February 2002 Table of Contents

Building Airtight Homes

An experienced builder of energy-efficient homes explains the framing and air-sealing details necessary to build a tight, well-ventilated home. Read more

Calculating Labor Costs

The hard cost of labor includes taxes, insurance, employee benefits, vehicle expenses, and more. Failing to account for these expenses will take a large chunk out of your bottom line, as this remodeling contractor illustrates. Read more

Coil Roofing Nailers

A coil roofing nailer pays for itself in time saved even if you do only a couple of roofs a year. We take a close look at the major brands. Read more

Restoring an Open Porch

In this design-build project, a remodeling company turned a little-used sunroom addition back into an elegant open-air porch. Read more

Retrofitting a Skylight in a Truss Roof

An Iowa remodeler tells how he was able to retrofit a skylight into an existing truss roof by redistributing the roof loads. Read more

What's New in Exterior Doors

Fiberglass, composite, and a few new options have expanded the choices of entry doors beyond steel and wood. Read more


Radon outgassing, wiring between ceiling strapping, more on mold, materials markups, more Read more


Report on pressure-treated lumber, basements in California, NAHB remodeler training, hinged truss plates, dirt for sale, toxic mold task force, more Read more

Q & A
Preventing Frost Action on Structural Posts Preventing Frost Action on Structural Posts

Q: In New York state, we built a pergola (a type of garden trellis) using 8x8 pressure-treated posts set 4 feet into the ground. During the first winter, the frost lifted the posts. What should we have done to keep the posts from heaving? Read more

Q&A: Comparing Cedar Shingle Species

Q: How do eastern white cedar and western red cedar shingles compare for durability? I’ve heard that red cedar is more durable, but I wonder if the difference is enough to affect the service life of roofing or siding. Read more

Q&A: Shingle Overhang

Q: How far beyond the drip-edge should an asphalt shingle extend? Is the amount of overhang the same at the rake as at the eave? Read more

Q&A: Double-Side Vapor Barrier Q&A: Double-Side Vapor Barrier

Q: As part of the gut remodel of a 1940 house near Houston, Texas, we installed 3/4-inch rigid foam over the exterior wall sheathing, followed by vinyl siding. On the interior, we exposed the 2x4 studs and installed fiberglass batts. Then we installed 1/2-inch foil-faced rigid foam followed by drywall. In that climate, will these “foam sandwich” walls trap moisture? Read more

Q&A: What’s the Dewpoint? Q&A: What’s the Dewpoint?

Q: When people refer to the dewpoint in a wall assembly, are they talking about a location or a temperature? How is the dewpoint calculated? Read more

Q&A: One Furnace or Two?

Q: What factors must be considered when deciding whether to use a large hot-air furnace with two zones or two smaller furnaces? Read more

Q&A: Porch Floor Board Orientation

Q: I’m building a roofed porch with tongue-and-groove fir decking in New England. The boards will be primed and painted on all sides before installation. The joists run perpendicular to the building, and I’d like to install the flooring parallel to the long dimension of the porch. Does the orientation of the porch boards matter? Read more

Q&A: Concrete Over Plywood Subfloor

Q: Before installing a thin concrete or gypcrete floor over a plywood subfloor, what kind of membrane should be installed over the plywood? Read more

Strictly Business: Beating Remodeler’s Stress

Beating the stress of running a remodeling business Read more

Trade Talk
Trade Talk: Epoxy Coatings for Garage Floors

Epoxy coatings for garage floors Read more

Kitchen & Bath

Butt joint coverups, drywall suspension system, compact excavators, acrylic block windows, PVC railings, cordless kits, high-capacity tool pouches, more Read more

Tight Connections With Pocket-Hole Screws

Using a pocket-hole jig on site Read more

JLC Field Guide
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