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ConstructionCalc: The POWER TOOLS of Structural Software!

Habla Espanol?

By: Fernando Pages Ruiz

Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, I learned to speak Spanish as a baby; I learned English later, when my family immigrated to New York City. My mother spoke both languages at home, so I grew up bilingual. Nevertheless, my first encounters with construction-site Spanish made me feel as if I had traveled to a foreign country.

Big Boy Blocks

A commercial retaining wall system finds a niche in the residential market


Masonry Magic
Installing manufactured stone products.

By Fernando Pages Ruiz

Fieldstone, limestone, river rock, split rock, red rock, or ledgestone -- it doesn't matter what style, region, or theme you're trying to emulate -- there's most likely a manufactured stone product line to match it. The components of manufactured stone include Portland cement, mineral oxide colors, and lightweight aggregates. You can fill the joints with grout or create a dry-laid look without grout joints between the stones. You can even find fieldstone with simulated moss on it. It's no wonder the trend toward stone facing has been revived nationwide.

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Repairing Fire Damage

By Fernando Pages Ruiz

Spotting clouds of black smoke rolling over the treetops, I drove into the neighborhood slowly, fearing the worst. There was the little house I had just built for an elderly couple, girdled by firefighters armed with hoses while the roof blazed and crackled furiously. "If they're inside," I thought, "they could be dead." But through the smoke, I recognized the owners, unharmed, talking to the police. A bad connection in the couple's dryer had leaked gas and exploded like a grenade. Fortunately, nobody was home.

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Choosing and Installing a Ceiling Fan

By Fernando Pages Ruiz

Here on the Nebraska plains, temperatures can swing from blistering heat to unbearable cold with each passing storm front. As a homebuilder, I find it difficult to furnish customers with an evenly balanced heating and air-conditioning system. Fortunately, I've learned that ceiling fans can do a lot to help maintain comfortable temperatures throughout a house. In warm weather, ceiling fans offer an effective, low-cost alternative to air conditioning. In cold weather, ceiling fans improve air circulation for uniform heat distribution. But any fan in any odd location won't do. As with most appliances, you'll have fewer headaches when you buy a quality product, install it correctly and learn how to use it.

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Stop Ceiling-Fan Blade Wobble

If a ceiling fan does wobble, there are ways to troubleshoot the problem. In this video Fernando Pagés Ruiz shows you three of them, the last of which is using the balancing set that comes along with the fan.

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Run a Successful Construction Company

Three simple ideas that protect your business, save you money, and keep you organized.


Building for the multicultural

By Fernando Pagés Ruiz

Knowing that nearly 10,000 Vietnamese families live in Lincoln, Nebraska, I hired Andy Vu, a Vietnamese real estate agent to represent my building company. At first, he had difficulty selling my floor plans to his countrymen. One day, though, he began moving houses at an extraordinary clip. I thought that the good Vietnamese people of Lincoln had suddenly wised up, realizing the extraordinary value of my homes—but I was wrong.


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