December 2005 Table of Contents

Building a Curved Portico Building a Curved Portico

Synthetic millwork gives this front entry porch a classic look. Read more

Tool Test: Coil Framing Nailers Tool Test: Coil Framing Nailers

Coils guns are heavier than stick nailers, so look for a well-balanced tool. Read more

Foolproof Cure for Wet Basements Foolproof Cure for Wet Basements

Skip the exterior excavation and waterproofing -- an interior perimeter drainage system can work just as well. Read more

Success With Traditional Trim Success With Traditional Trim

Window details like profiled stools and aprons with applied moldings have helped this builder find a profitable niche. Read more


Spanish on the job site; safety first; wind hold-downsfor rafter tails; faster plaster repair; building onthe beach; more Read more

In the News In the News

New tax break takes shape; top-dollar tarps in New Orleans; unvented crawlspace design guide; 2005 Solar Decathlon; more Read more

Q & A
Q&A: Fixing a Noisy Condo Q&A: Fixing a Noisy Condo

Q. Fixing a Noisy Condo I'm renovating a condominium that shares a wall with the adjoining unit. Sound from the neighboring unit the ringing telephone, the dishwasher, and especially the TV travels right through the double 2x4 common wall, which has fire-rated drywall sheathing on one of the interior surfaces. Only the neighboring wall has fiberglass batt insulation, and as far as I know, the two walls do not touch. The condo is on a slab foundation. Is there any way to reduce the sound transmission through this wall? Read more

Q&A: Dealing With a Peeling Floor Finish

Q. Dealing With a Peeling Floor Finish Recently, I removed wall-to-wall carpeting from an older maple floor finished with (I presume) polyurethane. While the finish had some paint splatters and stains, the flooring itself looked to be in good shape, so I simply scuff-sanded it with a pole sander, scraping and hand-sanding the tougher spots. Then I vacuumed the floor, wiped it down with mineral spirits, and applied a new coat of polyurethane. This was a process I had used in another room of the house with good results, but in this case the polyurethane has started to flake and peel away, particularly in high-traffic areas. What happened? Is a full refinishing the only option at this point? Read more

Q&A: Compressive Strength Of Cellular PVC Trim

Q. Compressive Strength Of Cellular PVC Trim What kind of compressive strength do cellular PVC trim products such as Azek have? Can they be safely sandwiched between a supporting column and a bearing beam, for example? Read more

On the Job
On the Job: Understair Pantry On the Job: Understair Pantry

Understair pantry; hidden header detail; sturdy deck protection; firmer footing Read more

Team Hiring - A Group Decision Business Team Hiring - A Group Decision

I'm a remodeler in Northern California and do about $1.5 million per year in kitchens, baths, and whole-house remodels. Much of the work is subbed, so we can do this volume with a relatively small full-time crew; currently we have two in the office and three in the field. Read more

Kitchen & Bath
Kitchen & Bath

Kitchen sinks; bathroom fittings & fixtures Read more


Pint-sized peel-and-stick; metalconnectors; durable exterior trim; whole-house audio & video Read more

Toolbox Toolbox

Delta 36-255L TwinLaser miter saw; handsaws; concrete & masonry tools Read more

Stare-Worthy Handrail Backfill Stare-Worthy Handrail

The meticulously restored exterior of this late-19th-century mansard-roofed Victorian home in Cambridge, Mass., gives no clue to the presence of a beautifully crafted and surprisingly whimsical central staircase within. Read more

JLC Field Guide
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