It’s not a secret that nominal lumber dimensions aren’t their actual dimensions. A 4x4 hasn’t measured 4 inches by 4 inches since the 1950’s, when standard lumber sizes and moisture contents were established by the US government. Prior to that, it was common for wood to be sourced locally and installed “green,” meaning it was not kiln dried prior to purchase. When lumber began to be shipped to different regions throughout the country by rail, it became clear that a national standard for dimensions would be necessary. According to a very interesting 1964 report from the US Department of Agriculture, the actual dimensions of lumber were derived by a combination of after-kiln shrinkage, saw blade width, and other factors in order to reach a consensus from lumber distributors.
For over 60 years, nominal lumber dimensions have been used in lieu of actual dimensions for lumber. That fact hasn’t stopped 2 class action suits, one for Menards and one for Home Depot, from being filed by an Illinois law firm over the size discrepancy, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The firm claims that customers have been receiving 23% less product than what has been “advertised and represented” for 4x4s and the practices cause “substantial injury to consumers.”
The suit claims that the companies should clearly mark that the sizes stated are nominal and not actual sizes and it’s unreasonable for an “average consumer” to know that. The firm claims that 2 separate plaintiffs felt they were wronged by Menards and 1 other felt he was wronged by Home Depot after measuring the lumber they purchased.
The retailers are obviously not buying the claim, citing government approved industry standards and claiming that the size differences are common knowledge.
Full story: Whacked with a 4x4: Menards, Home Depot face lawsuits over descriptions of lumber size | Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Back in September, OSHA issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that would extend the deadline for crane operator certification requirements. Although OSHA 1926.1427 has required crane operators to receive certain certifications to be able to operate the machines since 2010, actual enforcement of that rule has been delayed several times.
Drywall, gypsum, sheet rock, wall board, or whatever you call it, has to be installed by someone, so who better than a drywall installer? Some drywallers install the board and also tape and mud the joints, but others only hang the board.
When sanding, drywallers are exposed to a lot of dust, including silica in some cases, which they need to be protected from. The Center for Disease Control suggests using a vaccuum sander or pole sanding to reduce worker's exposure to harmful dust particles
Roofers have one of the most uncomfortable jobs on any construction site, especially when installing a dark roofing material. A traditional black roof, either asphalt shingles or EPDM, can be up to 50 degrees warmer than the surrounding temperatures.
Having said that, let's take a look at how they're paid in each state...
The Netherlands has a ton of bridges, especially pedestrian and biking bridges, thanks to its abundant system of canals. Perhaps because of that, they have become a leader in 3D printing technology when it comes to bridges.
Painters are typically one of the last subcontractors on any construction site, who do their best to beautify the drywall with the colors of the architect's or interior designer's choosing. Some painters are also responsible for mudding drywall, patching holes, sanding, and caulking.
Let's take a look at how an average painter's hourly wage compares in each state...
Just one day after Mayor Bill de Blasio signed a new law requiring at least 40 hours of safety training for all 185,000 of the city’s construction workers, a partial roof collapse at a Brooklyn construction site left 6 workers injured, 2 of them serious.
Project managers and supervisors are responsible for keeping their employees safe and the court system has recently shown that they take that responsibility very seriously. When supervisors act in a negligent manner and people get hurt or killed, they should be held liable.
In doing the research for this analysis, I learned something interesting about the plumbing profession. The term "plumber" comes from the Latin word "plumbum," which means lead. Seems fitting in a profession, fairly or unfairly, stereotyped for exposed butt cracks.
In Roman times, plumbers often worked with lead for conduits, drain pipes, and making baths. Plumbers now work with a variety of different materials, including copper, PVC, ductile iron, among others.
It seems like every month there’s a new robot being debuted for the construction industry, with the promise of reducing costs and improving productivity and safety. There are robots for laying brick and block, placing concrete, and even self-driving mining trucks. The most recent robot to hit the job site is Built Robotics’ Autonomous Track Loader (ATL).
Concrete is an extremely strong building material, but has a notoriously weak tensile strength. In order to resist tension, bending, and shear forces, steel rebar or other reinforcement materials are added either prior to the placement or into the mix. Even with reinforcement, concrete is still extremely rigid and prone to cracking. In the event of a major earthquake, the uneven and horizontal forces can cause structures to crack and, in the worst case, cause failure.