March 2012 Table of Contents

Avoiding Problems With Spray Foam Avoiding Problems With Spray Foam

To make sure you’re getting a good spray-foam installation, choose a certified contractor and run regular material tests. Read more

Proactive and Positive In the Face of Recession

When the going gets tough, the tough spend more on marketing. Read more

Shoring a Sagging Floor Shoring a Sagging Floor

Use the right tools and a methodical approach to get the job done quickly. Read more

Letters Letters

Code approval for screw piers; quick tune-ups for tight miters; cross-bracing decks Read more

Adding a Point Load to a Post-Tensioned Foundation

Q: When making structural changes that involve adding a point load to a house built on a post-tensioned concrete slab, is it necessary to add a footing for a structural post? I'm concerned that cutting through the slab to pour a pad footing could sever on Read more

Are Mountain-Climbing Harnesses Okay On Site?

Q: I'm a long-time rock climber and carpenter, and I've been using climbing harnesses for job-site fall protection for many years. These kinds of harnesses are designed to protect the wearer in the event of a severe fall, and I've had a lot of practice us Read more

When to Use a Heat-Pump Water Heater

Q: A customer wants me to install one of the new heat-pump water heaters in the ground-floor utility room of a house built on a slab. I don't have any direct experience with them, but since they work by drawing heat from the surrounding air, won't any energy savings in the winter be at least partly offset by the cost of heating that indoor air to begin with? And could the outflow of cool air from the utility room cause comfort problems? Read more

On the Job
Frost Protection for an Existing Foundation Frost Protection for an Existing Foundation

I recently did a remodeling project that involved replacing a three-season sunroom with fully conditioned living space. Read more

Quick Folding Chop-Saw Stand Quick Folding Chop-Saw Stand

I hate it when I go to a job site and see some carpenter trying to cut a long molding while his $800 miter saw is balanced on a piece of drywall set on a plastic trash can. Read more

Using Save-and-Sync for Backup and More Using Save-and-Sync for Backup and More

Online backup systems like Carbonite and MozyPro do a great job of protecting your data from a catastrophic loss, but that's about all they're good for. Read more

Hard Rock Hard Rock

Compared with standard drywall, ToughRock Gypsum Board is less likely to crack, sag, or absorb moisture, the maker says. Read more

Polymer Roof Underlayment Polymer Roof Underlayment

Surround SR Underlayment is a waterproof synthetic polymer that’s 40 percent lighter than 30-pound roofing felt — as well as more durable and slip-resistant and less prone to tearing, says the maker. Read more

Durable Doors Durable Doors

Nantucket Collection solid wood exterior doors are built to withstand whatever nature throws at them, says the manufacturer. Read more

No-Leak Membrane for Concrete Footings No-Leak Membrane for Concrete Footings

The Delta Footing Barrier is a three-ply impermeable membrane that goes on top of freshly poured footings before the foundation is built. Read more

Electronic Sump Pump Switch Electronic Sump Pump Switch

LevelGuard is a submersible electronic sump pump switch designed to replace a mechanical float. Read more

Filter and Softener Filter and Softener

The Kenmore Elite Hybrid Water Softener does more than soften water and prevent scale buildup in fixtures and appliances. Read more

One-Piece Bath Vent Fan One-Piece Bath Vent Fan

The company best-known for making silent remote-mounted ventilation products now offers a lineup of conventional bath fans. Read more

Simplified Rough-In Box For Tubs and Showers Simplified Rough-In Box For Tubs and Showers

The new GrohFlex universal valve system uses a one-size-fits-all rough-in box to serve a wide variety of tub and shower fixtures. Read more

Light and Stiff Light and Stiff

Easi-Lite gypsum board weighs up to 30 percent less than standard gypsum board and has a high-strength core that allows it to span 24-inch on-center ceiling joists without sagging, says CertainTeed. Read more

High-Class Mud High-Class Mud

-777 Premier All Purpose Ready Mix Joint Compound may not be a household name, but its maker says it contains less air than better-known products and yields more working time with less tool drag. Read more

New Double-Hung Window New Double-Hung Window

Hurd has added a double-hung unit to its line of H3 windows. Read more

Double-Duty Stapler Double-Duty Stapler

Arrow’s new T50elite is a manual tacker that fires 1-inch brads as well as 9/16-inch staples. Read more

Ergonomic Jigsaw Ergonomic Jigsaw

The M12 Cordless High Performance Jigsaw is one of the newest entries in Milwaukee’s M12 lithium-ion line, which now contains more than 30 tools. Read more

Miter Finder Miter Finder

Don’t let its Rube Goldbergian appearance fool you: The Bora Angle Master is basically a T-bevel that determines both angle and miter settings. Read more

Large Pneumatic Compressors to Go Large Pneumatic Compressors to Go

Jenny Products recently introduced four skid-mounted air compressors — two single-stage and two double-stage. Read more

The Music of the Spheres The Music of the Spheres

Spherical buildings present some obvious practical challenges. But because a sphere provides the largest possible interior volume per unit of surface area, the form has long fascinated designers and architects, and quite a few reasonably successful spherical structures have actually been built.  Read more

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