October 2008 Table of Contents

Acid Staining a Concrete Floor

With careful preparation, this treatment gives a custom touch to a plain-Jane slab. Read more

Flashing a Chimney With Soldered Copper Flashing a Chimney With Soldered Copper

Traditional methods and materials prevent leaks for the life of the structure. Read more

Making Room for a Bigger Kitchen Making Room for a Bigger Kitchen

A deft reworking of existing space produces an expansive hub for cooking and entertainment. Read more

Soundproofing A Band Room Soundproofing A Band Room

Using simple techniques and specialized products, you can block out even live rock ’n ’roll. Read more


Another look at energy claims; feeling the financial squeeze Read more

In the News

hub for cooking and entertainment Read more

Q & A
Q&A New Deck Footings Near an Old Foundation

Q. Plans for a freestanding deck call for new piers about 2 feet from the house foundation. Is it necessary to dig down to the bottom of the house's footing to reach undisturbed soil, or would the dirt around the foundation of a 60-year-old house be compacted enough to be con sidered undisturbed - in which case we could simply dig to below the frostline (per code)? Read more

Rafter Ties and Shallow-Pitch Roofs Q&A Rafter Ties and Shallow-Pitch Roofs

Q. My clients have a garage with a conventionally framed 4/12 roof that they want to convert to living space. They like the idea of a vaulted ceiling but not the expense of the new structural ridge it would require. As a compromise, can I replace the existing ceiling joists with rafter ties? Read more

Quick Fix for a Noisy Circulation Fan Q&A Quick Fix for a Noisy Circulation Fan

Q. My client's metal fireplace is supplied by a makeup air system with a built-in circulation fan. This fan - which plugs into an accessible outlet - is triggered by a heat sensor in the fireplace. While effective, it's also very loud. To reduce the noise, I'd like to replace the fan's on/off switch with a variable-speed control. Is that possible? The manufacturer doesn't seem to offer anything. Read more

On the Job
Business Sandler Sales Training: Is It Worth the Cost?

For small contractors in today’s competitive market, sales skills can make the difference between struggling and prospering. Yet many contractors turn up their noses at formal sales training, viewing it as a waste of time and money. Are they right? Or is enrolling in a training program an effective way to improve sales skills — and the company’s bottom line? Read more

Legal Beware Hidden Payment Terms

Earlier this year, a friend of mine had an interesting conversation with a young man who was subcontracting for a GC. The contractor owed the young man a pile of money and my friend was concerned. But the young man assured him there was nothing to worry about, because the contractor was a pal and would never stiff him. “Besides,” said the young man, “I can always put a lien on the property.” Read more


Central-vac alternative; bay-front fireplace; wood-look decking; quick-dry latex paint; lighter bricks; more Read more

Makita BHR202 SDS-Plus Cordless Rotary Hammer Toolbox Makita BHR202 SDS-Plus Cordless Rotary Hammer

Powered by an 18-volt lithium-ion battery, Makita's BHR202 SDS-Plus cordless rotary hammer is rated for making 15/16-inch holes in concrete. Read more

Praxis Router Templates Toolbox Praxis Router Templates

Outside of a few drywall contractors, I've met few people who could accurately guide a drywall router freehand. Read more

FastCap Pocket Chisel Toolbox FastCap Pocket Chisel

FastCaps' Pocket Chisel is protected by its own folding handle and is tough enough — according to the maker — to withstand hammer blows. Read more

DeWalt Track Saws Toolbox DeWalt Track Saws

DeWalt's new Track Saws make it a lot easier to break down sheets of cabinet plywood or MDF. Read more

Dremel Multi-Max Toolbox Dremel Multi-Max

I've never met a carpenter who didn't like his Fein MultiMaster, but I've met plenty who think Fein's prices — especially for accessories — are a little steep. Read more

Pacific Laser Systems PLS5 Point-To-Point Laser Toolbox Pacific Laser Systems PLS5 Point-To-Point Laser

The self-leveling PLS5 point-to-point laser has been updated. Read more

Ridgid OL50145MW Air Compressor Toolbox Ridgid OL50145MW Air Compressor

At roughly the size and capacity of a large twin stack but easier to move, Ridgid's OL50145MW 5-Gallon Mini Wheelbarrow Air Compressor features a cast-iron cylinder, an oil-lube pump, a 10-inch flat-free tire, a ball-valve tank drain, a protective roll cage, and two quick couplers. Read more

Bosch PS30 Compact Driver/Drill Toolbox Bosch PS30 Compact Driver/Drill

The two-speed PS30 Compact Driver/Drill from Bosch delivers 220 inch-pounds of torque and 1,100 rpm — but weighs a mere 2 1/2 pounds. Read more

Toolbox Jet 708315BTC Benchtop Table Saw

I bought the Jet 708315BTC because I wanted to supplement my regular job-site table saw with a portable model. Read more

Welcome to Your Future Backfill Welcome to Your Future

In October 2007, JLC illustrator Tim Healey envisioned a future in which pickup trucks would be replaced by freight-hauling bicycles. Who knew then that a few intrepid builders had already made the switch? Read more

Other Articles
JLC Extra: Soundproofing A Band Room - Suppliers

A list of companies that offer soundproofing supplies and materials Read more

JLC Field Guide
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