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30 General Topics Lists

House Construction Topics

Click on the column headlines below to read the entire unedited columns and view the related illustrations. Most of my columns that you read in your newspaper or magazine have been edited due to space constraints.


407 - Stop squeaky floors with simple-to-install kits and engineered lumber
Update Bulletin Description
- Buyer's guide of 12 manufacturers of do-it-yourself floor "stop-squeak" kits and engineered lumber showing installation instructions for several stop-squeak kits, descriptions of various engineered lumber products (LVL, glulams, I-joists, rim boards), specifications, maximum lengths of the lumber, features/uses, and prices of the stop-squeak kits.
Homeowner Benefits: Quieter floors and house, restful night of sleep


462 - New hardwood flooring is attractive, warm, easy to install
Update Bulletin Description
- Buyer's guide of solid and engineered hardwood flooring manufacturers, types of wood species, sizes, patterns, prices, prefinished or unfinished availability, hardness/stability guides, descriptions of wood flooring choices, wood flooring styles (strip, plank, parquet), description of surface finished, description of type of cut and wood flooring grades, and floating floor installation details.
Homeowner Benefits:Attractive flooring, easy to install yourself, natural material


476 - Unique cedar homes are attractive and energy efficient
Update Bulletin Description
- List of 14 manufacturers of cedar house packages, seven floor plan layouts and exterior diagrams, construction methods, typical specifications and a construction schedule. Comparison of log insulation values and interior/exterior wall diagrams of several companies' models.
Homeowner Benefits:Attractive homes, uses renewable materials, easy to build


515 - Long-life architectural asphalt shingles are attractive too
Update Bulletin Description
- Buyer's guide of 12 attractive architectural and other unique-looking asphalt roofing shingle manufacturers listing base mat, styles, fire rating, wind resistance, weight per square, exposure, warranties, features, installation instructions, suggested advantages of using asphalt shingles, illustration with description of styles of shingles.
Homeowner Benefits: Architectural asphalt shingles create attractive appearance


544 - No-maintenance wood-alternative deck materials and kits are beautiful
Update Bulletin Description
- Buyer's guide of 18 wood-alternative and recycled material decking/railing kit manufacturers showing plank sizes and designs, standard colors, warranty periods, attachment methods to deck framing, special features, prices and diagrams of several of the various designs.
Homeowner Benefits:No-maintenance, long lasting attractive appearance, lower overall lifetime costs


552 - Pocket door kits save floor space, are easy to install
Update Bulletin Description
- Buyer's guide of pocket door kits, maximum door weights, madimum door heights, door thicknesses, door widths, features; and a buyer's guide of selected, high-quality decorative wood interior doors, construction type (engineered wood, hardwood veneers, solid hardwood), wood species, door thickness, door width and height and features, illustrations throughout.
Homeowner Benefits: Save floor space, easy to install, attractive


666 - Permanent wood foundations are efficient, quick to build
Update Bulletin Description
- Manufacturers of complete permanent wood foundation (PWF) frame panels and other special construction materials, a soil conditions chart showing types of soils and their design properties, PWF design detail sketches and three floor plans and exteriors of several PWF/house kits.
Homeowner Benefits: Lower utility bills, reduced construction time, construction in any weather conditions, potentially lower costs for a finished basement


668 - Vented insulated roofing panels make cathedral ceiling simple to build
Update Bulletin Description
- List of 19 insulated vented and stress skin roof insulation panel manufacturers, size of panels, insulation values per thickness in inches, types of insulation (expanded polystyrene, polyisocyanurate, isocyanurate, urethane), descriptions, design and recommended installation details.
Homeowner Benefits: Make cathedral ceiling easy to build, lower utility bills, improve comfort


691 - Soundproof your existing and new walls by several methods
Update Bulletin Description
- Buyer's guide of soundproofing product manufacturers, 18 soundproof wall designs describing basic construction (single stud or double stud walls) and absorptive materials, STC (sound transimission class) ratings, fire ratings, recommended room-to-room STC's, and soundproofing tips for homes.
Homeowner Benefits: Quieter house, better acoustics for home theater


712 - Durable insulating house, wall, roof paint improves comfort
Update Bulletin Description
- Buyer's guide of 11 energy-saving ceramic and low-emissivity wall, house and roof paints, particle types, coverages, colors, features/uses, warranties, prices, typical application instructions, cleaning and maintenance, painting tips and chart showing the temperature of coatings and other materials in sunlight.
Homeowner Benefits: Paint contains insulation, improves appearance - indoors and outdoors


