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  • Thermal Break for a Cathedral Ceiling

    Q: Is it possible to create a thermal break by fastening a layer of rigid foam to the underside of the joists before hanging the drywall?

    Journal of Light Construction June 01, 2012

     
  • Will UV Degrade Exposed PVC Plumbing?

    Q: Are exposed PVC drain lines underneath a seasonal home elevated on piers susceptible to UV damage? The pipes are exposed to direct sun for at least part of the day, especially when the sun is low. The structure is located in coastal North Carolina.

    Journal of Light Construction June 01, 2012

     
  • Drywall Control Joint

    Is there such a thing as a control joint for drywall?

    Journal of Light Construction June 01, 2012

     
  • Preventing Blockage in Homes With Low-Flow Toilet Fixtures

    Q: With low-flow toilets now required by code almost everywhere, are there steps builders and remodelers can take to prevent problems caused by waste becoming stranded in drain lines?

    Journal of Light Construction June 01, 2012

     
  • Mounting an Ornamental Iron Railing

    Q: The low-slope roof on the addition I'm building has an ornamental iron railing at the edge. Since the roof won't be used as a deck, it's just there for appearance.

    Journal of Light Construction May 01, 2012

     
  • Piers for a Lakeside Deck

    Q: What's a good way to set deck piers in shallow water?

    Journal of Light Construction May 01, 2012

     
  • Controlling the Moisture Content of Wood Flooring

    Q: What's the proper procedure for acclimating wood flooring to the moisture content of a building before installation?

    Journal of Light Construction May 01, 2012

     
  • 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