Archives: Home Improvement

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…

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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…

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PVC Flue Gas Venting Pipe

By Todd Fratzel on Heating

System 1738 – Engineered PVC Flue Gas Pipe Years ago we started installing gas boilers that allowed venting through PVC Drain Waste Venting (DWV) piping. The use of PVC DWV piping to vent the boilers made for easy routing of vent pipes and the ability to vent up through the roof much like plumbing vent…

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Grid-Tied PV Solar Systems

By Todd Fratzel on Electrical, Energy Conservation

Grid-Tied Photovoltaic Solar Systems With the continued increase in electric costs and improved solar panel technology, residential solar systems are becoming very popular. Grid-tied photovoltaic (PV) systems consist of solar panels, an inverter (sometimes more than one), power conditioning equipment, and a connection to the utility system (grid). By tying the solar system to the…

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Nest Pro – The Smart Trade

By Todd Fratzel on Home Automation, Mechanical

Nest Pro The Smart Trade Every day new technology is changing the world of construction and benefiting end users. Smart home technology is forever evolving how we control and interact with our homes resulting in reduced energy consumption and improved living comforts. As a builder and general contractor I know first hand how important it…

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Durgin and Crowell Enhance™ Pre-Coated Pine

By Todd Fratzel on Finish Carpentry

Enhance™ by Durgin & Crowell We’re very fortunate to build homes in an area of New Hampshire filled with local wood mills producing flooring, paneling, and even timbers for timber frame homes. Just down the road about 10 miles from my office is Durgin and Crowell, a family owned fully integrated lumber company producing up…

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Building A Paver Patio – Part 2

By Jeff Williams on Curb Appeal, Landscaping

Building A Paver Patio – Part 2 This article is Part 2 in a series describing step by step of how to build a paver patio and fire pit. I had been thinking of building this project for quite some time so when Sakrete contacted us wondering if we had any outdoor projects coming up,…

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Building a Paver Patio – Part 1

By Jeff Williams on Curb Appeal, Feature Story, Landscaping

Building A Paver Patio – Part 1 Ever since we’ve move into this house (15 months ago), we’ve wanted a fire pit and paver patio. The backyard had a generous sized deck, a playset for the kids, and some old raised garden beds but no place for a fire pit. Our last house we had…

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