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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.

Weekly hand curated podcast episodes for learning

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The best episodes ranked using user listens.

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#167: How Detailed Should a Remodeling Estimate Be?

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.

1hr 4mins

8 Mar 2019

Rank #1

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#157: Insulating Attics, Restoring Old Staircases, and Replacing Interior Doors

The Fine Homebuilding editors offer advice for several old-home upgrades, compare notes on their favorite home-building books, and invite listeners to stop by our mobile podcast studio at the International Builders' Show. Patrick, Matt, and Rob share some great listener feedback about questions from previous shows (keep that feedback coming, folks!) before they discussed attic and staircase remodels in Maine, a garage-workshop in New Jersey, and a possible door replacement project in who knows where. There are a few special details to report this week: IBS 2019 is just around the corner, and we're looking for folks to chat with on the podcast while we're at the show; there's also a sweepstakes going on where anyone can enter to win a $500 shopping spree in the Taunton Bookstore. 

1hr 10mins

8 Feb 2019

Rank #2

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#155: Do you Really Need a Building Permit?

The Fine Homebuilding editors discuss the dangers of remodeling a house without informing the local building department. Patrick, Matt, and Rob share some great listener feedback about home-workshop air quality before tackling questions about legally renovating a home, the pros and cons of radiant floor heating, and solutions for air trapped in a hydronic heating system.

57mins

25 Jan 2019

Rank #3

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#166: Venting a Barndominium, Sealing Exterior End Grain, and Flashing Details for a Metal Roof

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.

1hr 1min

1 Mar 2019

Rank #4

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#27: A look at how to build a whole house on a tight budget.

In this episode, host and managing editor Justin Fink, editor in chief Rob Yagid, and design editor Brian Pontolilo tackle the challenge of building a whole house on a very tight budget. They cover everything from site work to building design to windows, insulation, roofing, siding, HVAC, interiors, and appliances.

1hr 1min

22 Dec 2016

Rank #5

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#205: Home Shops, Band Joists, and Working with Code Enforcement

The FHB editors field questions about the perils of an unheated shop, concerns about insulating a band joist behind brick veneer, and how to build a "fine" house on a tight budget.

1hr 3mins

25 Oct 2019

Rank #6

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#226: Framing Details, Fasteners Sizes, and Fire Safety

Patrick, Kiley, and Matt answer questions about how to frame a roof with I-joists, a confusing code requirement for framing nails, and how different types of floor joist hold up in a fire.

1hr

31 Jan 2020

Rank #7

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#174: How to Level a Sagging Floor

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.

1hr 8mins

5 Apr 2019

Rank #8

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#168: Should You Share Your Trade Secrets with Other Craftspeople?

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.

1hr 9mins

15 Mar 2019

Rank #9

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#3: Mold, Roof Framing, and Building Code

In this episode, host and managing editor Justin Fink talks with editor-in-chief Rob Yagid and design editor Brian Pontolilo about mold problems, roof-framing options, and the moral obligation of building to code.

52mins

8 Jul 2016

Rank #10

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#124: An Interview with Shawn Van Dyke

Shawn has a lot to say about closing the skills gap. He suggests that one part of the solution is to "solve your own skills gap" — that is, run your business right, use the right hiring process, and train the right people. Shawn also takes an interesting look at the financials of going into the trades vs going to college.

1hr 9mins

6 Jul 2018

Rank #11

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#196: A Conversation with Architect Steve Baczek, Passive House Designer, Former Carpenter and Marine Corps Veteran

In this episode of the podcast Patrick and Kiley pick Steve’s brain on how architects and builders can have a better partnership and what the real role of an architect should be. He also gives us a taste of his upcoming presentation at the Fine Homebuilding Summit. Patrick and Kiley talk about fitting drawers and building cabinet doors.

1hr

6 Sep 2019

Rank #12

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#216: Can Lights, California Shops, and Inaccessible Foundations

The crew hears from listeners about heating humid air and can light replacement before taking listener questions on how to seal can lights, the best way to build a workshop, and what to do about small inaccessible foundations.

1hr 6mins

10 Jan 2020

Rank #13

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#175: Stair Stringers, Laser Levels, and Duct Design

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.

59mins

12 Apr 2019

Rank #14

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#215: An Odd Assortment of Building-Envelope Scenarios

The FHB editors offer advice to listeners with uninsulated solid-masonry walls, unusual flashing-material substitutions, uncommon cladding comparisons, and confusing insulation mandates.

1hr

3 Jan 2020

Rank #15

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#214: Heat-Pump Water Heaters, PVC Trim Plus Cedar Siding, and Historic Architectural Details

The FHB crew takes questions on choosing water heaters, mixing and matching exterior building materials, getting historic renovations right, and more.

1hr 2mins

27 Dec 2019

Rank #16

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#229: Garage Slabs, Carpentry Apprentices, and Water-Stained Hardwood Floors

One of our favorite podcast-crew alumni joins us to discuss the best way to build a garage floor, whether a builder should hire a laborer or an apprentice, and how to make a worn out wood floor look beautiful again.

1hr 3mins

21 Feb 2020

Rank #17

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#153: They Don't Build Things Like They Used To

One listener wonders which modern tools and materials are better and which ones are worse than the ones available to previous generations of home builders. This week, Patrick, Matt, and Rob field listener questions about tool-manufacturing quality, crown-molding best practices, building a foundation for a covered breezeway, and designing an accessible home, after rambling on about several of their own remodeling projects.

1hr 2mins

11 Jan 2019

Rank #18

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#185: Hot Real Estate Market Buying Tips, Low-Cost New Homes, and Grade-Level Decks

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.

1hr 2mins

21 Jun 2019

Rank #19

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#109: Favorite Framing Articles from the FHB Vault

Rob, Justin, and Brian talk about floating shelves, cabinets, insulation, drywall, miter vs bevel, structural panels, painting a radiator, decks, and more.

54mins

6 Apr 2018

Rank #20