May 2009 Table of Contents

Building a Ceiling Dome Building a Ceiling Dome

Traditional plaster finishes off this simple, elegant bit of framing. Read more

New Rules for Lead-Safe Remodeling New Rules for Lead-Safe Remodeling

If you plan to work on pre-1978 houses, you’ll need certification by April 2010. Read more

Installing Exterior Insulation in Cold Climates Installing Exterior Insulation in Cold Climates

Airtight construction and a thick layer of exterior foam save energy and reduce the risk of rot and mold. Read more

Restoring an Old Barn Restoring an Old Barn

Carefully shoring the entire structure allowed it to be repaired one section at a time. Read more

Letters Letters

Missing lintel; residential sprinklers; solar on site; epoxy warning; scraper problem; more Read more

In the News In the News

Energy Star adopts tougher window standards; Entran II settlement winds down; OSHA trainer charged with selling fake certificates; more Read more

Q & A
Q&A Fixing Hairline Stucco Cracks

The stucco siding on my client's recently remodeled home has developed some small cracks. My stucco sub wants to patch them with plastic stucco cement and then prime the walls with latex mortar primer, but I'm afraid the problem will resurface. Is there a better way to fix hairline cracks? Read more

Q&A Squirrels and Cedar Siding

We installed untreated cedar shingles on the exterior walls of a vacation home in central Maryland. Now the owners are complaining that squirrels are eating the new siding. And the squirrels really are eating it - they're not just trying to get inside the house. Is there anything we can apply to the siding to discourage them? Read more

Deep Traps Q&A Deep Traps

My client's kitchen sink has a shallow 6-inch-deep bowl, and the drain connection is located in the wall rather than the floor. She would like to replace the sink with one that has a much deeper bowl, but that will place the bottom of the bowl at nearly the same level as the drain opening. Is it okay to use a deeper trap and the same drain opening, or will the drain opening need to be moved to accommodate the deeper sink? Read more

On the Job
On the Job: Supporting an Overhanging Counter On the Job: Supporting an Overhanging Counter

Supporting an overhanging counter; quick tray ceiling; upside-down beam Read more

Business The Legal Risks of Building Green

The sudden popularity of all things green is exposing builders — whether they know it or not — to new legal risks. There are risks associated with drafting the contract, navigating the permit approval process, and resolving disputes over projects that fail to achieve their sustainability goals. Read more


Sheathing panels; wood countertops; closet light; extra-thick PVC trim boards; corded housewrap; more Read more

Power Tank CO2 System Toolbox Power Tank CO2 System

After years of hauling around a compressor, it occurred to me that for the number of nails I need to drive, I could run my guns off the same Power Tank I used to inflate the tires of my off-road vehicle. Read more

Ridgid R250AF18 Finish Nailer Toolbits Ridgid R250AF18 Finish Nailer

Ridgid's new R250AF18 15-gauge finish nailer runs on a compact 18-volt lithium ion battery pack and weighs 2 pounds less than the competition, says Ridgid. Read more

Knaack PowerCrew Power Supply Toolbits Knaack PowerCrew Power Supply

Now you can keep battery chargers or a heater running overnight without pinching an extension cord under the lid of your crew box. Read more

Rapid Pro Mfg. Twist-n-Seal Caulk Tube Plugs Toolbits Rapid Pro Mfg. Twist-n-Seal Caulk Tube Plugs

Tired of trying — and failing — to seal the ends of your half-used caulk tubes with tape or a nail? Read more

Stanley-Bostitch CPACK300 Combination Kit Toolbits Stanley-Bostitch CPACK300 Combination Kit

Bostitch's CPACK300 combination kit packages three finish tools with a 6-gallon oil-free pancake compressor and a hose. Read more

Hitachi Nailers and Staplers Toolbits Hitachi Nailers and Staplers

Hitachi has entered the floor-fastening market with five new nailers and staplers. Read more

Tajima Tool Chalk-Rite Jam-Free CR301JF Toolbits Tajima Tool Chalk-Rite Jam-Free CR301JF

Tajima's Chalk-Rite Jam-Free CR301JF holds 3 1/2 ounces of chalk — enough to snap 689 feet of lines, says the maker. Read more

Landon Innovations LegUp Lifter Toolbits Landon Innovations LegUp Lifter

Wrestling a thick sheet of MDF onto a table saw by yourself can be a real feat, but attaching a LegUp pivoting sheet-goods lifter to your saw table or fence rail can help. Read more

Tiger Claw Semi-Automatic Hidden Deck Fastener Installation Gun Toolbits Tiger Claw Semi-Automatic Hidden Deck Fastener Installation Gun

Using hidden deck-fastening hardware makes for a neater-looking composite deck but takes longer than using face-installed screws. Read more

Fine Foambuilding Backfill Fine Foambuilding

After supplier quotes for the 1,000 ornamental balusters in a planned luxury home’s porch railings came in at $150 apiece, BOJ Construction of Boston decided to look elsewhere — namely in-house. Read more

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