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Other stories by Henry Spies

  • Q&A: Can Sagging Rafters Be Reused?

    Q: We are replacing a hip roof that has three layers of asphalt shingles over the original skip sheathing and shake roof. This load has caused the 14-foot common rafters to permanently sag about 2 1/2 inches at midspan. Now that we have stripped off the old roofing, can we simply replace the...

  • Q&A: Rot at Exterior Windows

    Q: We often encounter rot at the ends of window jambs and exterior casings that abut sloping wood sills. What is the best way to detail this connection?

  • Q&A: Leaky Stone Foundation

    Q: I am working on an old house with a stone basement foundation. The foundation is sound, but leaks. What is the best way to repair this?

  • Q&A: Wood Flooring Over Radiant Slabs

    Q: What is the best type of wood flooring to install over a radiant slab?

  • Q&A: Fiberglass vs. Organic Shingles

    Q: What is the difference between organic and fiberglass shingles?

  • Q&A: Insulating Old Plaster Walls

    Q: What is the best way to insulate and vapor-proof an existing plaster wall without demolishing the surface?

  • Q&A: Scraping Shingle Siding

    Q: What is the best way to strip alligatored paint from shingle siding? Scraping is not working for us because it loosens many of the old shingles.

  • Q&A: Do Truss Plates Loosen

    Q: What happens to truss plate connectors as the wood truss members expand and contract with temperature and moisture changes? The prongs on the plate don’t seem to penetrate very deeply, and it seems as if they could work loose over time.

  • Q&A: Stains on Metal Roofs

    Q: A roof I installed has stains running down the steel standing-seam roofing below the skylights. What might be causing this and how can it be prevented?

  • Q&A: Stickering White Woods

    Q: I use a lot of rough-sawn 1x6 T&G pine siding. This often comes from the mill slightly green. What is the best way to dry and stabilize white woods so that no irregular coloring occurs from the stickers?