Are you a subscriber but don’t have an online account?

Register for full online access.

 
 
 
 

Features

  • Image

    Building Screened Porches

    High-quality materials and streamlined production methods enable this Virginia builder to provide distinctive porches at a reasonable price and still make a good profit.

     
  • Custom Hold-Downs for a Rooftop Deck

    This stainless-steel bracket anchors and supports a rooftop deck while preventing leaks into the living space below.

     
  • Designing & Testing Forced-Air Systems

    Here are steps you can take to ensure proper sizing and installation of air-conditioning and forced-air heating. Included is a list of detailed specifications that will guarantee state-of-the-art performance.

     
  • Image

    Framing a Barrel-Vault Dormer

    A design-builder explains how he laid out, framed, and finished a large archtopped bumpout in a conventional gable roof.

     
  • Torchdown Roofing Basics

    A metal roofing contractor explains why he uses single-ply modified bitumen for low-slope applications and how he installs it safely.

     
  • Undercabinet Lighting Options

    Fluorescent strips are not the only choice for task lighting below wall cabinets. This overview explains the difference between halogen, xenon, and fluorescent lamps and sorts through the various fixtures available.

     
  • Image

    Affordable Self-Leveling Lasers

    In this hands-on comparison, a finish carpenter reviews laser tools designed for interior layout, focusing on non-rotating self-leveling lasers that cost less than $600.

     

Letters

  • Letters

    Teaming with architects, closeup with Formosan termites, receptacle wiring caution, flexible flashings advised, solar overhangs for the South

     

News

  • Notebook

    International Codes update, a look at “nominal” sizes in building materials, trend toward minimum home sizes comes to Utah, new tax rules for small businesses, more

     

Q&A

  • Q&A: Clipped-Head vs. Full-Head Nails

    Q: What are the pros and cons of clipped-head versus full-head nails? Are there any framing nailers that drive both kinds?

     
  • Q&A: Ventilating a Rain Screen

    Q: I plan to install clapboard siding using the rain screen method. The siding will be fastened to 3/4-inch vertical battens, nailed over each stud. At the top, I plan to ventilate the rain screen into the soffit area. What is the best detail to ventilate

     
  • Q&A: Blotchy Shingles

    Q: The shady part of a customer’s roof is stained with round, pea-green growths on the asphalt shingles. The round spots are of various sizes, and they are not fuzzy like moss. A bleach solution does not remove these growths. What are they, and how can I

     
  • Q&A: Circuit Breaker Problems

    Q: In a residential remodel, we replaced the electrical service panel. Within five days, two of the 15-amp breakers tripped and could not be reset. The breakers were determined to be "defective" and had to be replaced. What could be causing this problem?

     
  • Q&A: Carpet Over Ceramic Tile

    Q: We are converting a restaurant kitchen into an office and need to install carpet over existing 6x6-inch ceramic tiles with 1/4-inch grout lines. The floor dips 3/4 inch near the floor drain. What product can we use to level this floor in preparation fo

     
  • Q&A: Deteriorated Duct Board

    Q: We are renovating a 1980 home. The hvac sub says that since older fiberglass duct board disintegrates from the inside out, all of the ducts should be replaced. Could this be true?

     
  • Image

    Q&A: Framing With L-Corners

    Q: The local framing inspector told us that our L-corners are not acceptable. He says that an L-corner is not as strong as a corner framed with two studs separated by blocking. Is he right?

     
  • Q&A: Asphalt Shingles on Unvented Roofs

    Q: Our insulation subcontractor advises us to install dense-pack cellulose in the rafter bays over a cathedral ceiling, without ventilation baffles, and the local building inspector approves. If we don’t ventilate under the roof sheathing, what happens to

     
  • Q&A: Turning Cedar Shingles Gray

    Q: What’s the best way to treat new white cedar shingles to give them a gray, weathered look?

     
  • Q&A: Staining New Boards to Look Old

    Q: We are building an addition on a 25-year-old house. The house has cathedral ceilings with exposed unfinished pine board roof sheathing, and the walls are paneled with unfinished pine boards. The pine boards have darkened with age, and the homeowners wa

     
  • Q&A: Leaving Rigid Foam Exposed in Crawlspace

    Q: I plan to install rigid foam insulation in a crawlspace. As far as I know, most types of rigid foam insulation can’t be left exposed but need to be covered with a layer of drywall for fire resistance. Is there a type of rigid foam insulation panel avai

     
  • Q&A: Rx for Freezing Downspout

    Q: A customer has a building with a nearly flat roof surrounded by a parapet. The roof drains to a single scupper, which conducts the water to a downspout. Ice builds up regularly in the downspout, and the water backs up and spills down the wall. What’s t

     
  • Q&A: Thin Radiant Slab

    Q: I want to install a thin radiant slab over a wood subfloor in a remodel. The flooring will be ceramic tile. What is the thinnest slab I can get away with?

     
  • Q&A: Cooling Design Temperature

    Q: Some hvac contractors in this area of Virginia size cooling systems using an indoor design temperature of 78ºF. I’m under the impression that a system should be designed for an indoor temperature of 75ºF. Is there a standard interior design temperature

     
  • Q&A: Metal Lath Ceiling Demo

    Q: I need to remove a metal lath and plaster ceiling in a finished basement. The existing partitions were installed after the ceiling, and I want to disturb the finished walls as little as possible. What tools and techniques should I use for this demoliti

     
  • Q&A: Polyethylene Water Service Pipe

    Q: I would like to use black polyethylene water service pipe for plumbing in the crawlspace of a house that has a black poly service line. Are there any code limitations on using polyethylene pipe?

     
  • Q&A: Powered Attic Ventilation

    Q: I am trying to plan the best way to ventilate a hipped roof above an attic. Since the ridge is very short, ridge venting is not an option. I was planning to install powered exhaust ventilation. How should I size the fan?

     
  • Q&A: Drying Out a Damp Crawlspace

    Q: To dry out damp crawlspaces in Virginia, I have had success closing the crawlspace vents and installing a dehumidifier. Are there any other measures I could be taking? What is an appropriate relative humidity level for a crawlspace?

     

Design

Business

Computers

Trade Talk

Kitchen & Bath

Products

  • Products

    Add-on lip for framing square, colorful stud finders, new underlayment for vinyl, classy garage doors, peel-and-stick ridge vents, more

     

Toolbox