Newel – Our Word of the Week


Newel, or Newel Post – a newel, or newel post is the post at the bottom of a flight of stairs, or at turning points in the stair. A newel supports the handrail. It’s usually larger and more detailed than the other posts (balusters) that make up the handrail support system. The newel post is where the…

Read More

Big Cottage, Little Cottage


I received this email recently asking about what size house qualifies as a “cottage.” Bill: In my recent perusings on “Houzz“, I’ve read that the the term “cottage” properly refers to a single family structure up to to about 1,200 sq. ft. Yet, here we see in “Houzz” a veritable banquet of styles in the excess…

Read More

Baluster – Our Word of the Week


Baluster – You and nearly everyone has seen a baluster before, even if you might not have known what it was called. But rest assured, you’ve seen plenty of them. In fact they usually come in groups – they don’t travel alone. A baluster is one in a series of vertical posts that support a handrail or bannister. Look…

Read More

News Flash! A 2×4 Is Not 2 inches by 4 inches!

Two By Fours

Just How Big Is a 2×4? Apparently a California Superior Court judge did not know the answer to this basic construction question. And you may not know. That’s okay. However, anyone who has even the slightest contact with construction knows that a 2×4 is actually 1 ½ inches by 3 ½ inches. When Judge Paul M.…

Read More