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

Register for full online access.

 
 
 
 

More stories about Q&A

  • Duct Chases and Electrical Wiring

    Is it okay to fish electrical wiring through the wood-framed chases built around hvac ducts and chimneys?

  • 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...

  • Sealer Failure on Saltillo Tiles

    A past customer purchased Mexican Saltillo tile from a distributor and had it installed by a tile installer I referred her to. The tile came presealed and was installed - per instructions on the shipping boxes - using thinset mortar. Within a day or two, the sealer began to fail, appearing as a...

  • Best Mix for Pumped Concrete

    Plans for an infill project call for a poured stem-wall foundation, but the urban site has limited access for a regular concrete truck. A pumper truck would be ideal, but I'm concerned that the pumped mix won't provide the required 4,000-psi concrete. Is this a legitimate concern?

  • Trowel-Applied Membranes

    Are the new trowel-applied membranes used for waterproofing showers as good as sheet membranes? Are some better than others?

  • Back-Priming Fiber-Cement Siding

    Q: We ordered preprimed HardiePlank lap siding to finish a project, but when it was delivered, we discovered that the backs were left unprimed. Normally, we back-prime wood clapboards, but I'm not sure this step is needed with fiber-cement siding, and the manufacturer's Web site is mute on the...

  • Attaching Deck Ledgers to I-Joist Cantilevers

    When I-joists are cantilevered over the foundation wall rather than directly supported at the sill plate, can a deck ledger be safely attached to the engineered rim joist?

  • Fixing Hairline Stucco Cracks

    The stucco siding on my client's recently remodeled home has developed some small cracks. My stucco sub wants to patch them with plastic stucco cement and then prime the walls with latex mortar primer, but I'm afraid the problem will resurface. Is there a better way to fix hairline cracks?

  • New Deck Footings Near an Old Foundation

    Q. Plans for a freestanding deck call for new piers about 2 feet from the house foundation. Is it necessary to dig down to the bottom of the house's footing to reach undisturbed soil, or would the dirt around the foundation of a 60-year-old house be compacted enough to be con sidered undisturbed -...

  • Refinishing an Inlaid Wood Floor

    Q: I'm refinishing a 70-year-old oak floor with inlaid mahogany accents. Some areas are damaged and need a few minor patches. How can I maintain the contrast between the oak and the mahogany while minimizing color variations between new and old material?