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Other stories by Paul Fisette

  • Reusing Barnboard

    Q: I was wondering what should be done to old reclaimed barnwood before it can be used inside a home. I plan on using it for wainscot in a basement remodel; should it be treated to kill any bugs or mold?

  • Which Window Area Ratio Is Better?

    Q: I've seen window glazing area recommendations for energy-efficient houses stated in two ways: as a percentage of conditioned square footage and as a percentage of exterior wall area. Which is most useful, and why?

  • Roof Venting in a Wet Climate

    Q: I'm planning to reroof an expanded Cape Cod on a barrier island off the East Coast, where strong winds and moisture from the ocean are common.

  • How Should I Finish an Existing Basement Wall?

    I am about to start a basement remodel project in a cold climate. I plan to apply a waterproofing product to the inside of the basement wall, then stick a sheet of polyethylene directly to the basement wall over the waterproof coating. Once that is in place, I'll frame a 2x4 wood-frame wall on the...

  • Wrong-Side Housewrap

    While preparing for an extensive remodeling project, we discovered that the housewrap was installed underneath the exterior 7/16-inch plywood rather than on top. According to the scope of work, we are supposed to install 1/2-inch foam board with taped seams over the entire exterior. Will the...

  • Retrofitting a Brick Wall With Insulation

    I'm rehabbing an old brick house in Charleston, W.V. I want to insulate the exterior walls, which are balloon-framed with 2x4s, unsheathed, and finished with brick. There's a 1- to 2-inch air space between the 11/2-story-high frame wall and the brick siding, and a weep system at the base of the...

  • Finger-Jointed Studs

    Q: Can finger-jointed studs be used for wall plates and short window and door headers?

  • Connecting Gutter Downspouts to Footing Drains

    Q: Can gutter downspouts be connected to 4-inch pipes that lead to footing drains? The footing drains eventually terminate at daylight, away from the house.

  • Can a Power Vent Supplement Ridge Venting?

    Q: Would an attic that has a properly sized and installed soffit and ridge venting system benefit from the installation of a power vent?

  • Does Drenched Insulation Dry Out

    Q: A winter's worth of rain fell on a large hillside home we're building before we could complete the roof. Though we tarped the project, rainwater seeped through the first-floor decking and into the floor framing of a basement wine cellar. I suspect that