October 2001 Table of Contents

Charging For Estimates

Twelve builders offer solid reasons for bucking the tradition of giving free estimates and tell how they get paid for the upfront work. Read more

Common Sense Lead Safety Common Sense Lead Safety

A remodeling contractor describes the practical measures he takes to keep workers and customers healthy, avoid legal costs, and create a clean, comfortable work site. Read more

Insulating with Spray Cellulose Insulating with Spray Cellulose

An insulation contractor explains why he prefers damp-spray cellulose for wall applications and how he installs it. Read more

Laying a Stone Floor Laying a Stone Floor

A custom builder and remodeler describes how her crew cut and laid a sandstone floor. Read more

Cleaning Up After the Storm Cleaning Up After the Storm

In the aftermath of Hurricane Fran, this North Carolina builder gained experience in insurance work — and helped his community rebuild. Read more

Shopping for Clad-Wood Casement Windows

JLC staff take a close look at ten windows from national manufacturers. Read more


Better marketing for energy savings, plywood standards, ICF foundations, more Read more


Job-site waste, training older workers, results of JLC Internet use survey, more Read more

Q & A
Q&A: Finishing Basement Walls Q&A: Finishing Basement Walls

Q: To finish an existing basement, I will be installing 2x4 walls around the perimeter. Should I install some type of waterproofing to the concrete walls? Can the 2x4 walls touch the concrete, or should I leave an air space? Read more

Q&A: Weight Limits for Ladders

Q: Do the listed weight limits for ladders and scaffold planks include a safety factor? If so, how much weight can be added beyond the listed weight until failure occurs? Read more

Q&A: Wooden Shelf Around a Whirlpool Tub

Q: I will be installing a whirlpool tub for a customer who wants me to surround the tub with a horizontal shelf of natural wood. The customer has rejected my suggestion to install tile. Is there any species of wood that would hold up in this environment? Read more

Q&A: Right Size for an Insulating Air Space

Q: How big does an air space need to be before it stops working as insulation and starts working as a convective loop? Read more

Q&A: Cutting Solid Surfacing

Q: What type of saw blade should I use to remove about an inch from a solid-surface countertop? Read more

Q&A: Makeup Air for an Exhaust-Only Ventilation System

Q: Q. I’m building a tight house with above-average attention to air sealing, and I plan to ventilate with a Panasonic exhaust fan running continuously. Will the cracks around windows and doors admit adequate makeup air, or do I need to provide wall vents Read more

Q&A: Advantages to 240-Volt Lighting

Q: I am planning to install new lighting in a warehouse. Are there any advantages, either in installation costs or in operating costs, to installing 240-volt lighting fixtures instead of 120-volt? Read more

Q&A: Fuel Cost Comparison

Q: A customer asked me how to compare the cost of different heating fuels (natural gas, propane, oil, and electricity). Can you provide a chart with this information? Read more

Q&A: Rebar in Sonotubes

Q: To support a beam for a residential deck, does a Sonotube pier need any rebar? Read more

Q&A: Sealing Garage Floors

Q: Is a concrete sealer effective at protecting a garage floor from road salt damage? If so, what is the best product to use — a floor paint or a clear waterproofing sealer? Read more

Q&A: Bending Metal Roofing to a Curve

Q: Can regular sheets of metal panel roofing be installed on a curved roof with a radius of 28 feet? Read more

Q&A: Preventing Storm Water Backup

Q: The municipal storm drainage system in our city shares pipes with the sewer system. During heavy rainstorms, water backs up from the municipal drain line into a customer’s basement floor drain. Is there any type of check valve that can be installed in Read more

Q&A: Installing New Stucco Over Old

Q: The owner of a house with existing exterior cement stucco is unhappy with the finish. How difficult is it to install a new coat of stucco over the existing stucco? Read more

Q&A: Vinyl Trim for Bay Windows

Q: What is the best vinyl trim detail to use on the wide angles of bay windows? The house in question does not have enough room at the corners to use a vinyl outside corner piece, which would be too wide. Is it acceptable to use a piece of inside corner t Read more

By Design: Entrance Options

Design options for the main entrance Read more

Strictly Business: The Language of Accounting

What your accountant is telling you Read more

Legal Adviser: Getting Paid for Change Orders

Making sure you get paid for change orders Read more

Computer Solutions: Use Technology to Make a Smooth Move

Moving your office? Use technology to make the process smoother Read more

Trade Talk

Hydronic heating guide, basic engineering text, more Read more

Kitchen & Bath
Kitchen & Bath: Venting Professional-Style Kitchen Ranges

Venting professional-style kitchen ranges Read more


Rebar chairs, laminated glass, high-performance paint stripper, spaceage carpenter pen, mini skid steer loader, more Read more

Toolbox: A Tool List for Employees

Tools you want your employees to own Read more

Backfill: One More Reason to Quit Smoking

Beware gas buildup in water heaters Read more

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