June 2007 Table of Contents

A Builder's Guide to Energy Codes A Builder's Guide to Energy Codes

A close look at current energy codes - and where they're headed. Read more

A Door in Disguise A Door in Disguise

This bookcase masks a hidden storage closet. Read more

Dressing Up an Eyebrow Dormer Dressing Up an Eyebrow Dormer

Use this no-math template method to match complex shapes with heat-formed PVC trim. Read more

Recessed Window Openings Recessed Window Openings

A properly prepared opening, preformed corners, and layered flashing prevent leaks. Read more

Testing for Moisture In Concrete Slabs Testing for Moisture In Concrete Slabs

Before installing flooring over concrete, do a calcium chloride test to make sure it's truly dry. Read more


Unnecessary roof venting; dangers of thin plywood paneling; no freebies; more Read more

In the News
In the News In the News

Homes for injured veterans; layoffs in the housing sector; call 811 before digging; more Read more

Q & A
Q&A Exposed I-Joists

Q: A client has asked me to build a practical outbuilding with a wood floor system. For simplicity's sake, I'd like to place it on a Sonotube foundation and use continuous-span wood I-joists. The bottom of the I-joists will be about 16 to 24 inches off the ground, and the perimeter joists will be completely protected from the weather by the siding and water table. Is it okay to use I-joists in this situation? Read more

Q&A Polyurethane Paints for Wood Windows

Q: My client's old wood windows are badly in need of a new paint job. My client, a sailor, suggested using a high-performance polyurethane enamel boat paint on the windows to cut down on future maintenance. It seems to me that if a finish can adhere to the hull of a wooden boat, it should be able to perform well on a wooden window, but I've never used this paint in this application before. Is it a good idea? Read more

Q&A Painting DensShield

Q: I'd like to use a coated glass mat tile backerboard like DensShield in a shower stall, but would like to stop the tile about 78 inches above the floor rather than completely covering the walls and ceiling. Is it okay to continue the backerboard all the way up to the 8-foot-high ceiling - which would be covered with the same material - and then simply paint the nontiled areas? If so, how should the textured surface of the tile backer be prepped for a smooth, painted finish? Read more

On the Job
On the Job: Wainscoting for Wavy Walls On the Job: Wainscoting for Wavy Walls

Wainscoting for wavy walls; homemade dispensers Read more

Business dba Design-Build

In this article I'll share some of the lessons we've learned over the last seven years of design-build work. We still have much to master — if only I live that long. Read more

Why Your Contract Should Contain an Indemnification Clause Legal Why Your Contract Should Contain an Indemnification Clause

Say a GC signs a contract to build a fence for a homeowner. After the job is done, the homeowner hits the fence with his car but does not repair the damage. A couple of weeks later the fence falls on a neighbor who is walking down the sidewalk. Who is liable for the neighbor's injury? Read more

Products Products

Windows; garage doors; decking Read more

Toolbox Toolbox

DeWalt DC628 15-gauge cordless finish nailer; compact compressors; lithium ion Read more

A Carpenter's Home Is His Castle Backfill A Carpenter's Home Is His Castle

As a union carpenter, T.J. Baker works on large, complicated structures like baseball stadiums, computer-chip factories, and high-rise hotels. So what does he do in his spare time? The same thing most carpenters do: He remodels his house. Read more

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