August 1997 Table of Contents

Alternative Roofing Materials

Plastic, metal and fiber-cement shingles and panels make for durable, fire-resistant roofs — without sacrificing good looks. Read more

Controlling Moisture in Mixed Climates

In climates that require both heating and cooling, humidity presents special problems for builders no matter what the season. These wall details will prevent damage to finishes and structural components from interior and exterior moisture. Read more

Designing Kitchen Islands

Space constraints and code requirements make it difficult to supply power and water to freestanding cabinets. These solutions will work for both custom and stock cabinets. Read more

Detail: Making Curved Flooring on Site

When the job calls for radiused flooring, consider this simple method, from a veteran flooring contractor, for site-bending hardwood to match the curve. Read more

Medical Emergencies on the Job

A physician trained in emergency medicine tells what you can do in the first five minutes to ensure proper treatment and a speedy recovery from a variety of job-related injuries. Read more

Pouring a Shallow Frost-Protected Slab Pouring a Shallow Frost-Protected Slab

A 4-foot-deep concrete frost wall can add thousands of dollars to the cost of a slab-on-grade addition. A Maine contractor explains how good drainage and rigid foam insulation can protect foundations placed above the frost line. Read more


Venting cedar shingle roofs, aluminum nails for wood roofing, stair-building details Read more


States ponder adoption of Model Energy Code, on-line building permits, foam adhesives for roof sheathing, true cost of comp claims Read more

Q&A: Using a Single Top Plate Q&A: Using a Single Top Plate

Q: Our local energy utility recommends framing exterior walls with a single top plate to cut down thermal conduction. We follow the CABO code when we do this, making sure we line up trusses and/or joists directly over the studs. We splice the top plate joints with Simpson TP37 straps for 2x4 walls and TP47s for 2x6 walls, using three Teco nails on each side of the splice (the code actually calls for three 8d nails on each side). Even though the single top plate is approved, I still get comments from subs and carpenters that it doesn’t look strong enough. I wonder, from an engineering standpoint, whether this method is as strong as using the traditional double top plate? Read more

Q&A: Painting & Staining PT Wood

Q: How should paints and stains perform on pressure-treated wood? I haven’t had a lot of luck painting the PT wood decks I build: The paint seems to fail after only two or three years. Is this because pressure-treated lumber is so wet, or do the chemicals used to treat the wood cause the paint to come off? Read more

Q&A: Metal Roof Over Asphalt?

Q: I am bidding a job where the owner wants to install a new metal roof over a double layer of asphalt shingles. The roof has solid lumber rafters and plywood sheathing. Should I install 1x4 horizontal purlins over the asphalt and attach the metal roof to those? Should the purlins be pressure-treated? Read more

By Design: Deep-Wall Window Opening

Window extension jambs in walls over 6-inches thick Read more

Strictly Business: Subcontractor Notebook

Organizing subcontractor records Read more

Kitchen & Bath
Kitchen and Bath: A Narrow Bath for a Tight Spot

Adding a second-floor bath in a Cape Read more


10-inch portable table saw, cold-weather caulk, new tooth design for recip saw blades Read more

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