April 2000 Table of Contents

A Spreadsheet Primer

This screen-by-screen tutorial will help you get more mileage out of your spreadsheet program, regardless of the task. Read more

Kitchen Cabinet Storage Options

Whether you spec the cabinets for your projects or help the clients make the choice, this article will bring you up to date on the storage accessories being offered by cabinet manufacturers. Read more

Framing, Day One

A framing contractor explains how he organizes his five-man crew to break down the lumber package, lay out plates, and start building walls on the first day on the job. Read more

Installing Suspended Ceilings

Here’s how to lay out and assemble professional-looking dropped ceilings. Read more

Simple Site-Built Mantels

A production-oriented finish carpenter shows how to build elegant but affordable mantels from MDF and stock moldings. Read more


Flashing flanged windows; questions on corroding copper pipe; reactions to Advantech article; ventilation makeup air Read more


House-eating fungus wreaking havoc in California; Sears abandons installed sales company; new Minnesota energy code; looking for a better low-flow toilet test Read more

Q & A
Q&A: Choosing and Finishing Porch Boards

Q: I am planning to replace the porch floor on a 120-year-old Victorian home. Since cedar and redwood seem too soft for a porch floor, I am choosing between tongue-and-groove yellow pine, vertical-grain fir, and mahogany. Can you explain the advantages and disadvantages of these species when used for a porch floor? As for the finish, I’m considering a transparent oil stain, because deck paint is slippery to walk on, and the stain will allow the wood grain to show through. It’s also an advantage that a stain will not peel. What is your advice? Read more

Q&A: Suitable Tiles for Outdoor Counter

Q: I’m building an outdoor patio, and the plans call for a ceramic tile counter near the grill. What types of vitreous tile are suitable for outdoor use? Read more

Q&A: Installing a Metal Fireplace

Q: When installing a zero-clearance metal fireplace, are there any requirements for fire stops or draft stops? Does the inside of the chase need to be drywalled? Read more

Q&A: Protecting Eyes from Lead and Asbestos Dust

Q: I do a lot of renovation work in old homes, and the work includes a lot of demolition. I am very concerned about health hazards from lead-based paint and asbestos. I make it a practice of wearing the best respirator I can find. Unfortunately, every type of eye goggles I have tried fogs up when used with a respirator, to the point where I can’t see what I’m doing. Once the goggles fog up, I end up taking them off. My question is, can you get lead or asbestos poisoning through your eyes? Read more

Q&A: Water Heater Relief Valve Keeps Tripping

Q: After reading the article "Using Water Heaters for Radiant Heat" (11/98), I decided to replace my boiler with a 75-gallon propane water heater. In general, this is working great, except that about every three weeks the pressure-temperature relief valve, which is rated at 210°F, keeps tripping. I live in the cold climate of Michigan, and I need to keep the water heater temperature set on "High," which is about 180-190°F. When the relief valve trips, I notice that the water temperature is about 195°F. What’s going on? Read more

Q&A: Bleaching Old Cedar Paneling

Q: I want to lighten the color of 15-year-old cedar paneling that has darkened with age. The wall paneling consists of 3/8x6-inch tongue-and-groove clear cedar installed over 1/2-inch drywall. I took a sample of the interior cedar and experimented with a bleaching method I often use outdoors. I applied a solution of diluted household bleach to the cedar, followed by flushing with ample amounts of water. The results were quite satisfactory, but the procedure obviously won’t work indoors. Read more

Q&A: Using Dry Sand in a Radiant Floor

Q: How do you go about using sand instead of concrete for thermal mass in a radiant floor, as mentioned in the Sept. ’98 article "Hardwood Flooring Over Radiant Heat"? Read more

Patching Icynene Insulation

Q: What is the best material to use to patch Icynene spray foam insulation? Sometimes it’s necessary to remove a substantial amount of the stuff after it has been installed. Read more

By Design: A Contemporary Greek Revival

Designing a contemporary home with a period feel Read more

Strictly Business: Trouble-Free Building Inspections

Cooperating with your building inspector Read more

Legal Adviser: Hiring Your Spouse

When you hire your spouse Read more

Kitchen & Bath
Kitchen & Bath: Quick Cabinet Quotes

A simple system for quick cabinet estimates Read more


Stepladder tool pouch; vinyl board & batten siding; fold-away urinal; new-tech utility knives; polyethylene garage doors; and more Read more

Toolbox: New Tools From the Builders Show Toolbox: New Tools From the Builders Show

New tools from the NAHB Builders’ Show Read more

JLC Field Guide
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