March 2008 Table of Contents

A Curved Coffered Ceiling A Curved Coffered Ceiling

Precise backing, flexible moldings, and a lot of patience got the job done. Read more

Dressing Up a Truss Roof Dressing Up a Truss Roof

Rafter tails and gable overhangs transform an otherwise plain-looking exterior. Read more

Tool Test: Hardware Nailers Tool Test: Hardware Nailers

Dedicated nail guns that will pay for themselves quickly. Read more

Surviving Tough Times

Take these common-sense steps to help your business weather a slowdown. Read more

Working With Setting Compounds Working With Setting Compounds

These versatile joint compounds are ideal for small jobs, quick repairs, and tough field conditions. Read more

Building With Precast Concrete Panels Building With Precast Concrete Panels

Produce industrial-strength energy-efficient homes with hollow-core planks and precast wall panels. Read more

Letters Letters

Building fire-resistive eaves; drywall butt joints and code; making arched panel molding Read more

In the News In the News

Nail prices spike; remodeler and homeowner spar over found money; carbon monoxide kills worker; more Read more

Q & A
Q&A Leaky Stucco

Q. Leaky Stucco I've discovered leaks in the wall cavities of a large, multifamily building my company recently completed. The building has a three-coat stucco finish, and the leaks seem to be located primarily around the windows. An exploratory hole cut in the drywall revealed that the stucco sub's screws missed the studs quite often during installation of the metal lath, creating lots of holes in the stucco wrap. Could water be getting through (or behind) the stucco and entering the building through these holes? If so, how do I fix the problem? Read more

Q&A Finishes for Garages

Q. Are there any code-approved sheathing materials for a garage under a living space other than the typical 5/8-inch drywall? My clients complain that drywall doesn't hold up well in our environment, so I'm wondering if fire-retardant plywood would be a good substitute if the joints are properly prepared. Read more

On the Job
On the Job: ICF Retaining Wall On the Job: ICF Retaining Wall

ICF retaining wall; no-sweat plumbing; overhead lift trailer Read more

The True Cost of Labor Business The True Cost of Labor

The true cost of labor Read more

How to Reduce the Risk of Mold Claims Legal How to Reduce the Risk of Mold Claims

Mold has been around for millennia, but in recent years public concern about its presence in homes and buildings has metastasized into near hysteria. This has spawned a legal atmosphere in which it's relatively easy for unscrupulous owners to fabricate huge mold lawsuits against contractors. Read more

Kitchen & Bath
Kitchen & Bath

Kitchen sinks; bathtubs Read more

Products Products

Gutters; hardwood flooring Read more

Fluke 566 Infrared Thermometer Toolbox Fluke 566 Infrared Thermometer

If several thousand dollars for an IR camera isn't in this year's tool budget, consider an infrared thermometer like the Fluke 566. Read more

Bacharach Telescopic Mirror Set Toolbox Bacharach Telescopic Mirror Set

For my money, small telescopic mirrors are among the most useful inspection tools out there. Read more

Flir Systems BCAM SD Infrared Camera Toolbox Flir Systems BCAM SD Infrared Camera

One of the most important diagnostic tools in the building-forensics toolbox is an infrared camera. Read more

Greenlee Fish Stix Toolbox Greenlee Fish Stix

Still using that curly steel fish tape? Try the sectional fiberglass rods now favored by electricians and telecom contractors. Read more

Toolbox Custom Truck-Bed Tool Storage

Like many tradespeople, I'd always lusted for a shiny new work truck with utility-bed locking boxes. Read more

Porter-Cable 371 Compact Belt Sander Toolbox Porter-Cable 371 Compact Belt Sander

There are few things more satisfying than scribing a piece of trim and having it fit perfectly on the first try. Porter-Cable's 371 belt sander should make such precision scribing a lot easier. Read more

Where Have All the A-Frames Gone? Backfill Where Have All the A-Frames Gone?

If human scale is as essential to good design as architects say it is, the classic 1960s A-frame got it just right. You can confirm this by putting a ladder against an interior gable-end wall and climbing until your head is nestled snugly in the peak, as if you were wearing the structure like a dunce cap. Where have all the A-frames gone? Read more

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