Archives: Design

Design & Build A Backyard Shed

By Todd Fratzel on Design, Garages

Need Helping Designing and Building a Backyard Shed? The old saying “there’s never enough storage space” is especially true when it comes to garden tools and outdoor power equipment. I have a rather large garage but there’s simply not enough room for the riding mower, push mower, car top carrier, lawn and garden tools and…

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House Building Lot

By Todd Fratzel on Design

Selecting A House Building Lot Probably one of the most important things to consider when building a new home is selecting a house building lot. While the building lot may seem fairly straight forward the reality is a good lot selection can save you time, money and lots of headaches later on. The adjacent photo…

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What Are Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs)?

By Todd Fratzel on Design, Energy Conservation, Framing

Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) A reader asked me the other day to explain what’s the difference between Structural Insulated Panels and Prefabricated Wall Panels. Before answering the question on the difference it is important to answer the of: What Are Structural Insulated Panels or SIPs? Structural insulated panels (or structural insulating panels), SIPs, are a…

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Colonial Style Fluted Window & Door Trim

By Todd Fratzel on Design, Doors, Finish Carpentry, Windows

Window & Door Trim Today’s mass produced homes rarely use architecturally pleasing window and door trim. Most homes today are built with a very basic colonial trim with mitered joints. Obviously this is done in an effort to reduce building costs while providing a basic look. Older homes traditionally featured very ornate and detailed window…

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Cupolas Create Curb Appeal

By Todd Fratzel on Curb Appeal, Design

Cupolas Add Value Adding a cupola to your home or garage is a great way to create  curb appeal that is sure to get your neighbors attention. Cupolas are making a come back in the industry and it’s obvious why. This small architectural feature gives home owners many options to show off their style and…

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9 DIY Ideas That Anyone Can Execute For A Better Look

By Todd Fratzel on Design

9 DIY Ideas That Anyone Can Execute For A Better Look A fresh new look for your home doesn’t require expensive contractors and interior design consultants. If you have a modest budget and the time and motivation to put in a bit of hard work, there are plenty of small “do it yourself” projects that…

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AutoCAD Freestyle – Inexpensive Drafting Tool

By Todd Fratzel on Design

AutoCAD Freestyle AutoCAD Freestyle is a new 2D drafting/drawing software that DIY’ers, homeowners and small contractors can use to create professional looking drawings. I’ve been using AutoCAD software for 25 years and it’s an integral part of my profession. However, full blown versions of the software are just too pricey for the average homeowner looking…

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Mechanic’s Liens 101

By Todd Fratzel on Design

What You Need To Know About Mechanic’s Liens Mechanic’s Liens are something that very few home owners and even some contractors know little about. With the slow economic times that we’re all in the topic of mechanic’s liens has been coming up lately. It’s worth taking a few minutes to discuss what home owners and…

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