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Other stories by Henry Spies

  • Q&A: Flashing Where Roof Abuts Sidewall

    Q: What is the best way to detail the connection of a pitched roof abutting a sidewall?

  • Q&A: Does Shrink or Swell As It Sets

    Q: I have talked to eight different concrete subcontractors, and four have claimed that concrete expands as it sets and four claim that it shrinks. Which is correct?

  • Q&A: End-Joist Blocking

    Q: I know blocking is needed in the mid-span area of a floor system. But is blocking necessary along the end-joist since this member is supported by the foundation and the subfloor?

  • Q&A: Is Housewrap Needed?

    Q: Can I lay wood clapboards directly over plywood sheathing, or do I need some kind of air barrier such as a plastic housewrap, rosin paper, or 15 pound felt? Will rosin paper absorb and hold moisture? Will the felt create a cold-side vapor barrier?

  • Q&A: Builder’s Reference Books

    Q: I need a source that I can go to as a builder the way a writer goes to a thesaurus. Do you know of a book of carpentry terms that lists the parts of a house, down to the smallest detail?

  • Q&A: Powder Post Beetles

    Q: I am working on an old oak timber-frame house which has been infested with powder-post beetles. The exterminators say the beetles are gone. How can I test the extent of the damage to the beams?

  • Q&A: Will A Steep Roof Last Longer?

    Q: Is it true that the steeper a roof is, the longer it will last?

  • Q&A: Under-Slab Heating Ducts & Air Quality

    Q: Do under-slab heating ducts create any health problems with mold, radon, etc.? If so, what can be done to avoid these hazards?

  • Q&A: Backerboard: Which Side Faces Out?

    Q: Should I install cementitious backerboard (Durock, Wonderboard, etc.) with the rough or the smooth side facing out?

  • Q&A: Wide Plank Flooring Problems

    Q: Why are my wide-board pine floors shrinking and warping?