March 2001 Table of Contents

Building a Winning Team

A remodeler shares his proven strategies for finding, training, and keeping good employees — even while the labor shortage continues. Read more

Favorite Drywall Tools & Accessories Favorite Drywall Tools & Accessories

A professional rocker shares the tools and techniques that make for a professional drywall job. Read more

Framing Roofs With Steel Framing Roofs With Steel

A Midwest builder shares the simple connection details he uses to speed the framing of roofs with light-gauge steel. Read more

Raising an Eyebrow Dormer Raising an Eyebrow Dormer

Here’s a simple on-site method for laying out and cutting this curved roof pop-up. Read more

Tips for Crack-Free Concrete Slabs Tips for Crack-Free Concrete Slabs

A construction superintendent from Canada explains how to prep the subgrade and layout contraction joints to avoid cracks in concrete slabs. Read more


Clear spans with steel joists; AIA contract draws fire; English on the job site; more Read more


HUD issues lead regs; making drywall from smokestack sludge; new technology yields straighter studs; wastewater disposal in Alaska; more Read more

Q & A
Q&A: Why Asphalt Shingles Won’t Seal Q&A: Why Asphalt Shingles Won’t Seal

Q: Two years ago, in the middle of the summer, I re-roofed a house here in Montana with three-tab asphalt shingles. The south-facing slope came out perfect, but the north-facing slope would not seal. I know the temperature was hot enough and the installat Read more

Q&A: Connecting Gutter Downspouts to Footing Drains

Q: Can gutter downspouts be connected to 4-inch pipes connected to the footing drains? The footing drains eventually terminate at daylight, away from the house. Read more

Q&A: Sagging Ceiling Drywall

Q: When 1/2-inch drywall is installed on ceiling joists spaced 24 inches on-center, will the drywall sag? Read more

Q&A: Venting Shed Roofs

Q: I want to vent an existing shed roof that intersects a vertical wall at the ridge. Because this roof is at the front of the house, I don’t want to place any visible vents in the roof. Is there an inconspicuous ridge vent available that can be insta Read more

Q&A: Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupters

Q: What is an arc-fault circuit interrupter? Are they expensive? Are they subject to nuisance tripping? Read more

Q&A: College Construction Programs

Q: I am currently a contractor, but I’m thinking about going back to school to further my education. Where can I find a list of colleges with architecture, construction science, and construction research programs? Read more

Q&A: Non-Slip Coatings for Tile Floors

Q: We installed a ceramic tile floor in a kitchen. The client is now complaining that the floor is very slick when wet, leading to dangerous falls. Is there any way to retrofit a non-slip surface on a tile floor? Read more

Q&A: Insulating Pipes in an Exterior Wall

Q: What’s the best way to insulate plumbing supply lines in an exterior 2x6 wall? Read more

Q&A: Water in Under-Slab Ducts

Q: Nine years ago I built a new house on a slab foundation. We put in a forced-air heating system, and the hvac contractor ran the ducts under the slab. The house is on a lake, and during certain times of year rising ground water enters the ducts. We Read more

Q&A: Velvety Wood Decay

Q: When inspecting the porch floor joists of an 1880s farmhouse in Illinois, I was surprised to see that the joists and the underside of the tongue-and-groove fir decking appeared velvety, and looked like they were covered with matted dog hair. The surfac Read more

By Design: User-Friendly Foyers By Design: User-Friendly Foyers

Designing a pleasant, functional foyer Read more

Computer Solutions: Master Builder Solo

Review of Master Builder Solo Read more

Kitchen & Bath
Kitchen & Bath: Sheet-Vinyl Basics

Working with sheet-vinyl flooring Read more


Sawhorse brackets; a better toggle bolt; low-temp paint and caulk; flame-proof recess light; low-cost powder-actuated tool; accurate scribing tool; more Read more

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