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  • 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

     
  • Wrong-Side Housewrap

    While preparing for an extensive remodeling project, we discovered that the housewrap was installed underneath the exterior 7/16-inch plywood rather than on top. According to the scope of work, we are supposed to install 1/2-inch foam board with taped seams over the entire exterior. Will the...

    Journal of Light Construction March 01, 2010

     
  • Best Mix for Pumped Concrete

    Plans for an infill project call for a poured stem-wall foundation, but the urban site has limited access for a regular concrete truck. A pumper truck would be ideal, but I'm concerned that the pumped mix won't provide the required 4,000-psi concrete. Is this a legitimate concern?

    Journal of Light Construction March 01, 2010

     
  • Unvented Roofs and Shingle Warranties

    While the IRC has approved the use of certain "hot" unvented attics, it seems that asphalt-shingle manufacturers still recommend that their shingles be installed over vented roof assemblies. Does this mean that shingle manufacturers will void their warranties if the roof deck is insulated with...

    Journal of Light Construction January 01, 2010

     
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    Metal Connectors and Galvanized Coatings

    Can standard galvanized Simpson STHD strap-tie hold-downs be used in contact with ACQ plates and framing? We've been schooled by our local building officials to avoid placing anything but stainless steel or heavy-duty hot-dipped galvanized metal connectors in contact with ACQ lumber, but these...

    Journal of Light Construction January 01, 2010

     
  • Trowel-Applied Membranes

    Are the new trowel-applied membranes used for waterproofing showers as good as sheet membranes? Are some better than others?

    Journal of Light Construction January 01, 2010

     
  • Back-Priming Fiber-Cement Siding

    Q: We ordered preprimed HardiePlank lap siding to finish a project, but when it was delivered, we discovered that the backs were left unprimed. Normally, we back-prime wood clapboards, but I'm not sure this step is needed with fiber-cement siding, and the manufacturer's Web site is mute on the...

    Journal of Light Construction December 01, 2009

     
 
 
 
 
JLC Field Guide to Decking