Mike Shannahan

Mike Shannahan's Posts

  • Going back to school to learn Spanish can pay big dividends in the field

  • Q: I’m building a wharf on a bay of the Gulf of Mexico. It is to be on 8-inch-diameter pilings with 2-by joists and cross-members. Can I use plywood for the decking? What are your recommendations?

  • Here’s a step-by-step guide to stripping, pressure-washing, and repainting wood siding, by a Texas restoration contractor.

  • Q: I am rehabbing an old two-story balloon-framed house with a crumbling limestone foundation. I need to jack the walls slightly to repair the foundation. The floor joists rest on a 2-by leveling plate, and the 20-foot-tall studs are face-nailed to the sides of the joist ends (see illustration). With platform framing, I would ordinarily run a temporary beam under the joists as close to the foundation wall as possible and place my jacks under the beam. If I do that with this frame, I am concerned that the weight of the walls, which are carrying the second floor and roof, will shear the old face nails. Any suggestions?

  • Q: I have trouble removing old latex paint. It doesn’t scrape well and it gums up sandpaper. What’s the best way to do this?

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