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The Fine Homebuilding Podcast

The Fine Homebuilding Podcast embodies Fine Homebuilding magazine's commitment to the preservation of craftsmanship and the advancement of home performance in residential construction. Hosted by the magazine's editors, The FHB Podcast is an informal but vigorous show about the techniques and principles that allow listeners to master their design and building challenges.
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All Episodes
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Now displaying: 2019
Jul 19, 2019

This week the regular podcast crew hears from listeners about insulating brick row houses and the limitations of the Bonfiglioli wall system. Then they take questions about heating a whole house with a pellet stove, the limited options for affordable shower valves, and how to strengthen the foundation of a rustic cabin. The crew also discusses how to keep the height of an auxiliary dwelling unit to a minimum.

Jul 12, 2019

This week’s installment revisits Tony’s planned grade-level deck and we hear from a listener who’s married to a carpenter bee researcher. The crew explores the best way to remove ceiling stalactites and how to convince a carpenter to take on a small rot-repair job. Then they hear from a home-performance contractor irritated by the lack of airtightness testing in Northern New York and discuss how to keep a brick walkway looking good.

Jul 5, 2019

The gang hear from listeners about insulating brick buildings and how to be a good apprentice before tackling questions about about missing ductwork, construction details for a watertight deck, and a 15-point plan for improving a heating and AC system.

Jun 28, 2019

Listener feedback discusses adding Kiley to the regular lineup, another line of defense against biting insects, and more on the environmental impact of work trucks. Then Matt, Kiley, and Patrick take listener questions on lowering radon levels in a basement that already has a radon system, the validity of roof shingle warranties, the pros and cons of thermally-broken T-studs, and how to treat a crawlspace that shares a floor system with a conditioned basement.

Jun 21, 2019

Listener feedback discusses moss on roofs and keeping the fires burning in an old school house before Matt, Kiley, and Patrick talk about a listener's suggestions for making a deal in a red-hot real estate market like Washington D.C., what's the minimum square foot cost for building a new house, and how best to build a deck that's too low for its own good.

Jun 14, 2019

Justin starts things off by discussing Fine Homebuilding's first-ever summit featuring a dozen construction industry heavy hitters before Patrick, Matt and Justin discuss the challenges with insulating masonry buildings, what it's like to work with SmartSide lap siding, and leaving tech to become a full time carpenter.

Jun 13, 2019

One year after handing off the podcast to the new hosts, Justin Fink, Brian Pontolilo, and Rob Yagid sit down for a reunion to discuss Green Building Advisor, FHB’s new Summit seminar, the change in message of Keep Craft Alive. The gang also recaps past and current projects, plans for future projects, and takes a trip down podcast memory lane.

Jun 7, 2019

Patrick, Matt and Kiley talk about keeping kitchen remodels affordable before moving onto listener questions about strengthening a roof in one of the country's snowiest places, converting a barn to a workshop, and insulating a home without a WRB.

May 31, 2019

This week on the Fine Homebuilding Podcast the gang talks about adding a 2nd floor on a brick bungalow, pros and cons of adding spray-foam to an existing vaulted ceiling, details for a flat porch roof, and more.

Patrick shares some feedback from a timber framer in Maine about what it takes to build a true timber-frame house, before he, Matt, and Kiley address a bunch of remodeling questions. Among the issues covered are: how to attach a wood-framed second-floor addition to solid masonry walls; efficient solutions for ventilating two adjacent bathrooms; whether or not to worry about roof leaks when installing spray foam; the pros and cons of pin footings; and how to install leak-proof, attractive gutters around a low-pitch rubber roof.

May 24, 2019

The Fine Homebuilding editors talk about doing right by your clients, opening up a kitchen to the outdoors, following EPA guidelines when removing asbestos siding, and more.

Patrick, Matt, and Kiley start the episode with updates on several personal projects before attempting to help a few listeners with their own remodeling questions. Plus they dig into the topic of contractor ethics and the reputation the construction industry has for shifty business practices––an issue that conscientious builders have to overcome on a regular basis.

May 17, 2019

The Fine Homebuilding editors discuss some upcoming articles about building sheds and installing custom metal stairs before addressing listener questions about insulation upgrades, environmentally responsible transportation, and more.

Patrick, Matt, and Kiley start today's conversation with details about two recent photo shoots for the magazine–one in Cooperstown, NY, where Matt captured a steel-framed, walnut-treaded modern staircase installation; and another in Kiley's own backyard, where fellow FHB staffer Rob Wotzak built a small but elegant woodshed of his own design. Then it was on to several questions from the Fine Homebuilding inbox, including one from a listener who wonders how we can constantly talk about building energy efficient homes without mentioning the gas-guzzling trucks we travel to the job site in every day.

May 10, 2019

The Fine Homebuilding editors offer their opinions on adding two layers of Typar, suggest affordable alternatives to a building a full timber-frame house, and wonder why anyone thinks it's OK to build house on top of a mold farm.

Patrick, Matt, and Rob start of the episode by digging into the details of their own projects, including a custom metal project, a modest garden shed, and cabinet choices for a closet. Then it's on to some constructive feedback about educational and business resources for tradespeople before tackling the typical assortment of construction questions.

May 3, 2019

Mike and his apprentice Addison Oliveira stop by the Fine Homebuilding studio for a chat with Patrick about getting started in the trades, advancements in construction over the past few decades, job-site safety, and more.

