Archives: Home Improvement

Framing Stick Nailer vs Coil Nailer

By Todd Fratzel on Power Tools

Which is Better a Stick Nailer or Coil Nailer? Framers have many choices in nailers but the two basic options are stick nailers and coil nailers. As the name implies a stick nailer uses a straight “stick” of nails that are either paper, wire, or plastic collated depending on the type of nails and the…

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How Many Roofing Nails Per Square of Shingles

By Todd Fratzel on Roofing

Estimating How Many Nails for a New Roof When it comes to estimating materials for building construction it’s helpful to have basic rules of thumb to rely on. Fasteners are that elusive building material that often gets forgotten when doing estimates and accounting for miscellaneous costs. Every manufacturer has different specifications for their shingles but…

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Composite / PVC Decking – Layout Tips & Advice

By Todd Fratzel on Decks & Porches

Composite / PVC Decking Layout Tips and Advice Composite and PVC decking have really changed the deck market in many positive ways. The wide range of products, colors, styles and options can be overwhelming but also very rewarding with endless design opportunities. With new products there is always a long list of lessons learned and…

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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.…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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.…

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