January 2009 Table of Contents

Block Foundations for Small Additions

If your crew has the skill and you own the right equipment, it may make sense to lay your own masonry foundations. Read more

Bracing a House With Steel

Glass walls and cantilevered overhangs call for a wind-resisting frame. Read more

Cricket Retrofit Cricket Retrofit

A downslope chimney without a diverter is guaranteed to leak. Read more

Weathering the Downturn

Small construction companies are relying on diverse strengths to survive in a dismal economic climate. Read more


Raising rafter ties; computer help; venting reminder; more Read more

Q & A
Fix for Peeling Stucco Q&A Fix for Peeling Stucco

The painted finish on my client's recently purchased stucco house is blistering and peeling, and it's obvious that the traditional three-coat stucco underneath has been patched on several previous occasions (see photo, below). The stucco is applied over wood framing, but as is common in older houses, there is no weep screed; the stucco continues right past the bottom plate to the ground. What is causing the problem, and what's the best way to fix it? Read more

Q&A Clearances for Outdoor Cookers

My clients want to install a built-in high-Btu gas griller as part of a planned outdoor kitchen on the deck attached to their house. Can the cooker be placed under a protective overhang created by extending the existing roof? Read more

Track Your Business With a Dashboard Business Track Your Business With a Dashboard

Even companies with good systems can get into trouble if they don’t manage their growth. To avoid this fate, Jim Kabel created a “dashboard” — a set of fundamental numbers that shows the monthly trends in their sales and production pipeline: leads, close rates, job profits, and customer satisfaction. Read more

Legal When the Customer Won't Pay

Bad things happen in the construction industry when the economy gets rocky. Work is scarce, and it’s hard to get paid. I can’t help you with the work part — but I can tell you how to get paid. Read more


Drywall primer; affordable whirlpool tub; easy replacement windows; quiet garbage disposer; more Read more

Backfill Next - A Snap-On Addition?

Jigsaw-puzzle house Read more

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