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Framing Tip

Thanks for “Framing a Walk-Out Basement” (6/08). I always enjoy your framing articles, as framing is the mainstay of the small business I own. While doubling up the plates on the highest part of the foundation does allow you to overlap the framed walls below, I don’t allow this on my jobs because it wastes material. Instead, we extend the upper treated plates onto the lower framed walls by at least 4 feet to achieve the same effect.

Shane Geberin The Home Group Noblesville, Ind.

Trigger Happy

“Pneumatic Nailers Under Fire Again” (In the News, 7/08) illustrates the lack of common sense in our industry. Why anyone would think a contact trigger is better than a sequential trigger is beyond me. I see carpenters fire away without the least idea of fastening requirements. Better to blast the connection with lots of nails than to make precise connections!

When we require a minimum of four years of education and five years of apprenticeship to become a licensed contractor, we won’t have to listen to the pathetic arguments in favor of contact triggers presented in this article.

Nels Peterson Stone Creek Builders Park Rapids, Minn.

Likes Recessed Lights in the Kitchen

According to “Remodeling a Working Kitchen,” about a creative “green” project in Minneapolis (7/08), the author never installs recessed lights and removes them from kitchens he works on. Yet if installed correctly, recessed lights can be very efficient. Using the gasket, caulk, and foam if necessary creates a leakproof seal between the house and the attic. Plus, recessed fixtures allow for the use of compact-fluorescent lamps.

Here in California, where the energy codes are a lot less forgiving than in most states, I’ve found that using several 32-watt fixtures with reflective baffles creates plenty of light in a medium-size kitchen. We also add undercabinet fluorescent task lighting with separate controls. I don’t see how wall sconces and a center chandelier, as mentioned in the article, could provide this kind of light distribution. Lighting is everything in a kitchen; from the customer’s viewpoint, it can make or break the job.

Jayson Emerian Clovis, Calif.

Offensive Language Unnecessary

As a subcontractor, I’ve observed an increasing amount of boorish behavior on the job site. From blaring radios to the painter “borrowing” my scaffold and getting paint all over it, it seems we’ve lost respect for other tradesmen and their work. Is it any wonder that our young people are not interested in this industry? What a disappointment to open the June issue of your great magazine and find profanity on pages 15 and 37. Now even my favorite magazine is offensive.

Byron Kirby

Kirby Electric Athens, Ala.

Hidden Costs of Energy Efficiency

Regarding “Broken Compact Fluorescents: Handle With Care” (In the News, 7/08): If it’s not mercury, the biggest problem with these lamps may be how to dispose of all the electronics and lead in the base of the bulb. I took the cover off a burned-out bulb and was surprised at what I found (see photo).


Bill Wyckoff

Altamont, Kan.