April 2002 Table of Contents

A Job-Site Office

A fully wired and heated trailer provides this GC with an organized space from which to run a complex and long-term job. Read more

Designing Concrete Basement Walls

An engineer explains how wall thickness, rebar, and proper drainage all affect the ability of poured concrete foundation walls to resist lateral soil pressure. Read more

Engineered Trim & Siding

Engineered wood, fiber cement, and plastic can provide the look of natural wood siding and trim without the limitations of the real thing. Read more

Framing Floors With I-Joists

A Cape Cod builder tells how to frame flat, squeak-free floors with wood I-joists. Read more

Getting Water From a Well

Dependable rural water supply starts with sizing the pump and using high-quality fittings. A master plumber explains the details. Read more

Successful Sound Control

Two researchers dampened the noise from an industrial wood shop next to an office. Here are the details they used. Read more


Preventing posts from heaving, comments on legal-pad estimating, Andersen windows revisited, more Read more


Phaseout of CCA lumber, Marvin wins lawsuit, Stanley Tools moves offshore, exploding water heater saga, more Read more

Q & A
Q&A: Tile for Steam Rooms Q&A: Tile for Steam Rooms

Q. My customer wants to have her combination steam room–shower tiled with a nonglazed floor and wall tile she has already purchased. Is the tile suitable for this type of application? I would use Hardie’s Tile Backer for a substrate and the appropriate thinset mortar. Read more

Q&A: Caulking Siding — or Not?

Q. When installing cedar clapboard, should gaps between the siding and trim be caulked? Read more

Q&A: Bolting a Ledger to Brick Veneer

Q. What’s the best way to attach a deck ledger board to a wood-framed house with brick veneer? Read more

Q&A: Blueprint Abbreviations

Q. Where can I find a key to architectural abbreviations used on blueprints? Read more

Q&A: Asphalt Felt Under Vinyl Siding

Q. Can asphalt felt be used directly under vinyl siding? I have heard that the two products are incompatible. Read more

Q&A: Nailing Sheathing on Valley Roof Trusses

Q. We’re framing a gable-roofed house with roof trusses. The roof includes a bumpout with a smaller gable roof that intersects the main roof, forming two valleys. A valley set will be installed on top of the main roof sheathing. The sheathing along the valley doesn’t have blocking for continuous nailing, and I’d rather not nail sheathing to sheathing. Should I install blocking between the framing members of the valley set to provide better nailing? Read more

Q&A: Excavating in Frozen Ground

Q. What’s the most cost-effective way to thaw a site for excavation? We are building a 16x24-foot addition with a crawlspace underneath, and the frost is already 12 inches deep. Read more

Q&A: Copper Pipes and Armored Cable

Q. If a copper water pipe is in contact with the metal sheathing of BX cable, can that contact cause the cable to corrode? Read more

Q&A: Cellular PVC Pipe

Q. What is cellular-core PVC pipe? Is it as strong as solid PVC pipe? Read more

Q&A: Drilling Holes in Wood I-Joists

Q. I need to run wires through Boise Cascade I-joists. The joists come with prepunched holes, but the holes don’t line up. I’d like to drill some 1-inch holes in the joist webs. Are there any limitations on where these holes can be drilled? Read more

Q&A: Drooling Drip-Edge Q&A: Drooling Drip-Edge

Q. Most of the houses we build have 12/12 roofs with plumb fascias. Even though our roofer uses drip-edge, water still sometimes drools down the fascias. What are we doing wrong? Read more

By Design: Defining Rooms in an Open Plan

Defining rooms in an open plan Read more

Trade Talk
Trade Talk: Understanding Mortar

Making sure of mortar types Read more

Kitchen & Bath
Kitchen & Bath: Short-Cut Kitchen Design

Short-cut kitchen design tips Read more


Floor joist patch kits; saws with lights, dust controls, deeper cuts; decorative vinyl windows; gutter cleaning; more Read more

Toolbox: New Nailer Makes Quick Work of Punchlists

New cordless brad nailers, new wormdrive saws Read more

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