About the author

Todd Fratzel

I'm full time builder for a large construction company in New Hampshire. I run their design-build division that specializes in custom homes, commercial design-build projects and sub-divisions. I'm also a licensed civil and structural engineer with extensive experience in civil and structural design and home construction. My hope is that I can share my experience in the home construction, home improvement and home renovation profession with other builders and home owners. I'm also the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of Tool Box Buzz. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, suggestions or you'd like to inquire about advertising on this site.

Benefits of an ERV System (Energy Recovery Ventilator)

By Todd Fratzel on Ventilation

Benefits of ERV Systems (Energy Recovery Ventilator) If you’re building a new home or doing a major renovations it’s very likely your builder will recommend and possibly insist that an Energy Recovery Ventilator (ERV) be installed. With new construction and renovations the building envelope is typically much more energy efficient and “tighter” than older construction.…

Continue reading »

Vermiculite Attic Insulation Abatement

By Todd Fratzel on Insulation, Remodeling

Vermiculite Attic Insulation If your home was built before 1990 there is a chance it has vermiculite insulation in the attic and it’s something you should be aware of. Nearly 85% of vermiculite insulation in the US came from a mine in Libby, Montana and is known to contain asbestos. If you’re planning a renovation…

Continue reading »

Nuisance Tripping of AFCI (Arc Fault) Circuit Breakers

By Todd Fratzel on Electrical

Arc Fault (AFCI) Circuit Breakers Tripping Often An arc-fault circuit interrupter (AFCI) or arc-fault detection device (AFDD) is circuit breaker designed to detect electrical arcs that could cause a fire. Loose wire connections can cause electrical arcing and ultimately enough heat to start a fire. In the US these circuit breakers have been required since…

Continue reading »

How To Build Floating Bar Shelves

By Todd Fratzel on Cabinetry, Woodworking

Floating Walnut Bar Shelves Floating shelves are extremely popular and it’s not a surprise due to the clean look of no brackets. Typically floating shelves are made of wood and the wood becomes a focal point. Why are floating shelves so popular?  Obviously they offer a very clean look, but they are also incredibly flexible…

Continue reading »

Custom Curved Deck with Cable Railings and Stone Grill

By Todd Fratzel on Decks & Porches

Custom Deck Project Building a regular deck is something we do a lot of but it’s not very often that a customer requests a unique deck design. One of my long term customers sent me a set of plans and asked me if we could build this unique deck and I jumped at the opportunity.…

Continue reading »

Stick Framed – Prefabricated – Modular – Which Is Best?

By Todd Fratzel on Framing

New Home Construction Options: Stick Framed, Prefabricated & Modular So you’re considering building a new home and the amount of options and choices are overwhelming. Everything from the style of the home to the smallest details can overwhelm anyone. One of the biggest decisions can be a discussion about the type of construction used to…

Continue reading »

Why Use Pre-cut Studs for Framing Walls

By Todd Fratzel on Framing

Using Pre-Cut Studs To Frame Walls For those that do not frame houses on a regular basis it make come as a surprise that most homes are not framed using 8′ studs (for traditional 8′ ceiling heights). In most areas of the Country framers are using pre-cut studs measuring 92-5/8″, not 96″ long. Pre-cut studs…

Continue reading »

How To Replace Taco 0014-F1 Circulator Pump Cartridge

By Todd Fratzel on Heating

Replacing Taco 0014-F1 Cartridge I like to try and fix things myself when they are easy and straight forward. Typically I’ll do some research and determine if a home repair is something I can tackle myself or if it’s time to call a PRO. Being a contractor myself I find myself hating to pay top…

Continue reading »

Copyright © 2009-2022 Front Steps Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Home Construction & Improvement™ is a Trademark of Front Steps Media, LLC.