February 1995 Table of Contents

Brushing Up on Water-Based Paints

Federal regulation of VOCs has made the change to latex finishes inevitable. A painting contractor explains how to get the same quality and performance from water-based paints that you were accustomed to with oil-based products. Read more

Case Study: Framing an Engineered Floor

In second-story additions, existing bearing walls can limit your design choices. A design/builder tells how he used steel and engineered lumber to handle large loads and wide spans. Read more

Scribing for a Perfect Fit

Some finish carpentry installations leave no room for error — like fitting a built-in desktop into a three-sided nook. These two techniques guarantee accuracy in even the tightest situations. Read more

Selecting Quality Customers: The Art of Prequalification

Not every sales lead is worth following. Here’s the point system one remodeling company uses to screen prospective clients over the phone — before wasting time on an estimate. Read more

Taking Care of Business

Hands-on tips for running a successful construction company. Read more

Tips for Custom-Milled Trim

Ordering hardwood trim is a lot more complicated than buying pine at the lumberyard. Success depends on careful planning, clear communication, and a good working relationship with a reputable millwork shop. Read more


Building inspector defends practices, R-value of cellulose insulation, L.A. quake revisited Read more

Eight-Penny News

Leaks in high-temperature plastic exhaust pipes, new asbestos regs coming, training architects as builders Read more

Q&A: Simple CAD Solution

Q: What simple CAD program can you recommend for generating low-tech working drawings? Read more

Q&A: Vapor-Retarder Paints

Q: Do "vapor-retarder paints" really work? Can I rely on them as the sole vapor barrier in an old house? If so, can you recommend some brand names? Read more

Q&A: Septic Systems and Low-Flow Fixtures

Q: Can low-flow fixtures cause any problems with residential septic systems? Read more

Building With Style: Graceful Transitions

Designing transitions between rooms Read more

Business Forum: The Mistake of Markup

How to include gross profit in your selling price Read more

Legal Column: The Problems of Arbitration

The shortcomings of arbitration Read more

Practical Engineering: A Porch Roof Diaphragm

A porch roof diaphragm for lateral loads Read more

Kitchen & Bath
Problem-Solving Tools and Materials

Here’s a look at new and noteworthy products we think will help you build better, faster, and smarter. Read more

Backfill: Please Pass the Butter Firkin Hammer

Old-time tool talk: Pass the butter firkin, please Read more

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