September 1996 Table of Contents

Frost-Protected Shallow Foundations

Correctly placed perimeter insulation eliminates the need for a deep frost footing. A Midwest builder explains this CABO-approved method for building foundations and slabs-on-grade. Read more

Going Belly Up: A Builder Looks Back

Unmanaged growth can result in “too much of a good thing.” A former builder looks with 20/20 hindsight at what he should have done to keep his company from going out of business. Read more

Quality Vinyl Floors

A professional floor installer describes the best methods and materials to use for a durable resilient floor. Read more

Quick Kitchen Estimates

Clients often want to know what their new kitchen will cost before they’ve picked cabinets or decided on countertop material — even before they’ve finalized the layout. This unit-price approach will help you produce rough estimates quickly and with a minimum of guesswork. Read more

The Ultimate Stick-Built Wall

One advantage of stick-framing is that you can build walls flat and square on the deck. But why stop there? Siding, windows, and trim can all be installed before you raise the wall. A veteran framing contractor shows how it’s done. Read more


Protecting against bad clients, teaching the Japanese to build Read more

Eight Penny News

Lessons from Hurricane Erin, radiant barrier study, tax depreciation basics Read more

Q&A: Is Treated Wood Weaker?

Q: Is treated southern pine as strong as untreated southern pine? Can I use joist tables for untreated southern pine lumber to size treated joists? Read more

Q&A: How to Keep Miters Tight

Q: In my area of South Carolina, changes in humidity often cause miter joints to open up over time. I plan to use biscuits to keep my miters tight. Would I be better off using epoxy instead of yellow glue when gluing up the biscuits? Should I check all my lumber with a moisture meter? Read more

Q&A: Patching Water-Damaged Plaster

Q: My company has done plaster repair work for many years. After repairing water-damaged walls or ceilings, we occasionally get called back to "fix" an unsuccessful repair. Our second repair attempt involves digging out a very bumpy, chalky substance, and more often than not, we have to repeat this process a number of times until the patch finally takes hold. What causes this reaction on some water damage jobs and not others? What is the most efficient way to deal with this problem? Read more

Legal Column: Is Your Handbook a Contract?

When employee handbooks become contracts Read more

Practical Engineering: Keeping Water Out of Walls

Preventing structural damage from water leaks Read more

Builder's Library: Guide to Hydronics

Definitive textbook on hot-water heating Read more

For What It's Worth

Retracting safety line, extension cord with power indicator light, longer steel studs Read more

Toolbox: Electronic Tape Measures

Electronic tape measures Read more

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