August 2010 Table of Contents

Replacing Giant Columns Replacing Giant Columns

A methodical approach yielded masterful results in this oversize remodeling project. Read more

The Eight-Hour Kitchen Remodel The Eight-Hour Kitchen Remodel

Meticulous planning was the key to profitability on this multi-unit job. Read more

Trenchless Excavation Trenchless Excavation

In the hands of a skilled operator, a horizontal boring machine can solve tough drainage problems without damage to the landscaping. Read more

A Cost-Effective Energy Retrofit A Cost-Effective Energy Retrofit

With careful air-sealing and the right insulation details, a leaky older home becomes a tight and thrifty one. Read more


A vote for double top plates; flush framing with steel; pocket screws in MDF; shades of green; avoid old-growth lumber; more Read more

JLC Report: EPA Delays Enforcement of Lead-Safety Requirement, But Pleases No One

EPA delays enforcement of lead-safety requirement; employee-misclassification crackdown; showerhead uproar; more Read more

Are Frost Stripes Cause for Concern? Q&A Are Frost Stripes Cause for Concern?

Last year we completed a SIP roof deck using two kinds of panels. Some were the standard OSB-foam sandwich panels, and some had prefinished T & G pine ceiling boards attached to the bottom. During installation, we noticed a small gap between the panels with the attached T & G ceiling, because the pine boards were slightly wider than the OSB. The panel maker provided us with a foam gasket to seal the gap, which we supplemented with caulk. This past winter, whenever it was cold enough, a line of frost would appear on the shingle roof along the panel joints. The frost line occurred on both types of panels, so we don't think it is being caused by air leakage at the gasketed joints. Should we be concerned? Read more

Q&A Duct Chases and Electrical Wiring

Is it okay to fish electrical wiring through the wood-framed chases built around hvac ducts and chimneys? Read more

Strategic Budgeting and Your Break-Even Volume Business Strategic Budgeting and Your Break-Even Volume

Take a look at your “break-even volume,” which is the bare-minimum volume of work that you need to complete (and get paid for) in order to keep your doors open. Read more

Fiberglass Lath Products Fiberglass Lath

In contrast to traditional metal lath, woven fiberglass SpiderLath is rustproof and unlikely to cut the installer. Read more

Cordless Paint Sprayer Products Cordless Paint Sprayer

The new ProShot one-quart sprayer — made by Graco for Sherwin-Williams — is powered by an 18-volt lithium-ion battery for easy portability. Read more

Wind Turbine for Home Electricity Products Wind Turbine for Home Electricity

According to the manufacturer, this turbine has the lowest installed price per kilowatt-hour of any unit in its class. Read more

Low-Formaldehyde MDF Products Low-Formaldehyde MDF

UltraStock-Free MDF by Temple-Inland has no added urea formaldehyde, meaning that it contains only trace amounts naturally found in the wood-fiber ingredient itself. Read more

Pourable Floor Leveler Products Pourable Floor Leveler

Pro Spec Level Set Deep Pour 3 is a self-leveling non-gypsum underlayment that can be poured up to 3 inches thick in a single lift. Read more

Softer Faucet Washers Products Softer Faucet Washers

Delta Rim Composites’ Yellowbead washers are made of silicone rubber. Read more

Quieter Bath Fan Products Quieter Bath Fan

Broan’s new Ultra Silent Series QTRE080R retrofit bath fan is designed to be installed from below the ceiling. Read more

Additive for Longer Lasting Paint Jobs Products Additive for Longer Lasting Paint Jobs

Polymatrx is an elastomeric paint additive that can make an exterior paint job last 20 years or more, says maker Gulf Synthetics. Read more

Automatic Exhaust Fan Control Products Automatic Exhaust Fan Control

The DewStop bath-fan control by GTR Technologies monitors air for high humidity and activates the room’s exhaust fan as needed. Read more

No-Leak Masking Tape Products No-Leak Masking Tape

3M’s latest masking tape, ScotchBlue Advanced, has a moisture-activated additive that reacts with the water in latex paint to better seal along the tape edge. Read more

Lighter Backerboard Products Lighter Backerboard

U.S. Gypsum has replaced its Durock backerboard with a version called Durock Next Gen. Read more

Better Paint Bucket Products Better Paint Bucket

Bercom’s Handy Paint Pail offers a couple of advantages over painting right out of the can. Read more

Toolbox A Carpenter's Favorite iPhone Apps

Last year I replaced my cellphone with an Apple iPhone, a smartphone that allows me to check my e-mail and go online. Read more

Tramex MRH III Moisture Meter Toolbits Tramex MRH III Moisture Meter

Tramex's MRH III noninvasive moisture meter measures the moisture content of most building materials, including wood, concrete, masonry, plaster, and drywall. Read more

Alum-A-Pole Alum-A-Brake Ultima Plus Bending Brake Toolbits Alum-A-Pole Alum-A-Brake Ultima Plus Bending Brake

Shape aluminum and vinyl coil stock with the Alum-A-Brake Ultima Plus bending brake. Read more

Malco FCC4 Guillotine Shear Toolbits Malco FCC4 Guillotine Shear

Cut fiber-cement siding without a cloud of hazardous dust with the FCC4 Guillotine Shear by Malco. Read more

Midwest Snips MW-CT Combo-Tool Toolbits Midwest Snips MW-CT Combo-Tool

With the MW-CT combo-tool from Midwest Snips, you can switch between settings to alternately punch nail slots and snap locks in vinyl and aluminum siding. Read more

Backfill Beachside Storage Shed

Forget the 5,000-square-foot beach house just out of sight in the photos. Read more

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