March 1998 Table of Contents

A Simple System for Turning a Profit

There are only so many billable hours in a year. By including overhead and profit in labor charges, a small construction company can ensure that all its costs are covered. Read more

Clear Finishes for Interior Woodwork

A trio of professional painters tell how to match a clear finish to the job and provide tips for blemish-free application. Read more

CO Leaks Causes & Cures

In today’s tighter houses, carbon monoxide leaks are potentially more deadly than ever. These three case studies show how careful detective work can uncover and eliminate common sources of CO contamination. Read more

Update: Engineered Lumber

The decline in the quality of solid-sawn lumber has led manufacturers to develop a growing variety of engineered lumber substitutes. We look at some of the new materials that are finding their way on to residential job sites. Read more

Flashing a Leakproof Valley Flashing a Leakproof Valley

Valley flashing takes a beating, whether from heavy rain runoff or melting snow and ice. A long-time roofing contractor explains the proper way to waterproof, flash, and shingle a durable valley. Read more

Structural Slabs With Foam Forms

For builders using insulated concrete forms, attaching a wood floor system is the hardest part of the job. A structural slab, by contrast, is easy to install, has excellent resistance to fire and sound transmission, and works well with radiant floor heating. Here’s a step-by-step look at both steel joist and steel pan forming systems. Read more


Kitchen lighting, lead carpenter speaks out, building beyond codes Read more


Targeting an aging market, up-tick in manu-factured housing, high cost of water hookup Read more

Q&A: Roof Vent Requirements

Q: By code, how many linear feet of ridge vent is needed per square of roofing? Read more

Q&A: Retrofitting Plywood Clips

Q: A friend of mine recently tried to sell a home. The buyers’ inspector discovered that no plywood clips had been installed on the roof sheathing. The roof has trusses 24 inches on-center and either 1/2-inch plywood or 7/16-inch OSB sheathing. Does anyone know a quick and easy fix for this? Read more

Q&A: Basement Vapor Barrier

Q: Where does the vapor barrier go when finishing a basement? Since we use a vapor barrier on the inside of exterior above-grade walls to keep moisture in, it’s my contention that a plastic vapor barrier should be used against the wall to keep out the moisture in the earth. Many disagree and say the basement is no different than the upstairs. My feeling is that the earth’s moisture will penetrate the concrete and will condense on, or at least be trapped by, the outside of the interior vapor barrier, thereby lowering the insulation’s R-value and possibly producing mildew in the wall cavity. Read more

By Design: A Fitting Addition

Designing an addition that fits Read more

Strictly Business: Defusing Client Disagreements

What to do when clients can’t agree Read more

Legal Adviser: Avoiding Liability for Subs

Avoiding liability for subcontractor errors Read more

Kitchen & Bath
Kitchen & Bath: Effective Venting Strategies

Good, better, best venting strategies Read more


Locknut wrench for electrical boxes, touch-up drywall mud in a tube, light-weight portable compressor, new hidden deck fastener Read more

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