735 - New decorative, no-maintenance siding adds insulation value
Update Bulletin Description
- Buyer's guide of 15 new decorative and standard types of no/low-maintenance exterior siding materials and insulation kits (cultured stone, insulated vinyl, thin brick, plastic simulated cedar/stone/brick, fiber-cement, engineered wood), surface textures, profiles, warranties, features, installation details, illustrations and descriptions of various types of siding.
Homeowner Benefits:Improve appearance of house, add insulation, low maintenance lower utility bills


738 - SIPS houses are strong, efficient, quick to build
Update Bulletin Description
- Buyer's guide of 13 SIPS manufacturers listing insulation type (EPS or polyurethane), optional skin materials available (OSB, plywood, drywall, paneling), maximum panel sizes, thickness of panels, insulation R-value ranges, features, panel assembly details, and a chart comparing EPS panel thickness and R-value for various skins.
Homeowner Benefits: Simple DIY construction method, reduces utility bills, helps eliminate dust, dirt, noise and outdoor allergens


746 - Concrete/foam block houses are efficient, strong, secure, quiet
Update Bulletin Description
- Buyer's guide of 18 manufacturers of concrete/foam blocks showing type of foam used, dimensions and weights of blocks, finished insulating wall R-values, prices, detailed descriptions of how the blocks are assembled and many illustrations of the various block designs and assembly methods.
Homeowner Benefits: Very efficient, very strong, homeowner can help during construction


750 - Use straw bales to build an efficient inexpensive house
Update Bulletin Description
- Construction details for building straw bale houses, methods of building with straw, tips on buying straw bales, hints on obtaining a permit to build a straw-bale house, illustration and characteristics of two-string and three-string bales, comparison chart of R-values of different wall types and a list of reference books, newsletters, workshop classes and videos.
Homeowner Benefits:Low-cost construction, uses natural materials, very strong


776 - Many alternative roofing materials are attractive, last a lifetime
Update Bulletin Description
- Buyer's guide of 20 roofing material manufacturers showing material types, various styles for each material, warranties (up to lifetime), features, chart showing prices, fire rating, estimated life, weights and colors and many illustrations of the various types.
Homeowner Benefits: Select the best roofing materials, long warranties, better appearance


781 - Circular/octagonal panelized houses are attractive, efficient, easy to build
Update Bulletin Description
- Listing 10 circular/octagonal panelized house kit and structural insulated panel manufacturers, eight floor plan layouts (several with exterior diagrams) ranging from 600 to 2,000 sq. ft., each kit manufacturer's range of standard kit floor plan sizes (sq. ft.), and construction specifications for several manufacturers.
Homeowner Benefits: Attractive appearance, energy efficient, easy to build


858 - Add exterior insulation and synthetic stucco
Update Bulletin Description
- Manufacturers of exterior insulation finish systems (EIFS), colors and textures (swirl, smooth, sand, stone), features, descriptions of fastening systems and complete do-it-yourself instructions for adding external insulation and stucco; manufacturers of high-efficiency insulation.
Homeowner Benefits:Low utility bills, better comfort, reduce noise, not lose floor space


860 - Many methods to use concrete to build strong, efficient houses
Update Bulletin Description
- List of 20 concrete system manufacturers, descriptions of the various building methods (insulating concrete forms, concrete block systems, panel systems, aerated concrete systems, shotcrete systems, removable forms and stucco basics, illustrations throughout, floor plan with exterior diagram.
Homeowner Benefits:Extremely strong, greater design flexibility


869 - Dome homes are efficient, withstand hurricanes, tornadoes
Update Bulletin Description
- Listing of nine manufacturers of dome home kits, construction methods (hub and strut, hub and double strut, concrete channel frame, sprayed concrete), size ranges in square feet, exterior diagrams and six floor plan layouts, general specifications and features on some floor plans.
Homeowner Benefits: Very unique-looking houses, energy efficient, easy to build from kit


896 - Attractive residential metal roofs last a lifetime, keep house cooler
Update Bulletin Description
- Buyer's guide of 17 manufacturers of residential aluminum, copper, steel roofing, materials used and finishing methods, profiles and simulated styles (cedar shakes, tile, slate, standing seam), sizes of each panel, colors available, thickness and weights of the shingles or panels, unique features, and illustrations of many styles and contours.
Homeowner Benefits: Very attractive upscale look, lasts for 50 years minimum, no maintenance


Common Painting Troubleshooting Guide
Update Bulletin Description
- This DIY Homeower Guide section lists 22 common indoor and 22 common exterior paint problems, their causes and how to correct or avoid the same problem in the future.

House Insulation Tips and Quantity Guide
Update Bulletin Description
- This DIY Homeowner Guide section lists many tips for insulating your house. It also includes a map of the U.S. and a table shows the amount of attic, wall, floor and crawl space insulation recommended for each area.