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More stories about Q&A

  • Q&A: Insulating a Cathedral Ceiling Under Metal Roofing

    Q: I need to insulate a cathedral ceiling that will be finished with tongue-and-groove pine paneling. The house has steel roofing installed over 1x3 purlins. There is no plywood roof sheathing. I’m concerned about possible condensation on the underside of the steel roofing, and I would like to know...

  • Q&A: Covering Up a Brick Fireplace

    Q: I am building an addition that will enclose the back side of an existing brick fireplace, which is now on the exterior of the building. Can 2x4 furring be attached directly to the brick?

  • Q&A: Replacing Chimney Counterflashings

    Q: Whenever I need to replace chimney counterflashings, I seal the top of the flashing with Quickcrete, using a caulk gun. This product is made for concrete repairs, and comes in a tube. I know that some people will mix up a little mortar for this job, and others use silicone or urethane caulk...

  • Q&A: Does Wood Siding Need an Air Space Behind It?

    Q: I’m considering installing wood siding over a rain screen, but I’m unsure whether the potential benefits justify the extra expense. What is the real benefit of an air space behind wood siding?

  • Q&A: Installing Fenceposts

    Q: I am installing a fence with pressure-treated 4x4 posts. Is there any advantage to installing a base of crushed stone at the bottom of the post hole? If I partially backfill around the post with concrete, will the concrete hold the fencepost more firmly, or will it encourage the fencepost to rot?

  • Q&A: Drywood Termites

    Q: I work in and around Albuquerque, N.M. Do drywood termites cause trouble in this area? If so, what measures can one take to prevent damage?

  • Q&A: Wiring a Two-Pole GFCI

    Q: I have a 240-volt electric job-site heater, which is required by the NEC to be GFCI protected. Will a 120/240 two-pole GFCI breaker provide protection for a 240-volt load with no neutral? In what situations would a 120/240 two-pole GFCI breaker be recommended?

  • Q&A: Correcting Sagging Joists

    Q: A double 2x8 floor joist that runs beneath a nonbearing partition has deflected 5/8 inch in the middle. If I jack the joist up, returning the compressed and stretched wood fibers back to their original positions, will they stay that way?

  • Q&A: Installing Cedar Siding Over Rigid Foam Sheathing

    Q: What are the risks of installing cedar siding directly over foil-faced rigid foam insulation? Should tar paper or housewrap be used as well?

  • Q&A: Using Pressure-Treated Wood for Trim

    Q: We are planning to use pressure-treated wood as exterior trim on a house with fiber-cement siding. The siding will be finished with acrylic paint. Is pressure-treated wood appropriate for use as exterior trim? What precautions, if any, are necessary when painting pressure-treated wood? Can we...