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

Register for full online access.

 
 
 
 

More stories about Q&A

  • How to Tape a Knee Wall

    Q. As a remodeler, I've hung and taped my share of drywall on small jobs, but knee walls and sloped ceilings always give me a problem. I'm never able to get a really straight joint on these irregular inside corners. How do the pros do it?

  • Best Flooring for a Humid Climate

    Q: I'm planning on installing laminate flooring on the first floor of my North Carolina house, which is built on a ventilated crawlspace. But I'm concerned that the laminate finish will trap moisture and eventually lead to rot damage in the subfloor and f

  • Will Carpet Stifle a Radiant Slab?

    Q. I'm finishing a basement room for customers who want to put carpet over the radiant slab. I'm concerned the carpet will insulate off some of the heat, but I can't talk them out of it. The slab is 4 to 5 inches thick, and the 1/2-inch PEX tubing is laid out on 12-inch centers, with 11/2 inches of...

  • Compacting Stump Holes

    I'm about to pour a slab on a site where several stumps were removed, leaving 2- and 3-foot-deep holes about 4 feet across. The backhoe operator went ahead and filled in the holes with dirt from the site (sandy loam, pretty good stuff), drove over them a

  • Mice and Insulation

    Q. Is there any way to can keep mice out of insulation? I am working on a remote cabin in southern Illinois, and the mice seem to come and go at will. I'm getting ready to insulate another room and I don't want to provide new places for the rodents to nes

  • Durability of Cedars

    Q. I'm pricing cedar for a replacement deck that was formerly built with treated yellow pine. A local supplier is telling me his "northern white" cedar will last far longer than "Alaskan" cedar, which I can purchase for about half the price. Is there real

  • Right Tools for Hanging Doors

    Q. I typically use prehung doors, but I'm building a project where I'll need to hang a dozen or more 13/8-inch 6-8 interior door slabs in 3/4-inch-thick custom poplar jambs. I also have to bore and install the cylinder passage sets. Could you advise me ho

  • Q&A: Detecting Live Romex

    Q. I'm a remodeler and often work around existing wiring. What's the most practical and inexpensive tool for detecting live current in either romex or wire in a metal conduit? Can you detect current inside the conduit without opening the conduit?

  • Q&A: Assessing Old Structural Timbers

    Q. I'm looking at a project to convert a 1920s-era three-story industrial building into residential lofts. Much of the heavy timber interior frame has been exposed to a lot of weather because of roof deterioration during years when the building was not ma

  • Q&A: Can You Combine Ridge and Gable Vents?

    Q. I'm reroofing an older ranch house that has continuous soffit vent panels and gable-end attic vents but no ridge vents. I'm wondering if I should add a continuous ridge vent; it would be fairly easy to do while the roof is stripped. Is it okay to combi