Archives: Home Improvement

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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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…

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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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