December 2009 Table of Contents

Features
Faster, Smaller, and More Connected Than Ever Faster, Smaller, and More Connected Than Ever

Four technology trends that will change how you build and remodel. Read more

Raising the Pitch of an Existing Roof Raising the Pitch of an Existing Roof

By combining trusses with stick framing, the author was able to frame a new roof without damaging the finished rooms below. Read more

Installing a Wood Parquet Floor

Assessing the moisture content and surface condition of the slab was the critical first step. Read more

Mud-Bed Showers Mud-Bed Showers

Floated mortar walls provide a flat, plumb setting bed over irregular wall framing. Read more

A Shop-Built Conical Roof A Shop-Built Conical Roof

Truss-style construction simplified the framing of this serpentine roofline. Read more

Letters
Letters

Remodeling opportunities abound; weatherization wages too low; in defense of vinyl siding; more Read more

News
In the News

Who's liable for defective Chinese drywall?; top 10 OSHA violations for 2009; Texas requires water-saving toilets; more Read more

Q & A
Back-Priming Fiber-Cement Siding

Q: We ordered preprimed HardiePlank lap siding to finish a project, but when it was delivered, we discovered that the backs were left unprimed. Normally, we back-prime wood clapboards, but I'm not sure this step is needed with fiber-cement siding, and the manufacturer's Web site is mute on the subject. Is back-priming necessary? Read more

Q&A Stainless Steel and Rebar

Q: Can stainless steel tie wire be used with standard rebar? Read more

Q&A OSB Subfloor Over Decking?

Q: We're building a four-season addition over an existing raised deck framed with PT lumber. Is it okay to install OSB subfloor sheathing directly over the wood decking, or should the decking be removed first? Read more

Best Nails for Drywall Q&A Best Nails for Drywall

Q: I can't find the blued ring-shank drywall nails I started hanging drywall with 30 years ago. All that seems to be available are cheap and flimsy drywall nails that bend too easily when I nail them in, rust as soon as I apply mud, and leave my hands covered with black ink. Why don't they make drywall nails like they used to? Read more

Business
Before You Drop Your Prices, Read This Business Before You Drop Your Prices, Read This

Has it ever occurred to you that dropping your prices to stay in business could put you out of business? Many contractors tell me they’ve had to drop their prices to remain competitive in today’s market. They just know they’re losing jobs because the “other guy” is cheaper. Read more

Products
Products

Snow-melting stair mats; modulating gas fireplace; efficient heat-pump water heater; permeable pavement; sump pump; more Read more

Toolbox
Toolbox Bosch SN350-20F Framing Nailer

When Bosch introduced its first line of pneumatic nailers last spring, it claimed that the tools were 20 percent smaller and 10 percent more powerful than the competition. Read more

Stinger CH38A Cap Stapler Toolbox Stinger CH38A Cap Stapler

When Bosch introduced its first line of pneumatic nailers last spring, it claimed that the tools were 20 percent smaller and 10 percent more powerful than the competition. Read more

Sawstop Prefossional Cabinet Saw Toolbits Sawstop Prefossional Cabinet Saw

SawStop has introduced a new 3-hp 230-volt Professional Cabinet Saw aimed at low-volume shops. Read more

Amana Tool Carbide Wood Flooring Router Bit Sets Toolbits Amana Tool Carbide Wood Flooring Router Bit Sets

Carbide Wood Flooring Router Bit Sets let you mill tongue-and-groove flooring from solid or engineered wood. Read more

Kubinec Strapping Solutions EZ Kit Starter Set Toolbits Kubinec Strapping Solutions EZ Kit Starter Set

The concept behind Kubinec Strapping Kits is simple: You wrap polyester straps around a load and tighten them with a ratcheting tensioner. Read more

Skil HD 5687 Pro Sidewinder Saw Toolbits Skil HD 5687 Pro Sidewinder Saw

The HD 5687 — Skil's attempt to re-enter the pro sidewinder market — has some promising features and a great price. Read more

Tractel North America Griphoist Toolbits Tractel North America Griphoist

Rather than using a ratchet to wrap a cable around a spindle, as conventional come-alongs do, the Tirfor Griphoist has a pair of jaws that pull the cable straight through the housing with a hand-over-hand motion. Read more

Makita USA UL-Compliant Table Saw Toolbits Makita USA UL-Compliant Table Saw

Makita's new portable table saw (2705/2705X1) meets new UL specs requiring that no tools be needed to change the blade guard. Read more

Ipe Clip Fastener Co. Hardwood Wrench Toolbits Ipe Clip Fastener Co. Hardwood Wrench

Trying to straighten and fasten bent deck boards is no fun, especially when you're working with hardwood decking. Read more

Rockler Woodworking and Hardware SpeedCope Toolbits Rockler Woodworking and Hardware SpeedCope

The SpeedCope costs way less than the $2,000 coping machines you find in a production wood shop — but it does a better job than a $35 handheld plastic template that fits only one type of molding and angle. Read more

Backfill
Steam-Bent Shingles Backfill Steam-Bent Shingles

Renovations are a vital part of the routine at George Washington’s Mount Vernon, Va., estate, which is open to the public 365 days a year. Recently, Steve Ritter’s company, Cedar Shakes and Shingles, was called upon to install decorative red cedar shingles on the bell-shaped roof of a reproduction outbuilding. Read more

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