Mike Shannahan

Mike Shannahan's Posts

Breaking Through the Language Barrier Breaking Through the Language Barrier

Going back to school to learn Spanish can pay big dividends in the field Read more

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Q&A: Plywood for Oceanside Decking

Q: I’m building a wharf on a bay of the Gulf of Mexico. It is to be on 8-inch-diameter pilings with 2-by joists and cross-members. Can I use plywood for the decking? What are your recommendations? Read more

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Stripping & Repainting Wood Siding

Here’s a step-by-step guide to stripping, pressure-washing, and repainting wood siding, by a Texas restoration contractor. Read more

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Q&A: Shoring a Balloon Frame Q&A: Shoring a Balloon Frame

Q: I am rehabbing an old two-story balloon-framed house with a crumbling limestone foundation. I need to jack the walls slightly to repair the foundation. The floor joists rest on a 2-by leveling plate, and the 20-foot-tall studs are face-nailed to the sides of the joist ends (see illustration). With platform framing, I would ordinarily run a temporary beam under the joists as close to the foundation wall as possible and place my jacks under the beam. If I do that with this frame, I am concerned that the weight of the walls, which are carrying the second floor and roof, will shear the old face nails. Any suggestions? Read more

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Jacking Old Houses Jacking Old Houses

Many older homes are out of level from rotted sills or settled pilings. A restoration specialist explains the tools and techniques he uses to lift the building out of the ground and provide a firm foundation before renovating the finishes. Read more

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