April 2006 Table of Contents

Features
Getting Ready For Drywall Getting Ready For Drywall

Careful planning and properly detailed framing will prevent cracks, pops, sags, and ridges. Read more

Installing an Over-the-Post Handrail - Part One Installing an Over-the-Post Handrail - Part One

Simple-to-make railing stands allow accurate assembly right in position. Read more

Remodeling for Aging In Place Remodeling for Aging In Place

Aesthetics and safety go hand-in-hand in thoughtful barrier-free design. Read more

Replacing a Bearing Wall With a Flush Beam Replacing a Bearing Wall With a Flush Beam

A shallow steel-reinforced beam preserved headroom in this low-ceilinged room. Read more

Seismic Retrofit For Cripple Walls Seismic Retrofit For Cripple Walls

A good job addresses the building's weakest link - where the foundation attaches to the first floor. Read more

Letters
Letters

Borate-treated lumber; illegal day laborers; slanted-news charge; of lawyers and engineers Read more

News
In the News In the News

Solar incentives; Massachusetts sub vs. employee test; energy-saving lighting design guides; more Read more

Q & A
Moving an Electrical Box Q&A Moving an Electrical Box

Q: On a current kitchen remodel, my electrician placed one of the electrical boxes for the countertop outlets too low. I need to raise it about an inch to clear a stone backsplash. There's enough stripped Type NM-B cable left in the box to do this without splicing, but because the plastic sheathing has been stripped from the cable and there's no slack in the house wiring, doing so would leave an inch of unsheathed - but insulated - wiring exposed in the wall cavity behind the drywall. Is it okay to simply slip a section of plastic sheathing over the exposed wiring, perhaps using electrical tape or heat-shrink tubing to hold the sheath in place? Read more

Q&A Tiling a Curved Wall

Q. Tiling a Curved Wall We've been asked to build a semicircular bathroom with tiled walls. What should we use as a substrate to cover the curved wall, which will have about a 12- to 18-foot radius, and what should we use to waterproof behind it? Read more

Q&A Flooring for a Radiant Slab

Q. Passive Solar Flooring Instead of tile, my clients want to install a wood-finish floor over the insulated concrete slab of a planned passive solar addition. They've also asked us to install tubing in the slab to give them the option of radiantly heating the space. But won't wood flooring have a significant insulating effect that will diminish both solar heat gain and radiant heat transfer? Read more

On the Job
Outdoor Detour On the Job Outdoor Detour

Girder truss to the rescue; outdoor detour Read more

Business
Determining Your Break-Even Point Business Determining Your Break-Even Point

Like many small contractors, you probably want your business to grow and produce more profit. But growth entails risks, including the possibility that hiring more managers or office people could increase overhead to such an extent that profit declines. Read more

Legal
Legal: Idiot-Proof Your Contracts Legal: Idiot-Proof Your Contracts

Idiot-proof your contracts Read more

Kitchen & Bath
Kitchen & Bath

Decorative hardware; tile-setting problem-solvers Read more

Products
Products

Pneumatic fasteners; skylights; instantaneous water heaters Read more

Toolbox
Toolbox Toolbox

Grip-Rite joist-hanger nailers; masonry tools; storage Read more

Backfill
How to Dismantle a 400-Year-Old Fireplace Backfill How to Dismantle a 400-Year-Old Fireplace

There is currently a major expansion and remodeling program taking place at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Read more

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