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  • Q&A: Hardwood Kitchen Countertops

    Q: A client wants me to glue up a hardwood kitchen countertop for him. Is this asking for trouble, or can it be done successfully? What potential problems should I be aware of?

    Journal of Light Construction April 01, 2012

     
  • Q&A: New Design Values for Southern Pine

    Q: I use a lot of southern pine lumber, and I've heard that the design values for the material are about to change. How will that affect its use for things like framing or building decks?

    Journal of Light Construction April 01, 2012

     
  • Q&A: How Flat Does a Subgrade Need to Be?

    Q: When you're preparing the subgrade for an insulated slab foundation, how flat does the surface need to be before you lay out the rigid foam? Is "pretty flat" good enough, or do you have to eliminate every minor hollow and high spot?

    Journal of Light Construction April 01, 2012

     
  • Q&A: Nailing Tips for Advanced Framing

    Q: I can see the value in advanced framing in terms of reduced thermal bridging, better insulation, and savings in framing lumber. But I've hesitated to get serious about it because I worry that the absence of some familiar framing member is going to make

    Journal of Light Construction April 01, 2012

     
  • Q&A: Snow on Batts

    Q: I'm going to be removing the existing fiberglass batts from the attic of a moderately leaky older home, doing some air-sealing, and re-insulating with 16 inches of loose-fill cellulose. According to the homeowner, a dusting of fine powdery snow sometim

    Journal of Light Construction April 01, 2012

     
  • Q&A: Pressurization vs. Depressurization in Blower-Door Tests

    Q: When you're doing a blower-door test, does it matter whether you're pushing air in or pulling it out? In other words, is the air infiltration rate the same at -50 pascals as it is at +50 pascals? And if so, when would you use one approach and when the

    Journal of Light Construction April 01, 2012

     
  • Adding a Point Load to a Post-Tensioned Foundation (Subscriber content)

    Q: When making structural changes that involve adding a point load to a house built on a post-tensioned concrete slab, is it necessary to add a footing for a structural post? I'm concerned that cutting through the slab to pour a pad footing could sever on

    Journal of Light Construction March 01, 2012

     
  • Are Mountain-Climbing Harnesses Okay On Site? (Subscriber content)

    Q: I'm a long-time rock climber and carpenter, and I've been using climbing harnesses for job-site fall protection for many years. These kinds of harnesses are designed to protect the wearer in the event of a severe fall, and I've had a lot of practice us

    Journal of Light Construction March 01, 2012

     
  • When to Use a Heat-Pump Water Heater (Subscriber content)

    Q: A customer wants me to install one of the new heat-pump water heaters in the ground-floor utility room of a house built on a slab. I don't have any direct experience with them, but since they work by drawing heat from the surrounding air, won't any energy savings in the winter be at least partly...

    Journal of Light Construction March 01, 2012

     
  • Sidewall Shingles Over Foam Sheathing (Subscriber content)

    Q: How do I fasten cedar shingles to sidewalls covered with rigid foam?

    Journal of Light Construction February 01, 2012

     
  • Micronized-Copper Treated Lumber (Subscriber content)

    Q: I'm building an outdoor deck for a client who wants me to use lumber treated with micronized copper, in the belief that it's less harmful to the environment than wood treated with other chemicals. I'm not very familiar with the material. Can it be used in ground-contact applications, including...

    Journal of Light Construction February 01, 2012

     
  • When the Homeowner Does the Demo (Subscriber content)

    Q: I'm considering a job remodeling a kitchen on a pre-1978 house. The budget-conscious client wants to save money by doing the demo work himself, which I understand he can legally do in his own home. Can I come onto the job afterward and work without following lead-safe work practices, since I...

    Journal of Light Construction February 01, 2012

     
  • Soundproofing an Apartment Ceiling (Subscriber content)

    How do you make a downstairs apartment quieter when the apartment upstairs is inaccessible?

    Journal of Light Construction January 01, 2012

     
  • Attaching Wood to Concrete (Subscriber content)

    Q: Do I have to use pressure-treated lumber when I'm attaching wood to concrete or masonry in "dry" situations - such as inside a basement or under the protection of a covered porch? I seem to remember from reading the code that treated wood is only required within a certain distance from grade.

    Journal of Light Construction December 01, 2011

     
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    Beefing Up Attic Joists for Living Space

    I need to convert an attic to livable space with minimal disruption to first-floor habitation.

    Journal of Light Construction October 01, 2011

     
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    Attic Insulation for Hot Climates?

    Q: Builders in cold climates often go beyond code-required attic insulation levels, especially when using a relatively inexpensive material like blown-in cellulose. Is the same approach helpful in cooling climates?

    Journal of Light Construction September 01, 2011

     
  • Connecting Girders to Deck Ledgers

    Connecting Girders to Deck Ledgers In the article "Building Safer Decks" (6/11), Glenn Mathewson notes that the IRC's prescriptive bolting schedule is limited to uniformly distributed loads and that you may be able to use a tighter fastener schedule

    Journal of Light Construction September 01, 2011

     
  • Q&A: Is Weathered OSB Okay?

    Q: I am siding a building that was framed and roofed two years ago and is sheathed with 15?32-inch OSB. The building paper blew off one of the gable walls, and now the OSB has turned gray and some of the strands are lifting from the surface. Is the OSB st

    Journal of Light Construction August 01, 2011

     
  • Q&A: Safe Soil Lead Levels Next to House

    Q: I'm doing a whole-house remodel on an old home. It's the height of the gardening season, and the owners - knowing that many layers of lead-based paint had been scraped off the house over the years - asked me what I thought about planting tomatoes in th

    Journal of Light Construction August 01, 2011

     
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    Q&A: Hot-Mopping Health Risks

    Q: I received the new JLC book "Tiling for Contractors," by Michael Byrne, and was dismayed to see that there is no section that addresses hot-mop shower pans, including framing, backing, and pan installation. Why not?

    Journal of Light Construction August 01, 2011

     
 
 
 
JLC Field Guide to Decking