May 1998 Table of Contents

Framing a Bay Window Roof

When faced with cutting a hip rafter at an angle other than 45 degrees, it helps to know a little trig. An experienced framer provides the step-by-step formulas you’ll need to lay out the hips for a bay window roof. Read more

Case Study: Hydronic Heat Retrofit

Using PEX tubing and panel radiators, the author retrofitted central heating with minimal disruptions to framing and finishes. Read more

Jacking Old Houses Jacking Old Houses

Many older homes are out of level from rotted sills or settled pilings. A restoration specialist explains the tools and techniques he uses to lift the building out of the ground and provide a firm foundation before renovating the finishes. Read more

Managing for Maximum Productivity

Small changes in both the office and the field can lead to greater efficiency and bigger profits. A veteran remodeling contractor tells how he boosted his company’s productivity without spending a lot of time and money. Read more

Shared Septic Systems

High water tables and poor soils preclude the use of conventional sewage treatment methods on some new and existing house sites. One solution is a system that combines a sand filter and shallow drainage field designed for use by more than one household. Read more

Shop-Built Trim for Doors and Windows

This step-by-step technique for preassembling extension jambs and casings guarantees tighter joints and a better finish. Read more


Replacing ungrounded receptacles, clip-head nailers discussed, bidding teamwork, ladder safety Read more


Growth controls affecting builders, promoting green building, working with inspectors, tax deductions for business start-up Read more

Q&A: Reliability of Low-Flow Toilets

Q: My remodeling customers are frequently skeptical when I replace their old 5-gallon toilets with 1.6-gallon toilets. They have heard of problems like "skid marks," multiple flushes, and so forth. Also, the word I have heard from the field is that pressure-assisted toilets create more problems than they are worth. Have the new low-flow designs solved these problems? Read more

Q&A: Removing Latex Paint

Q: I have trouble removing old latex paint. It doesn’t scrape well and it gums up sandpaper. What’s the best way to do this? Read more

Q&A: Sanding Cupped Floors

Q: Recently we installed a new oak strip floor during renovation of an old unoccupied house, and now the floor has permanently cupped. The house is built over a fairly damp crawlspace and has diagonal board floor sheathing. The original yellow pine flooring was badly damaged by termites, so we laid new 3/4-inch plywood subflooring over the yellow pine, put down felt paper, and installed the floor. I’m assuming that the floor cupped because the oak was put down dry in a damp location, picked up moisture, and swelled to the point that it has cupped upward at every joint. Even when air-conditioning was added to the house to dry things out, the floor has remained cupped. Now that the flooring has been installed for several months and the house has a more constant climate, can I sand the floor level and refinish? Or will it just cup again? Read more

Q&A: Joist Hanger Nails

Q: What’s the scoop on joist hanger nails? Are they as strong as full-length nails? Can you use them to attach the hanger to the beam? Read more

By Design: Fitting a Staircase

Fitting stairs into a small plan Read more

Legal Adviser: Why You Need Insurance and a License

Protecting yourself with a license & insurance Read more

Kitchen & Bath

New soft-sided tool bag, premitered vinyl door trim, easy-mix epoxy, classy eye protection Read more

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