We are very fortunate this week to have one of our favorite people, Mike Guertin, in town to join in on the podcast. Many of you may know that Mike is one of Fine Homebuilding’s most prolific contributors, and with good reason: he is extremely dedicated to advancing construction methods, and equally determined to share his knowledge and experience with as many people as possible. Among other things, you will hear about how he got his start in home building; what it was like writing articles in the early days of Fine Homebuilding Magazine; and, in an interesting aside, his experience with transplanting rhubarb.

Apr 26, 2019

Fine Homebuilding design editor Kiley Jacques joins the podcast this week to talk about the bathroom-design challenge she tasked three architects with for an upcoming magazine article.

Patrick, Matt, and Kiley talk about their own kitchen and bathroom remodeling plans before digging into listener questions about unvented bath fans, custom-milled interior trim, whole-house designs, and strange dormer layouts.

Apr 19, 2019

The Fine Homebuilding editors swap stories about some of their own spring projects before–among other things–debating the pros and cons of affordable alternatives to fine-homebuilding products.

In this week's podcast, one listener asks if he should break the budget if he really wants to do a top-notch remodeling job; plus, a non-builder listener confirms that builders and remodelers are clearly not the only professionals who give free estimates; and another listener send us photos of some brilliant job-site furniture that a bunch of contractors cobbled together.

Apr 12, 2019

The Fine Homebuilding editors offer advice about framing new stairs for a deck, choosing the right level for a whole-house construction project, and figuring out how to upgrade an old HVAC system for efficiency and comfort.

Patrick kicks off this week's conversation with an update on his trial of Spray & Forget mold remover to clean up the grungy siding on his house, then Rob contemplates some interesting architectural follies he saw on a local country road. Matt gets us into a more technical topic–one contractor's peculiar way of insulating the underside of a house built on piers–before the crew jumps into answering a few listeners' emails.

Apr 5, 2019

One podcast listener wonders if he should jack up his drooping joists or if he can just create a flat floor using tapered sleepers over the old subfloor.

On this week's show, Patrick, Matt, and Rob talk about rigid fiberglass insulation, saving energy with low-flow shower heads, and siding details on houses with garrison-style overhangs, before answering listeners' questions about leveling floor framing, bringing the grade up for an accessible entrance, and what books to read to become a better builder.

Apr 3, 2019

The Director of Innovation from this manufacturer of moisture-management products talks about how getting feedback from customers is an essential to making materials that meet today's home-building needs.

Apr 3, 2019

The Fine Homebuilding editors talk to the CEO and sales director of this world-renowned 130-year-old manufacturer of high-quality measuring equipment about why the simple spirit level is still popular in a world of lasers and digital displays.

Apr 3, 2019

The Fine Homebuilding editors chat with Caleb about how his family business made the transition from a traditional stair parts supplier to a leading manufacturer of custom metal floating stairs and modern railing systems.

Mar 29, 2019

One listener wonders why he's not seeing much demand for experienced carpenters in his part of the country.

Inspired by details unearthed during the renovation of a local 19th-century home, Patrick, Justin, and Rob dig into the history of high-quality house design and discuss Jonathan Hale's book, The Old Way of Seeing. Then it's on to listener emails, starting with feedback about the trade gap, where one builder asks why the work everyone is talking about is not materializing where he lives. Another listener tells the story of his company’s experience losing money by overdoing a big job estimate, and he suggests devising a clear job-estimating plan that strikes a balance between efficiency and due diligence. Of course there are also listener questions to answer, including how to tell stucco lathe from skip sheathing, whether or not to make an addition more airtight and watertight than the original house, and how to safely detail an at-grade entryway.

Mar 22, 2019

The FHB crew recaps details of a job-site video shoot they just wrapped up, and then address some listener questions about a variety of construction and remodeling projects.

Patrick, Matt, bring in video director Colin Russel to discuss the history, construction details, and benefits of the Rumford fireplace before answering questions about the pros and cons of interior footing drains, the best way to soundproof an in-law apartment, providing make-up air for fireplaces, and more.

Mar 15, 2019

Today's building pros are more willing to swap stories about their crafts than their predecessors were. Is that good or bad for business?

Justin Fink joins Patrick and Rob this week and starts off the show with discussions about learning from other tradespeople and about what it would take to get started in blacksmithing. Then the crew dives into several listener questions about insulating without removing siding; avoiding moisture build-up under mats in a basement rec room; keeping cold air out of a walk-up attic; and building a tornado-proof house with ICFs.

Mar 8, 2019

The Fine Homebuilding editors discuss questions about running a remodeling business, maintaining access to buried plumbing, dealing with leaky soffits, and more.

After celebrating Rob's viral success with an online video of his pedal-powered snow plow in action, Rob, Patrick, and Matt try to find answers to listeners' problems with leaky pipes, leaky walls, and leaky attic vents. Maybe we can nail down some solutions for the ever-present old-house moisture issues once and for all.

Mar 1, 2019

This week the editors attempt to answer several unique questions including "What's the best sealer for end cuts on decking?" and "Is there a reliable way to flash a masonry chimney to a standing-seam roof?"

Patrick and Matt kick off the podcast by grilling Rob about his messy metal shop–but they all agree that (most) craftspeople need to have a ready supply of scrap materials at hand to feed their creative projects. Then it’s on to an assortment of listeners’ emails, with questions about ventilation requirements for a metal-clad, slab-on-grade home; the ideal product for protecting end grain on cedar and hemlock that will be exposed to the elements; and options for keeping water out of the gap between a chimney and a metal roof.

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