Archives: structural engineering

Are Cracks In Concrete Foundations Bad?

By Todd Fratzel on Foundations

Concrete Cracks I often get asked about cracks in concrete foundations. Many home owners are nervous when they see cracks in concrete and wonder if they are bad or dangerous. While it’s a natural reaction to be concerned when you see something cracked the reality is that 95% of cracks in concrete are harmless and…

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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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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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Asphalt Roof Shingle Warranty

By Todd Fratzel on Roofing

Understanding An Asphalt Roof Shingle Warranty Asphalt roof shingles are the most common roofing material today in this Country. The popularity of architectural shingles with long warranty periods of 20, 30, 50 years and even lifetime periods are advertised today. However, if you don’t read the fine print you might be very surprised at what’s…

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Armstrong Introduces Custom Creations™

By Todd Fratzel on Basements, Interior Decorating

StyleStix Moldings Suspended Ceilings Just Took A Leap Forward Over the last couple of years we’ve written quite a few articles on finishing basements to increase the livable space in your home. The articles have ranged on every topic from basement insulation to basement ceilings. So when I recently learned of a new line of…

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Vinyl Beadboard Soffit for Porch Ceilings

By Todd Fratzel on Siding & Trim

This article has been updated with additional photos and details at the request of readers. Vinyl Beadboard Porch Ceiling Our new home has almost all vinyl products on the outside of it. We have vinyl windows, siding, trim, shutters, porch posts, railing, vented soffit, solid soffit and beadboard soffit. Vinyl siding products can actually look…

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One TIME Wood Protector – 10 Months Later

By Todd Fratzel on Decks & Porches, Painting and Finishing

One TIME Wood Protector Last summer I tested a product called One TIME Wood Protector on our Cambara Decking. In the past we’ve had horrible luck finding a product that could seal our beautiful deck and stand up to the harsh New England weather (extreme cold winters and searing hot sun in the summer). However,…

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TJI Framing

By Todd Fratzel on Building Materials, Framing

TJI Floor Joist Framing Engineered lumber continues to become more and more popular in today’s construction industry. TJI’s (engineered wood I joists) are my preferred framing members for floor systems. TJI’s offer many benefits compared to traditional dimensional lumber joists including: almost no twisting or warping, very little dimensional shrinkage, stiffness and strength. Framing a…

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