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More stories about Research

  • Q&A: Frostproof Slab-on-Grade

    Q: We are faced with a site for a 1,400-square-foot, story-and-a-half house in a northern climate with a 6-foot frost depth. We propose to build the house on a slab-on-grade foundation, some of which will be near ledge. Does the footing for such a slab have to extend below the 6-foot frost depth...

  • Q&A: Venting a Shed Dormer

    Q: We build a lot of shed dormers that start at the ridge and have a roof pitch of about 3:12. I have never installed a ridge vent because I am concerned that snow will build up and leak through the vent on the dormer side. Now the code inspector insists the roofs must be ventilated. How should we...

  • Q&A: Preventing Truss Uplift

    Q: Is there any way to stabilize roof trusses to prevent "truss chord uplift?"

  • Q&A: Reviving A Crumbling Plaster Wall

    Q: How can the surface of old, flaking, and crumbling plaster be preserved? Is a thin coat of joint compound acceptable?

  • Backfill: Soft Stairs Take Flight