How many times have you been stuck wondering; does that really work, just what does that mean, how much load can that handle, I think that’s right, right? Fortunately for many of us we have a huge rolodex of people we can call or shoot an email to, but as we know they are generally pretty busy and we hate bothering others.
While the internet is a great resource it is also a potential minefield as you don’t know who left the information or just how good or accurate it might be. He11 how does that joke go – for every proper explanation or video on how to install ceramic tile there are a 100 out there that show just the opposite?
In case you are wondering what brought this up, I am currently working on a presentation for the Education by Design – Technical Training Conference. One item I like to provide during every presentation is a Resource List for those wanting more information. Along those lines, while I pride myself on having a great memory (well, except for when it comes to names) it wouldn’t be good to simply rely on that & potentially put bad information out during a presentation or in an article. So with that in mind, here are some of my favorite resources & sites which I turn to or read that have stood the test of time & look like they will be around for some time to come.
- Builder Link: Wow talk about one of the best but probably least known resources around. Without even getting into the articles, webinars, podcasts, or the estimating module one can find there, you definitely need to check out the library. They have managed to pull in some of the largest manufacturers and associations (which are all great resources by themselves) into one area which is easily searchable. For example
- ADA: 1990 & 2010 standards, common errors & omissions, guidance on compliance, etc…
- APA Engineered Wood Association: Everything wood including testing, storing, building better, fire ratings, etc…
- ICC Evaluation Services: Everything from general to finishes, electrical to plumbing
- Oregon State University – College of Forestry: Wood Basics, drying, preservatives
- OSHA: The big 8 must reads – fall compliance, asbestos, scaffolding, ladders…
- SBCA – Structural Building Components: From A to Z – hold downs, hangers, roofs …
- SFPA – Southern Forest Products: From specs to guides to working in aquatic areas
- Other Organizations include SIPA, Timber Frame Builders Council, WWPA, and more…
- Simpson Strong-Tie: Technical bulletins and specs on over 3000 items (If this is a big item for you, you may also wish to try their Connector Selector Tool)
- Other Manufacturers include Marvin, Rosboro, VELUX, and more… (Product Specs, MSDS sheets, etc…)
- BSC: Building Science Corp — a great resource of the studies and practical applications related to building. There is one big caveat though, be careful when reading older articles and always check for updates. Not only is “science” always evolving and based on learning, but when one changes to a new technique or material – old “truths” or “rules” may no longer apply. (i.e. 500 SF per ton is now closer to 1200 SF)
- Building America: Building – great library of how-to’s, case studies, and links to other resources (sometimes those government dollars are not wasted folks)
- Building Moxie: Mix – what an eclectic mix of posts but with a great mix of industry guests, products reviews, design advice, & how-to’s you might be surprised by what you do find
- DSIRE: Building – Incentives for “energy efficient” & “renewable” energy projects
- Energy Vanguard: Building – generally it is all about the science without an agenda which makes for a nice change from some other well-known writers. With a PHD in physics, you can generally rest assured that the building science information is pretty much spot on (at least in the mixed-humid climate zones).
- HTRC: Mix – hey, nothing beats knowing you covered & checked something in a past article or might have a trusted link to said information already
- ICC: Codes – nothing beats reading the actual code & shoot, some of them are actually online for free (ICC Free Codes). They also have a great forum where you can see what & how code officials are interpreting them (Forum)
- IRTalk: Infrared – while I am leery of listing a forum (i.e. many issues with who replied & how good is the information) this one is well run by The Snell Group & covers plenty of topics with some of the best minds in the business participating
- Kelly’s Kitchen Sync: Design – if I had to choose only 1 designer’s site it would be Kelly’s. While pictures are nice (and she has some great ones) this site is chock full of great advice, how to avoid common problems and other great tid-bits.
- MRW aka mikeroweWORKS: Trades – just in case you have been sleeping under a rock, this is a great resource for those not only in the trades but those considering getting into them. It covers everything from training, apprenticeships, finding a job, to keeping one.
- OCEAN: Codes – The site formerly known as BCAP – looks at current “environmental” & regular codes, regulations, studies of real costs, and what is coming down the pipeline
- One Project Closer: Mix – Two sites in one – one for avid DIYers and one for designs & crafts. With tool reviews, how-to’s, follow the pro, etc… it is chock full of some great tips and advice
- Preservationist’s Technical Notebook: Mixed – from everything on specific joints in the wood, to what causes an eclipse, from tools I have never seen to modern day advancements he covers it all from a unique and down to earth perspective.
- Public & Bulk Resource.org: Codes online – not the easiest to read but every states current adopted codes are online & “free”
- The Blogging Painters: Paint – from advice on choosing paint to prep to profit this site has it all no matter if you are a DIYer or a professional painter.
- Thermal Imaging Blog: Infrared – want a nice crisp clear explanation on a topic like FOV & iFOV – look no further
- This is Carpentry: If you are into carpentry, want to now ho to do something, &/or want to be the next Norm Abram…
- Trades Hub: Mixed – a resource of bloggers in the trenches to behind a desk who write on every topic related to the trades. (Another way Mike Rowe choose to support & highlight the Trades)
Yeah I now that was only 19, so who did I miss who do you think should be added? (Unfortunately due to spammers, any messages with a link in them will be put in the queue – I will release them just as quickly as I can)