September 2006 Table of Contents

Fast Fixes for Closet Flanges Fast Fixes for Closet Flanges

A few simple tools and techniques take most of the misery out of repairing these critical plumbing fittings Read more

Framing Rake Walls Framing Rake Walls

Full-scale layout using actual rafters is fast and accurate Read more

Glass-Block Shower Window Glass-Block Shower Window

A cast-in-place concrete sill sheds water outside and protects the framing on the inside Read more

Rotproof Fences Rotproof Fences

Keep water moving and seal up the end grain for a long-lasting fence in a wet climate Read more

Using a Tablet Computer Using a Tablet Computer

You write on it like a legal pad, but it has the computing and communication power of a desktop PC Read more


Proper water-heater temperature; performance guidelines; preventive maintenance; more Read more

In the News In the News

Coastal insurance crisis; concrete-canoe race; toilet testing; wetlands ruling; more Read more

Q & A
Rejuventating Aged Drywall Q&A Rejuventating Aged Drywall

Q: My company is converting a garage with drywall on its walls and ceiling into living space.The joints have been taped with one coat of mud, but some of the tape is dry and loose, and the drywall's paper surface — which was never primed — has darkened an Read more

Q&A Borate-Treated Lumber Okay For Mudsills?

Q: I know that some framers are using lumber treated with SBX (sodium borate) as a substitute for ACQ because it is less corrosive to fasteners, but I'm concerned about short-term exposure to rain and the longevity of the borate treatment itself, which co Read more

Q&A: Noisy Expansion Tank

Q: Even though I followed the manufacturer's specifications when I installed the 2-gallon thermal expansion tank and check valve for my customers' domestic hot-water system, they still complain of "clicking" noises, mainly during the heating season. Does Read more

Q&A Woodpeckers and Cedar Siding

Q: We recently completed a house that features vertical T&G cedar siding, but now my clients are complaining about woodpeckers making holes in the siding. Are there any simple techniques for dealing with this problem? Read more

On the Job
Installing Sheet Piles On the Job Installing Sheet Piles

When you live on a barrier island, just keeping your little piece of real estate from washing away is a constant struggle. Fred Sprinkle, a foundation and excavation contractor on Dauphin Island, Ala., frequently uses vinyl sheet pilings to keep the ground beneath his clients' homes from ending up in the Gulf of Mexico. Read more

Columns, Posts, Piers: What's Best for the Porch? Design Columns, Posts, Piers: What's Best for the Porch?

There's no question that a porch looks and feels best when all of its components relate to the rest of the house's design. In an earlier column, we focused on how porch guardrails can complement a home (5/06); here, we'll talk about ways that porch columns, posts, and piers can do the same. Read more

Different Folks, Different Strokes Business Different Folks, Different Strokes

How to write a practical business plan; different folks, different strokes Read more

Keep Your License Current Legal Keep Your License Current

The California Supreme Court recently made a decision that I personally disagree with. Does the court care what I think? I'm sure it doesn't. Do you care? Well, you should — even if you're in another state — because if you don't keep your license current, you could face the same problem as the unfortunate subcontractor in this case. Read more

Kitchen & Bath
Kitchen & Bath

Faucets; countertops Read more


Garage storage; windows; flashing Read more

Toolbox Toolbox

PLS2E laser; drywall lift from eBay; specialty nailers; lifting equipment Read more

The Biggest Thing to Hit Town in 74 Million Years Backfill The Biggest Thing to Hit Town in 74 Million Years

About 80 miles northwest of Des Moines, Iowa, lies the small town of Manson. Nothing much has ever happened there, unless you count the time 74 million years ago when a giant meteor crashed nearby. Actually, calling it "giant" doesn't do it justice: The meteor was 1 1/2 miles across, weighed 10 billion tons, and was traveling at 45,000 mph. Read more

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