December 1999 Table of Contents

Cordless Saw UPDATE Cordless Saw UPDATE

Longer runtimes and greater power are making cordless circular saws more useful on the site. Our tool editor takes a close look at the available models. Read more

Installing a Radiant Wall

Sometimes heavy floor coverings, furniture, or built-ins reduce the area available for radiant heating. This heating specialist shows how to turn walls and ceilings into heat emitters. Read more

Makeup Air For Combustion Equipment Makeup Air For Combustion Equipment

Fuel-burning appliances like water heaters, furnaces, and boilers need a steady supply of combustion air to operate safely and efficiently. In today’s tight houses, this means you may have to install dedicated air intakes. In this article, a venting specialist tells you what you need to know. Read more

Millenium Notebook

A lighthearted look at the state of the industry at the turn of the last millennium. Read more

Prefab Shear Walls

If the homes you’re building require tedious shear nailing and truckloads of metal connectors to protect against high wind or earthquake, you may want to consider these premanufactured panels. By saving time, they may save you money on your next engineered job. Read more


More on payment schedules, painting over knots, affordable design catalog announced, “green” building vs. “healthy” building, followup on tool pretenders, flitch beam details Read more


Widespread problem with leaky copper pipes, toxic mold blamed for infant deaths, recharging your NiCad batteries, lumber export fee agreement reached with Canada, U.S. importing drywall from Britain Read more

Q&A: Adding a Garbage Disposal

Q: My clients want to add a disposal during a remodel of their 1950s kitchen. The 2-inch waste line runs at a shallow pitch for about 30 feet (with three right-angle bends) before diving into the main 4-inch cast iron line. Over nearly 50 years, they’ve had only a few clogging problems with this waste line and had to ream it from the clean-out. Will the disposal cause this line to clog more often? Read more

Q&A: Stucco Cracking Mystery

Q: We have had good luck using the old-fashioned technique for exterior stucco: 1/2-inch plywood, felt paper, wire mesh, then 1 inch of plaster in three coats. Last year our luck ran out. We built a house on a hill where the wind just didn’t stop. A year later, one face — the gable end of a two-story two-car garage — has many hairline cracks. The stucco sub wants to put a heavy fiberglass tape over the cracks and re-stucco that face. Is this a good solution? Read more

Q&A: Bubbling Skim Coat Over Painted Surface

Q: How can the bubbling be eliminated when skim-coating joint compound over a painted surface? Read more

Q&A: Finishing Water-Stained Wood

Q: I have an unfinished mahogany door that has gotten water stains. How can I get rid of these stains before finishing? Read more

Q&A: A Fix for Bouncy Floors

Q: As part of a remodel, I have to replace the carpet on a floor framed with 2x10s on 12-inch centers. The joist span is 20 feet, and the floor bounces so badly that things on the table shake when someone walks through the room. Is there a good way to fix this problem before recarpeting? Read more

Q&A: Which Way With OSB Sheathing? Q&A: Which Way With OSB Sheathing?

Q: I recently inspected a home that had 3/8-inch OSB corner bracing. The surface stamp indicated that the strength axis of the panel ran in the long direction (see photo, below). I assume this means the panel should be applied with the long dimension across the studs, yet the builder had installed the long dimension parallel to studs. I called APA to check and was told the stamp only applies for roof sheathing and not to corner bracing. Why is the strength axis important for roof sheathing but not for corner bracing? Read more

Strictly Business: High-Tech on Site: Friend or Foe?

Is high-tech equipment useful in the field? Read more

Computer Solutions: Using E-Mail with Paint Shop Pro

Using Paint Shop Pro to communicate with clients Read more


Home inspection resource Read more

Kitchen & Bath

Plastic sump pit, convenient concrete anchor kit, safety lanyard, see-through storm shutters, stainless steel door, better duct tape, chimney-top vent fan Read more

Toolbox: Handy Hand Tools

Some handy hand tools Read more

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