February 2007 Table of Contents

Builder CAD For Less Than $1,000 Builder CAD For Less Than $1,000

Two old-school and two new-school approaches to 2-D and 3-D design. Read more

Cool Tools From STAFDA

The most innovative new products at the tool dealers' Read more

Tool Test 16-Gauge Finish Nailers Tool Test 16-Gauge Finish Nailers

Look for a tool that sets nails consistently and has a good line of sight Read more

Heating a Home With a Tankless Water Heater Heating a Home With a Tankless Water Heater

Even in a cold climate, these efficient units can provide both domestic hot water and whole-house heating. Read more

Retrofitting A Structural Ridge Retrofitting A Structural Ridge

Reinforced light-gauge steel beams provided the strength needed to open up the attic in this small home. Read more


License decision judged unfair; cheap fix for plywood paneling; deck-ledger brackets; more Read more

In the News In the News

Construction emissions face scrutiny in California; paint-related lawsuits multiply; licensing in Georgia; more Read more

Q & A
Should Caulk Guns Be Pushed or Pulled? Q&A Should Caulk Guns Be Pushed or Pulled?

Q: Should Caulk Guns Be Pushed or Pulled? Read more

Q&A Painting Steel Roofing

Q: When installing painted steel roofing, is it necessary to coat the edges of cut panels in order to prevent rust? Read more

Q&A Waterproofing Under a Stone Countertop

Q: Is it okay to use Schluter's Kerdi material as a waterproofing membrane beneath a stone countertop? Because it's flexible, I plan to use it to cover the plywood substrate on top of the cabinets, and then turn it up the wall a few inches so that I can w Read more

Q&A Persistent Mildew

Q: Twelve years ago, we sided a house with vertical-grain cedar treated with a solid oil stain. When mildew started to appear, we were asked to return and apply a second coat of stain. The house cleaned up nicely when we washed it with a bleaching solutio Read more

Q&A Block Walls, Vapor Barriers, and Solar Vapor Drive

Q: With a cavity wall assembly consisting of load-bearing 8-inch CMUs (concrete masonry units), 2 inches of rigid foam, a 2-inch air space, and 4-inch concrete bricks covered with cementitious stucco and an acrylic color coat, how important is dampproofin Read more

Business Improve Your Cash Flow

Many contractors complain bitterly about their lack of cash flow. That's no surprise, given that employees, subs, and vendors all expect to be paid — whether or not the customer has paid the company. Read more

Protect Your Lien Rights Legal Protect Your Lien Rights

Consider this scenario: During the course of a project, the homeowner pays the contractor, but the contractor doesn't pay his subs or material suppliers. One of the subs or suppliers then files a construction lien on the property. The homeowner, of course, goes crazy. He has already paid, he says, and clouding his title is unlawful. He threatens to sue the sub for damages. Read more

Kitchen & Bath
Kitchen & Bath

Cooking; tiling Read more


Siding; adhesives Read more

Toolbox Toolbox

DeWalt 745 table saw; cordless drills; ladders Read more

The Truth About Thomas Crapper Backfill The Truth About Thomas Crapper

It sounds like a straightforward trivia question: Was the flush toilet invented by a Victorian Englishman named Thomas Crapper, and is his name the source of the slang expression for that invention? Read more

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