March 1999 Table of Contents

Foundation Drainage Foundation Drainage

A concrete contractor and consultant explains how proper finish grading and footing drain details keep surface runoff and underground water away from the foundation. Read more

Installing Hardwood Strip Flooring Installing Hardwood Strip Flooring

A flooring expert provides tips and tricks for installing perfect hardwood floors over plywood and concrete. Read more

Managing Client Emotions

The stress homeowners experience during a remodeling project can lead to misunderstandings, shouting matches, or worse. This successful remodeler explains how to take control of your client's emotional ups and downs. Read more

Rebuilding an Old Attic Space

This old farmhouse attic was under-built and out of level. Using sistered rafters and an ingenious sleeper system, a Vermont contractor solved the structural problems without busting the budget. Read more

Roof Calculations Simplified

For complex roof framing, calculators are starting to take the place of framing square tables or trig. A veteran California framer shows how to make a complete hip-rafter cut list using the Construction Master foot-inch calculator. Read more

Trimming out Stairs Trimming out Stairs

Site-built staircases are an important part of many medium-budget projects. In this step-by-step guide, a stair specialist describes how to lay out, cut and install treads, risers, and elegant post-to-post stair railings using stock parts. Read more


Truss brace question, kudos for housewrap article, a better tape measure, missing bath remodel permits Read more


Home Depot targets high-end remodeling, Minnesota passes mechanical ventilation regs, fluorescents that fit, nail gun accident, EIFS policy change, DeWalt tool recall Read more

Q&A: Insulating Around Replacement Windows

Q: When replacing old double-hung windows with vinyl replacement units, what’s the best way to insulate the counterweight cavity? Read more

Q&A: Granite Tile Countertops Q&A: Granite Tile Countertops

Q: We are planning to use 1-foot-square granite tiles in a kitchen counter application because it is more affordable than granite slabs. Can I install the granite right over plywood, or do you recommend Durock as an underlayment? What type of grout would work best? How wide a space should we leave between tiles? Thank you for any advice you can offer. Read more

Q&A: Condensation on Ceiling Q&A: Condensation on Ceiling

Q: Often my customers request that we insulate vaulted ceilings when we’re reroofing. These roofs usually have 4x6 rafters, 2x6 T&G planks exposed to the inside, and composition shingles on the outside. Our technique has been to strip the roof, lay out 2x4 or 2x6 rafters over the open beam area, install R-30 rigid insulation in the bays, then install plywood and shingle roofing above. Recently, I had a problem with one of these roofs. In an area about 2 feet down from the peak of the living room ceiling, the paint started to peel and mold spots are growing. I checked with a moisture meter and found that water is condensing on the surface of the ceiling. Do I need to somehow vent this assembly? Read more

Legal Adviser: ADA Design Responsibility

Liability for accessible designs Read more

Computer Solutions: Simplified Structural Design

Software for sizing structural components Read more


Construction dictionaries, layout techniques, practical home automation, air quality basics, and more Read more


Dimmable compact fluorescents, bi-directional floor registers, automatic make-up air, engineered stair stringers Read more

Toolbox: Angle Finder for Crown Molding

Angle finder for crown molding Read more

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