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  • Reusing Barnboard

    Q: I was wondering what should be done to old reclaimed barnwood before it can be used inside a home. I plan on using it for wainscot in a basement remodel; should it be treated to kill any bugs or mold?

    Journal of Light Construction June 01, 2011

     
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    Dealing With Creaky Subflooring

    Q: I was asked to look at a job where the homeowners have issues with loud, creaking floors.

    Journal of Light Construction June 01, 2011

     
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    Capping a Chimney Chase

    Q: I have to build a framed chase for a gas fireplace's 6-inch vent pipe. What's the best way to finish the top of the chase? I had planned to use a metal cap, but I've noticed that a lot of these caps tend to be rusted.

    Journal of Light Construction April 01, 2011

     
  • Which Window Area Ratio Is Better?

    Q: I've seen window glazing area recommendations for energy-efficient houses stated in two ways: as a percentage of conditioned square footage and as a percentage of exterior wall area. Which is most useful, and why?

    Journal of Light Construction April 01, 2011

     
  • How Far Can SIPs Be Cantilevered?

    Q: When building with structural insulated roof panels, how far is it safe to cantilever (or project) the ends of a panel past the top plates? I like the idea of creating a protective overhang for the siding and windows.

    Journal of Light Construction April 01, 2011

     
  • Roof Venting in a Wet Climate

    Q: I'm planning to reroof an expanded Cape Cod on a barrier island off the East Coast, where strong winds and moisture from the ocean are common.

    Journal of Light Construction February 01, 2011

     
  • How to Hide Rough Drywall Finish Showing Through Paint

    Q: A recent customer wanted to do his own painting and used an airless sprayer to apply primer to the bare drywall. He then rolled on the finish paint, but now he's complaining that the surface is rough wherever the drywall finisher sanded. He is blaming the drywall contractor, but I'm not sure...

    Journal of Light Construction February 01, 2011

     
  • Q&A: Closing a House for the Winter

    I have customers who wants me to build a log home that will be used seasonally, for about two months of the summer and another two months in the winter. During the rest of the year they want to leave the house closed up and unheated. We're at the edge of the Rocky Mountain Front Range in eastern...

    Journal of Light Construction December 01, 2010

     
  • Q&A: Effectiveness of Thermal Curtains

    Do so-called "double-cell" insulating window shades perform as advertised? One salesperson claims R-3 if they are installed with an airtight edge seal.

    Journal of Light Construction December 01, 2010

     
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    Q&A: Winder Layout to Code?

    Although code inspections are not routinely done in the rural area where I work, I want to make sure a winder stair I am building to access the upstairs of a storage building meets residential code.

    Journal of Light Construction December 01, 2010

     
  • Can You Swap Lithium Ion for Nicad Batteries?

    A reader recently purchased a DeWalt 18-volt cordless tool with lithium-ion batteries and noticed that the new batteries also fit their old DeWalt tools. Is it okay to use lithium-ion batteries in tools that came with nickel-cadmium (nicad) batteries?

    Journal of Light Construction October 01, 2010

     
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    Fixing a Botched Trim Job

    A homeowner asks how to repair what looks like a botched job, where new entry doors were installed in a brick home covered with stucco or some kind of cement parging.

    Journal of Light Construction October 01, 2010

     
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    Are Frost Stripes Cause for Concern?

    Last year we completed a SIP roof deck using two kinds of panels. Some were the standard OSB-foam sandwich panels, and some had prefinished T & G pine ceiling boards attached to the bottom. During installation, we noticed a small gap between the panels with the attached T & G ceiling, because the...

    Journal of Light Construction August 01, 2010

     
  • Duct Chases and Electrical Wiring

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

    Journal of Light Construction August 01, 2010

     
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    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...

    Journal of Light Construction June 01, 2010

     
  • Mold on Framing Lumber

    I occasionally receive framing lumber that has some mold on it. Will this mold continue to grow and cause rot once the wood is in the dry? Do I have to clean it off? I'm also concerned about customer perception.

    Journal of Light Construction June 01, 2010

     
  • Q&A: Fogging for Mold?

    Q: I've come across a product that was created to combat the anthrax spore and was later found to be effective against mold as well. It's fogged throughout the job for 24 hours, with no access allowed. The product is said to eradicate mold, not just put it in a dormant state. Does this work?

    Journal of Light Construction June 01, 2010

     
  • 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...

    Journal of Light Construction May 01, 2010

     
  • Can Fiberglass Batts Perform Well in Tightly Sealed Houses?

    I understand that fiberglass batt insulation can allow air to move through it and that this air movement degrades the insulation's R-value. Two causes I've heard about are wind-washing at the eaves and convective loops that can start in a wall cavity on really cold days and wick warmth from inside...

    Journal of Light Construction May 01, 2010

     
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    Wood-Steel Composite Beam?

    We're considering through-bolting LVL lumber to both sides of a steel I-beam. We'd install the resulting composite beam flush at midspan in an existing floor system, with the LVL providing convenient nailing for joist hangers. Can we assume that the combined load-bearing values for LVL and steel...

    Journal of Light Construction March 01, 2010

     
 
 
 
 
JLC Field Guide to Decking