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Other stories by Paul Fisette

  • Q&A: Exterior Stair Riser Heights

    Q: I’m building an exterior stairway from a deck to grade. Is there a building code requirement that the risers of an exterior stairway all be the same height?

  • Q&A: Notches & Holes in Joists

    Q: What’s the largest hole I can drill in a 2x8 joist? What about notching? Also, how close to a bearing point can I drill a hole?

  • Q&A: Crawlspace Mildew

    Q: How can I get rid of mildew growing on joists in an insulated crawlspace? The mildew is only on the bottom edges and sides of the joists where the batt insulation doesn’t cover them. I suspect it’s from warm, humid air wafting through the basement in the summer. The soil is basically dry.

  • Q&A: Vinyl Siding Without Paper?

    Q: Is it a good idea to install vinyl siding over OSB sheathing without putting up any housewrap or felt? I see this more and more often, and wonder whether the OSB should be protected since vinyl is fairly leaky. Apparently there is nothing in the codes against this practice.

  • Q&A: Dryer Vent Installation

    Q: What’s the right way to vent a dryer? The standard plastic flex-hose with the spiral wire always collects condensation and sags. There’s got to be a better way. Would metal or plastic pipe work?

  • Q&A: Asphalt Shingles & High Wind

    Q: Is the self-adhesive strip on standard asphalt shingles adequate for occasional 100-mph winds, or should extra roofing cement be applied under each shingle?

  • Q&A: Straightening a Warped Wood Door

    Q: How can I straighten a wood door that has warped? In this case, the bottom rail bows out from the frame.

  • Q&A: Replacing Rotten Sills & Joists

    Q: I often encounter rot on joists and sills in my remodeling work, and have to sister on new wood members to support the structure. Is it okay to leave some rotten wood in place, or must I remove it all?

  • Q&A: OSB Offgassing

    Q: I’m building a home for a client who is concerned about toxic offgassing from the OSB in the wood I-joists we’re using for the floor. Is this a real concern?

  • Q&A: Stained Vinyl Floors

    Q: I’ve built a number of homes with staple-up radiant heat tubing under vinyl flooring in the kitchens and baths. Recently a client complained of staining in his vinyl floors. In the bathroom, long dark streaks are bleeding up through the vinyl, and in the kitchen, small dark circles about the...