Terms of the Trade

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Terms of the Trade: What is a Dehumidifier?

These nifty devices pull water straight out of the air.

Terms of the Trade: What is a Trombé Wall?

These double-layered exteriors help trap heat in a building.

Terms of the Trade: What is an Explosion Box?

These nifty craft projects are made from layers of paper.

Terms of the Trade: What is a Biodigester?

These systems use bacteria to turn waste into energy.

Terms of the Trade: What Is a Window Valance?

They cover the tops of curtains, making an elegant accent.

Terms of the Trade: What is a Taboret?

It can be a cabinet, stand, or short stool.

Terms of the Trade: What is a Mini Bog?

A mini bog is a container for plants that need swampy soil.

Terms of the Trade: Garden Fabric

These specialty covers protect your outdoor plants.

Terms of the Trade: What is a Birdsmouth?

It's a triangular cut connecting a wooden rafter to a wall.

Terms of the Trade: What are Biaxial Slabs?

These concrete chunks are made with air pockets inside.

Terms of the Trade: What Is Grey Water?

The use of grey water reduces the need of a fresh water supply for tasks such as crop and landscape irrigation.

Terms of the Trade: What is a Solenoid Valve?

They use electromagnetism to regulate machine fluid flow.

Terms of The Trade: What is a Colorimeter?

Measure your existing paint to get a perfect color match.

Terms of the Trade: What is a Pocket Hole Joint?

They combine parts elegantly, but are difficult to repair.

Hot Topics: Legal Solar Installation

Make sure to clear your new panels with your energy company.

Terms of the Trade: What is Soilless Potting Mix?

Plant potting mixes without soil offer some advantages.

Terms of the Trade: What is Rooting Hormone?

These agents help plant cuttings grow new roots.

Terms of the Trade: What is Batt Insulation?

It's among the cheapest and most common types of insulation.

Terms of the Trade: What is Thermal Inertia?

In a nutshell, it's how fast an object or space will cool.

Terms of the Trade: What is an AC Condenser?

It's a central element cooling systems.

Terms of the Trade: What is an Evaporative Cooler?

They transfer heat from air to water vapor.

Terms of the Trade: What is a Double Pole Breaker?

A double pole breaker can deliver 240 volts instead of 120.

Terms of the Trade: What is T111?

This popular siding is made with laminated wood elements.

Terms of the Trade: What Is a Nail Set?

A nail set can push a nail in without damaging the surface.

Terms of the Trade: What is an Easement?

It's a rule governing the use of a property by a non-owner.

Terms of the Trade: What is Jury Rigging?

This little phrase comes up surprisingly often.

Terms of the Trade: What are Dead Loads and Live Loads?

Structural loads are measured in several different ways.

Terms of the Trade: Diatomaceous Earth

This versatile substance comes from tiny algae fossils.

Terms of the Trade: What Is a PEB?

Prefabricated buildings are increasingly common.

Terms of the Trade: What Is On-Center Spacing?

OC spacing refers to the centers of construction elements.

Terms of the Trade: Hot Ground Reverse

Don't let this uncommon reading spook you.

Terms of the Trade: What Is a Circ Pump?

A circ pump (short for “circulating” or “circulator”) is a machine that keeps liquids or gasses moving in a sealed system.

Terms of the Trade: What Is an Abutment?

An abutment is a joint between two surfaces, and is usually used in roofing terminology to describe a joint between a roof and a wall.

Terms of the Trade: What Is a Downspout Extension?

Many times a downspout ends with just an elbow.

Terms of the Trade: What Is an Impact Driver?

Use an impact driver for quick drilling.

Terms of the Trade: What Do Sandpaper Grit Numbers Mean?

The higher the grade, the finer the sandpaper.

Terms of the Trade: What Is Cutting In?

Get into those tight spaces with this technique.

Terms of the Trade: What Is a Storm Sash?

A storm sash can be handy to keep out the weather, but they can be difficult to remove.

Terms of the Trade: What Is a Brake Caliper Tool?

Use a brake caliper tool when changing brake pads on your car.

Terms of the Trade: What Is an Air Hammer?

Air hammers use highly pressurized air to strike the desired object.

Terms of the Trade: What Is a Spotted Spurge Weed?

Spotted spurge is a rogue lawn weed that can become a serious nuisance in your lawn or flowerbeds.

Terms of the Trade: What Is Spray Insulation?

Insulation can lower a home's heat loss by up to 75 percent!

Terms of the Trade: Beadboard Ceiling

Here are some pros and cons to installing a beadboard ceiling.

Copper vs Plastic Plumbing Pipe

Many homeowners opt for plastic for various reasons.

Terms of the Trade: Hand Plane Versus Power Planer Tools

Both hand planes and power planes can be used to complete many carpentry projects.

Terms of the Trade: What Is a Gambrel Roof?

A gambrel roof consists of two slopes with a gabled structure at both ends.

Terms of the Trade: What Is a Wood Turning Parting Tool?

A wood turning parting tool is a small chisel used to cut grooves into wood while it's turning.

Terms of the Trade: Power Tool Grinder

A power tool grinder is one of several power tools used to smooth and polish different kinds of surfaces.