January 2000 Table of Contents

A Quick Cure for Problem Soils

Surprise soils can complicate any project. When the excavation turns up weak or expansive clay, this low-strength ready-mix fill can provide a stable base for the foundation without busting the budget. Read more

Choosing a Profit-Sharing Plan

In a tight labor market, offering a profit-sharing plan will increase employee loyalty, and may tip the scales for a prospective hire. A New Jersey builder tells how he researched and selected the plan that works for him. Read more

Installing Radiant Snowmelting Installing Radiant Snowmelting

The same technology used in radiant slabs also works outdoors to melt snow from drives and walkways. A heating contractor explains how to schedule and install a radiant snowmelt system. Read more

Sealing and Flashing Metal Roofs Sealing and Flashing Metal Roofs

Proper treatment of edges, terminations, and penetrations is key to a leak-free metal roof. Here are the critical details. Read more

Working With Vinyl Windows Working With Vinyl Windows

In recent years, solid vinyl windows have moved from the replacement window market into new construction of every price range. Here’s a guide to selecting vinyl windows, including installation tips and pitfalls to avoid. Read more


Options for damping household noise; certification for building designers; correcting stucco weep detail; more on unvented crawlspaces Read more


Leaky condos lead to builder fees; cellulose fibers dramatically reduce stucco cracks; failing septic systems spawn class-action suit; new precut SIPs; expansive soils wreak havoc with floor slabs; labor unions go after non-union workers in Boston Read more

Q & A
Q&A: Sealing Exterior Wood Before Painting

Q: How much benefit is there to applying a water sealer and wood preservative to clapboard siding before priming and painting? Read more

Q&A: Circular Saw Won't Cut Straight

Q: I have a Skil 559 7 1/4-inch saw, which I have a tough time making accurate cuts with. The saw was given to me, and I suspect it’s a lower-end product. I realize that it’s a poor workman who blames his tools, and I figured I’d get the hang of it after a while, but straight cuts right along the line have been pretty elusive. Could I eliminate these problems with a higher end saw? Read more

Q&A: Why Are 2x12s Rated Lower Than 2x6s?

Q: Recently I needed structural design values (E, Fb, Fv) for treated southern yellow pine. So I referred to a publication from the Southern Pine Council, which indicated that while E (modulus of elasticity) and Fv (allowable shear stress) remain constant, Fb (bending strength) values grow smaller as the lumber dimension grows larger. The values for Number 2 SYP are listed in the chart, below. Why does the Fb change with the lumber size? Also, does treating lumber with a preservative (such as CCA) change the design values? Read more

Legal Adviser: Partner Buy-Sell Agreements

Buy-sell agreements for partnerships Read more


Drywall installation guides Read more

Kitchen & Bath
Kitchen & Bath: Choosing a Whirlpool Tub

Helping clients select a whirlpool Read more


Better metal roof closures; easy access panel; shower base screed strips; new bamboo flooring; compact vanity for small baths; high-tech roof fall protection; flameless solderer for copper pipe; engineered form lumber; simple screen system; more Read more

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