July 2011 Table of Contents

An Energy Retrofit in Stages An Energy Retrofit in Stages

I'm a building energy consultant in central Wisconsin. I recently had a chance to perform a major energy retrofit on a modest ranch-style house just south of Lacrosse, Wis. Read more

Building a Curved Handrail Building a Curved Handrail

Thanks to bending rail, it's not that difficult to form curved handrail sections for a circular staircase on site. Read more

Inline Circular Saws Inline Circular Saws

As a framer, I prefer inline saws to sidewinders because they're more durable and less likely to bog down in heavy cutting. Read more

Innovative Products 2011 Innovative Products 2011

A sampling of the tools and materials on exhibit at JLC Live in Providence, R.I. Read more

Letters Letters

Tight house heating loads; price of spray foam; sealing a ventilated attic; step-flashing technique; more Read more

JLC Report: EPA Cites First RRP Violator, With an Assist From YouTube JLC Report: EPA Cites First RRP Violator, With an Assist From YouTube

Ever since the EPA's Repair, Remodeling, and Painting (RRP) rule took effect in April 2010, remodelers around the country have been waiting expectantly for the agency to begin enforcement action against violators of its strict work-safety and record-keeping requirements. Read more

On the Job
Working with Natural-c=Clay Veneer Plaster Working with Natural-c=Clay Veneer Plaster

In early 2007, a customer invited me to a local one-day workshop offered by the manufacturer of American Clay Earth Plasters. Read more

Control Costs With a Purchasing System Control Costs With a Purchasing System

For the past several columns we've been talking about the importance of gross profit and contribution margin, or the amount that each job "contributes" toward overcoming your annual fixed overhead expenses and reaching your profit target. Read more

Reinforcing Straps For Compromised Framing Reinforcing Straps For Compromised Framing

The next time the plumber goes berserk with a Sawzall, it might not take so long to repair the damage. Read more

Solar Attic Fan Controller Solar Attic Fan Controller

The company best known for its lineup of solar-powered attic fans now offers a way to expel hot air even after the sun goes down. Read more

Durable Footer Form Durable Footer Form

Cardboard forms work fine as long as it doesn't rain before the concrete arrives. Read more

Nonslip Floor Cover Nonslip Floor Cover

Cover Guard Floor Protection is a flame-retardant polyethylene sheet embossed with a diamond-plate pattern to prevent slippage. Read more

Exterior Trim With Smooth and" Rough-Sawn" Faces Exterior Trim With Smooth and" Rough-Sawn" Faces

TruWood Reversible Trim is a composite exterior-grade product manufactured from residual wood fibers using no urea-formaldehyde resins, the maker says. Read more

Quick Charging Station Quick Charging Station

Eaton Corp., which makes charging systems for commercial electric-powered vehicles, now offers a line of chargers for residential applications. Read more

P-Trap With Built-In Clog Buster P-Trap With Built-In Clog Buster

Instead of plunging, snaking, or pouring harsh chemicals down a stopped-up drain, how about just turning a dial? Read more

Waterproof Sink-Base Cabinet Waterproof Sink-Base Cabinet

All it takes is one leaky pipe to turn a shiny new sink base cabinet into a pulpy mess. Read more

Modular Stairs Modular Stairs

Instead of a one-piece stringer, an Ascendings modular staircase has individual CNC-machined aluminum "risers." Read more

Soffit Baffles Soffit Baffles

AccuVent attic ventilation baffles are designed to keep insulation in place while directing a constant stream of airflow from soffit to ridge. Read more

Premium Vinyl Flooring Premium Vinyl Flooring

Urban Luxury Vinyl Flooring comes in 6-inch-by-36-inch planks that mimic the look of natural wood and in three tile sizes (12, 16, and 18 inches square) that resemble real stone. Read more

Faster Through-Bolt Faster Through-Bolt

If you're still using a socket wrench to fasten posts or beams, you might want to check out the ThruLok Screw Bolt Fastening System. Read more

Powerful Pliers Powerful Pliers

Channellock says its new 8-inch High-Leverage Lineman’s Plier (#368) requires considerably less cutting force than the competition, thanks to increased leverage achieved by moving the rivet forward, closer to the cutting edges. Read more

Tough Masonry Drill Bits Tough Masonry Drill Bits

If you accidentally hit rebar with a SpeedHammer Power SDS-plus Masonry Bit, you might be able to keep the cursing to a minimum. Read more

Convenient Tool-Storage Containers Convenient Tool-Storage Containers

Festool has upgraded its stackable carrying cases by replacing the old thumb-busting latches with easy- to-turn knobs that open, close, and connect boxes. Read more

Improved Recip Blades Improved Recip Blades

Lenox says its T2 demolition and wood-cutting reciprocating-saw blades now cut 25 percent faster than earlier models and last twice as long. Read more

Weatherization Skills Competition Weatherization Skills Competition

Weatherizing older homes is hard, isolating, and often thankless work. Read more

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