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  • Commonsense Safety: Lessons Learned

    Accidents happen, even on OSHA-approved job sites. When it comes to day-to-day operations, these stories from working contractors show that sound judgment and common sense are the keys to working safely.

  • Cordless Finish Nailers

    Six months after Paslode released a new Impulse trim nailer, Porter-Cable introduced a hoseless finish nailer of its own — the Bammer. JLC’s tool expert looks at how design differences affect performance, maintenance, and usability.

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    Framing Rake Walls

    You don’t have to be a math genius to figure the angles on gable end studs. A Colorado builder explains his simple system for laying out and cutting rake walls.

  • Frequently Asked Framing Questions

    Do you have to double 2x12 trimmer rafters when installing a skylight? Can you remove collar ties in an attic? Just how strong is a toe-nail? We asked four engineers to answer these and other structural questions.

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    Mortar Bed Shower Floors

    Curbed tile shower pans have to be watertight. A veteran tile contractor shows how careful detailing of a waterproof membrane and special drain makes for a trouble-free shower floor.

  • Rain Screen Siding Retrofit

    Moisture trapped behind wood siding can cause the finish to fail and the siding itself to cup and buckle. In extreme cases, the sheathing and structure below may deteriorate. Leaving an air space behind the siding is the best way to prevent these problems.



  • Letters

    Fiber-cement corners, undercabinet lights, brick veneer details, competitive bidding



  • Notebook

    Urban building boom under way, sick building study, EIFS manufacturer not liable for failures



  • Fiber vs. Wire Mesh Reinforcing

    Q: Which is better at preventing cracks in concrete slabs: fiber reinforcement or wire mesh?

  • Q&A: Pressure-Washing Before Painting

    Q: Is it a good idea to pressure-wash wood siding before painting? It seems like this would drive a lot of water into and behind the siding — water that might still be present when the paint is applied. And what about pressure-washing decks?

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    Nailing Patterns for Built-Up Beams

    Q: What’s the best nailing pattern for built-up beams?

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    Horizontal vs. Vertical Sheathing

    Q: I’ve always heard that installing plywood sheathing horizontally (perpendicular to the direction of the studs), with joints staggered, is stronger than installing it vertically. True? Is this true of roof sheathing too?

  • Deflection of Plywood vs. OSB

    Q: Does OSB sag more than plywood when installed horizontally over 24-inch-center rafters?

  • Plywood in Built-Up Headers

    Q: Do the layers of plywood in typical built-up headers add significant strength to the header?

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    Q&A: When to Double Rafters at Openings

    Q: When you remove one rafter to install a skylight, do you have to double the two rafters at the sides of the opening? What about the headers?

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    Q&A: Purpose of T&G Plywood

    Q: Does tongue-and-groove plywood add extra strength or stiffness to a floor system, or does it just help prevent floor squeaks?

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    Q&A: Splices in Built-Up Beams

    Q: Is it necessary to place splices in built-up lumber beams directly above the support posts?

  • Q&A: Strength of PT Lumber

    Q: Does CCA pressure treatment adversely affect the strength or durability of framing lumber?

  • Q&A: Weight of Steel vs. Lumber Beams

    Q: For the same loads, which is heavier, structural steel beams or lumber beams?

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    Q&A: Rafter Thrust in a Shed Roof

    Q: Does a cathedral shed roof addition need collar ties to restrain the outward thrust of the rafters?

  • Q&A: Shear Strength of Gypboard

    Q: I’ve heard that engineers give no structural "credit" to gypboard, but I know it greatly stiffens partitions when I nail it up. How much shear strength does drywall really have, and why not credit it in the design?

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    Q&A: When Are Collar Ties Needed?

    Q: Collar ties don’t seem necessary in attics where the rafters come all the way down to the ceiling joists. Can you remove some of them to create headroom?

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    Calculating Loads on Sloped Roofs

    Q: I often see roof loads calculated based on the horizontal run of the roof. But isn’t it more accurate to figure the weight of snow and roofing materials by measuring along the actual length of the rafter? Thus, as the roof gets steeper, the rafter gets longer, and the weight of roofing materials...

  • Q&A: Safety Factor in Wood Construction

    Q: Doesn’t the safety factor in wood construction mean that most wood structures are way overbuilt?

  • Q&A: Unventilated Crawlspaces

    Q: Since 1983, we have been using unvented crawlspaces under many of our energy-efficient housing projects. Our county has recently hired a new building inspector who is unfamiliar with this building practice and can find no provisions for it in the BOCA code. He would like us to provide evidence...

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    Q&A: Using Purlins & Struts To Reduce Rafter Spans

    Q: Does using purlins and struts at midspan allow you to cut the roof span in half compared with what’s given in a rafter table?





Kitchen & Bath


  • Products

    Adjustable floor outlet, T-Square cutting guide for drywall, prefab molded eaves, permit protector pouch