December 2011 Table of Contents

A Practical Prefab Dormer A Practical Prefab Dormer

Building on the ground is faster and safer than framing on the roof. Read more

Building a Freestanding Deck Building a Freestanding Deck

Solid bracing and strong connections are the keys to a durable, bounce-free structure. Read more

Stabilizing a Hillside Foundation Stabilizing a Hillside Foundation

Helical piers anchor a house on a sliding slope. Read more

Getting Started With SketchUp Getting Started With SketchUp

This 3-D modeling program can be tough to master. Here’s how three builders learned what they needed to know. Read more


Fires from spray foam; exterior foam and moisture problems; SIPs fan; restoring old windows for efficiency Read more

Attaching Wood to Concrete

Q: Do I have to use pressure-treated lumber when I'm attaching wood to concrete or masonry in "dry" situations - such as inside a basement or under the protection of a covered porch? I seem to remember from reading the code that treated wood is only required within a certain distance from grade. Read more

On the Job
Installing a Split Column Installing a Split Column

During a recent remodeling project in Houston, we demolished a structurally defective balcony that had been supporting the corner of a roof. In its place we installed an 18 1/2-foot-long 4x4 steel post that extends from the soffit down to ground level. Read more

Getting Started With Strategic Planning Getting Started With Strategic Planning

It's almost 2012 and time again for annual planning. Read more

Skinnier Shakes Skinnier Shakes

Fiber-cement siding manufacturer Nichiha recently introduced a low-priced line of shakes. Read more

Cutting-Edge Tubs Cutting-Edge Tubs

This year Kohler added three bathtubs to its Rªve collection of modern geometric bathroom fixtures. Read more

Stainless Steel Railings Stainless Steel Railings

Lavi Industries recently introduced a complete line of stainless steel tubing, brackets, and fittings that can be used to assemble — without welding — almost any type of interior or exterior handrail. Read more

Prefab Post Wrap Prefab Post Wrap

With KleerSnap Post Wrap, it takes as little as 10 minutes for a single worker to trim out a post, says the maker. Read more

Air-Flow Enhancer Air-Flow Enhancer

When you need to increase air movement between rooms, the Perfect Balance In-Door Pressure Balancer offers a more elegant solution than leaving an enormous gap beneath the door. Read more

Affordable Air Bath Affordable Air Bath

Mansfield Plumbing Products recently added a line of air baths to its Pro-Fit collection of whirlpools and soaker tubs. Read more

PVC Deck Boards PVC Deck Boards

Wolf says its PVC Decking offers the performance of premium PVC at a more affordable price. Read more

Weather-Resistant Sheathing Weather-Resistant Sheathing

Drywood is a structural wall and roof panel with an integral weather barrier that eliminates the need for roofing felt, waterproof membranes, or housewrap. Read more

Lightweight Stone Lightweight Stone

Although BellaStone looks remarkably authentic — thanks to the real stone used in the manufacturing process — the 50-inch-by-24-inch panels weigh a fifth as much as traditional stone and install 50 percent faster, says the maker. Read more

Damage-Resistant Deck Railing System Damage-Resistant Deck Railing System

The Trex Transcend Decking & Railing System is made from the same durable, low-maintenance material as the company’s standard products, with one difference: The tops and sides of the boards have a hard-shell coating with a wood-grain pattern and low-sheen finish that allegedly resists stains, scratches, and mold. Read more

Replacement Shower Replacement Shower

The Ciencia solid-surface shower is primarily designed as a replacement for an outdated bathtub. Read more

Quick-Connect Outdoor Patio Tile Quick-Connect Outdoor Patio Tile

EcoShield Deck Tile is a wood-plastic composite that’s made with 95 percent recycled content and never needs staining or painting, says the maker. Read more

Toolbox: Festool CXS Subcompact Drill/Driver Toolbox: Festool CXS Subcompact Drill/Driver

Festool CXS subcompact drill/driver Read more

Super-Duty Vacuum Super-Duty Vacuum

According to Metabo, the new ASR 35 Vacuum Cleaner was specifically designed to stand up to the rigors of continuous use in operations that generate clouds of dust. Read more

Multi-Purpose Square Multi-Purpose Square

The maker of the Combination-3D try square claims that it can do the work of a saddle square, a marking gauge, a bevel gauge, and a combination square — with no loss of accuracy. Read more

Easy-Driving Nails Easy-Driving Nails

Switch to Paslode’s Engineered Lumber Nails and you can eliminate the tedium of fixing proud nails and pulling bent ones, says the company. Read more

Pro Line of Pliers, Snips, and Tubing Cutters Pro Line of Pliers, Snips, and Tubing Cutters

Milwaukee has expanded its lineup of hand tools to include such new items as Tongue and Groove Pliers, Reaming Pliers, Aviation Snips, and a PEX/Tubing Cutter. Read more

Simple Math for a Slow Economy Simple Math for a Slow Economy

Earlier this year, timber-framer Paul Freeman, owner of Brooks Post & Beam in Lyndeborough, N.H., realized he had a problem. Read more

JLC Field Guide
Close X