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Other stories by Mike%20Shannahan

  • Breaking Through the Language Barrier

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

  • 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?

  • Stripping & Repainting Wood Siding

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

  • 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)...

  • Q&A: Removing Latex Paint

    Q: I have trouble removing old latex paint. It doesn’t scrape well and it gums up sandpaper. What’s the best way to do this?

  • 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.