December 2000 Table of Contents

Casting Concrete Countertops

Use this shop-fabricated approach to concrete countertops to improve quality and cut installation time from days to hours. Read more

Fine-Tuning Forced-Hot Air Fine-Tuning Forced-Hot Air

A heating contractor details how to upgrade from a typical bare-bones heating system to one that delivers comfort and customer satisfaction. Read more

Framing Living Space Over a Garage

Four case studies illustrate how different methods and materials can provide efficient solutions to framing a clear-span floor over a garage. Read more

Installing a Cylindrical Latchset Installing a Cylindrical Latchset

Get accurate results using shop-made and commercial jigs with these basic techniques. Read more

Layout Under the Slab

A construction superintendent explains how to avoid costly errors under slab foundations. Read more

Frameless Shower Installation Frameless Shower Installation

Two custom glazers explain the planning and workmanship that go into this job to ensure it’s trouble-free. Read more


Venting an island dishwasher; homemade beats store-bought every time; more Read more


Preparing for a future economic slump; houses collapse in Philadelphia; heat kills; certified green trusses; hiding garage doors; use renewable energy in Colorado or pay the price; more Read more

Q & A
Q&A: Durability of Water-Based Urethane Finish

Q: The new water-based urethane finishes are easier to apply than the old solvent-based polyurethanes. But are they as durable? Read more

Q&A: Fixing a Moldy Crawlspace

Q: A homeowner wants me to eliminate the moldy smell from a crawlspace. The crawlspace has a concrete floor, with fiberglass batt insulation between the floor joists. There are two louvered vents that are left open year-round. Would it help to insulate the walls with rigid foam and seal the vents shut? Read more

Q&A: Fibermesh Reinforcement

Q: I’m working on a project with a 2-inch thick colored concrete topping slab installed over a 5-inch thick structural slab on grade. There will be #15 felt installed between the two slabs, so they can move independently. I am considering using fibermesh to minimize cracks in the topping slab. If I use fibermesh, can I omit the usual welded wire mesh? Also, I have heard that there is a type of sealer that can be mixed into the concrete to help preserve the color and finish of the topping slab. Do you know about this product? Read more

Q&A: Finding the Center of a Circle Using a Formula Q&A: Finding the Center of a Circle Using a Formula

Q: The pros and cons of water-based urethane finishes; fixing a moldy crawlspace; reinforcing and sealing a concrete topping slab; more Read more

By Design: Transom Window Layout

Tweaking the look of transom windows Read more

Legal Adviser: Working for the Architect

Protect yourself when you’re working for an architect Read more


Read up on construction-quality standards Read more


On-site welding kit; safer worklight; joint compound accelerator; decorative exterior woodwork; ready-made shingle panels and corners; colored caulk; more Read more

Toolbox: Impulse Angled Finish Nailer

Angled finish nailer review Read more

Backfill: Welcome to California Gardens

Wish you lived in California? Move to China. Read more

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