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Other stories by Henry Spies

  • Q&A: Wood Roofs on Dormers

    Q: How should we detail wood shingles on dormers? Are the ridge shingles clipped on the same way as asphalt shingles? Is there a trick to getting the valley flashing to lie flat? What other details are important?

  • Q&A: Clear Coats For Interior Woodwork

    Q: What is the best clear wood finish to use on interior doors and cabinets that are exposed to strong sunlight?

  • Q&A: Removing & Preventing Asphalt Shingle Stains

    Q: The photo below shows unsightly black staining on asphalt roof shingles. This staining appears to be caused by a mildew or fungus. It is common in this area of eastern Virginia, which is rainy and humid in the spring, hot and humid in the summer, and warm and humid in the early fall. I have made...

  • Q&A: Removing Water Scale From Fixtures

    Q: I’ve had several customers interested in salvage sinks and faucets for kitchen and bath remodels. However, most of these old fixtures are covered with water scale. What causes the scale buildup on kitchen and bath faucets and fixtures, and how can it be removed?

  • Q&A: Strength of 2x4 vs. 2x6 Walls

    Q: Is there any structural difference between a wall framed with 2x4s 16 inches on-center and a wall with 2x6s 24 inches on-center?

  • Q&A: Attic Condensation Problem

    Q: Last winter, the tenants on the north side of a new duplex we built complained of heavy condensation in the attic. Water dripped on the north side of the attic floor from the underside of the roof sheathing, but nothing like this happened on the south side. The attic is very large, and it is...

  • Q&A: Perimeter Drain Placement

    Q: What is the best place to run perimeter drains — along the top of the footing, to help keep water out of the cold joint between the foundation wall and footing, or at the base of the footing?

  • Q&A: Sub-Sidewalk Seepage

    Q: I am working on a house with a leaky walk-out basement. The house is surrounded by a sidewalk on the three sides above the walkout, and water seems to be seeping through the control joints in the sidewalk into the basement. How can the joints be sealed to stop the leaks?

  • Q&A: Mitered Wood Siding Detail

    Q: I am remodeling in a development in which the houses all have mitered outside corners on beveled siding. How can I match this detail without inviting failure?

  • Q&A: Underlayment For Shakes

    Q: What underlayment should I use under cedar shakes?