Are you a subscriber but don’t have an online account?

Register for full online access.


Other stories by Paul Fisette

  • Preventing Condensation Under Basement Flooring

    Q: My clients want to use as living space the new walkout basement of an addition I'm building for them, but they're concerned about potential moisture-related problems with the planned carpet flooring. I've proposed installing a layer of rigid EPS foam f

  • Insulating a Block Wall

    Q. I'm renovating an uninsulated cape built with concrete-block walls. The plans call for gutting and reframing the interior and installing shingle siding on the exterior. Because the building needs to be insulated to comply with local (Long Island, N.Y.) code, I was considering adding a layer of...

  • Borate-Treated Lumber Okay For Mudsills?

    Q: I know that some framers are using lumber treated with SBX (sodium borate) as a substitute for ACQ because it is less corrosive to fasteners, but I'm concerned about short-term exposure to rain and the longevity of the borate treatment itself, which co

  • Substituting Synthetic Roof Underlayments for Housewrap

    Q: After stripping the original siding from a 30-year-old house, I'm being asked to re-side with 4x8 and 4x9 fiber-cement panels designed to look like stucco. The installation instructions permit caulking at the vertical joints, but call for Z-flashing at

  • Drip-Edge and Roofing Membranes

    Q. Drip-Edge and Roofing Membranes When using peel-and-stick roofing membranes, does it matter if the membrane goes under rather than over the metal drip edge at the eaves? In my work as a home inspector, I've noticed that these membranes get installed bo

  • Does Flooding Damage Framing Lumber?

    Q. My son's house has been sitting in 10 feet of water since the levee between Lake Pontchartrain and the Mississippi River broke following Hurricane Katrina. He's considering tearing the two-story home down to the studs. I'm wondering if wooden studs sta

  • Plywood vs. OSB I-Joists

    Q. Do any I-joist manufacturers still use plywood webs? At my local lumberyard, I was told that manufacturers switched from plywood to OSB webs because the plywood tended to delaminate, but I suspect the real reason is that OSB is cheaper. I'd prefer to use plywood I-joists, because I think they'd...

  • LVLs Rotting in Crawlspaces

    Q. Many homes in the Dallas area are built on crawlspaces and use LVL beams. Most of these homes have dirt floors but are built to code with regard to crawlspace ventilation. In many cases, I'm finding that the engineered wood is rotting at the point wher

  • Can Wind Short-Circuit a Ridge Vent?

    Q. Wouldn't a single-sided ridge vent be more effective than a standard ridge vent for a home built on a windy site? It seems that with openings on both sides of the ridge, a standard vent would simply short-circuit when the wind blows rather than draw ai

  • Does Lumber Grow Stronger With Age?

    Q. I've heard that in older buildings (at least 70 years old) the effective strength of wood members like joists and rafters increases with age. If that's true, how does one evaluate the increase? Or is the increase negligible?