the weather turned before we could get some nice finished photos. We’ll update this article early next year when the weather clears and the final touches are complete on the landscaping. In the meantime we wanted to…

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Drywall | Snap, Crackle, Pop

By Todd Fratzel on Maintanence, Painting and Finishing

Minor Drywall Problems At work we warranty certain things on new homes for one year. By far the most common problem we see after a year are minor drywall problems. It’s not unusual at all during the first year or so of a new home to see and hear lots of minor drywall problems. In…

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Kohler Introduces Smaller-Sized Generator Units

By Todd Fratzel on Electrical

8, 10 and 12 kW Generators Make Standby Power More Accessible KOHLER, Wis. – September 23, 2014 – Kohler® Generators is rolling out a complete new line of standby generators designed for homeowners with fewer power requirements, and who are looking for the performance and reliability of a KOHLER unit at an entry-level price point.…

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How to remove a stump (Part 1)

By Jeff Williams on Landscaping, Trees & Plants

How to Remove a Stump without breaking your back or the bank (Part 1) Last year I cut down a large maple tree in the yard that was only 10 feet from the house. The previous owners never should have planted it that close. Over the years as it grew, the roots started getting bound…

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Minwax® Ultimate Floor Finish Preview

By Todd Fratzel on Painting and Finishing

Professional Quality Urethane That’s Incredibly Easy To Use Over the years I’ve spent countless hours applying urethane to furniture, floors and trim work. The task was often tedious, extremely odorous and difficult to get professional looking results. Also, because traditional “clear coatings” on wood involved solvent-based polyurethanes cleanup was extremely difficult and messy. I’m happy…

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