February 1995 Table of Contents

Brushing Up on Water-Based Paints

Federal regulation of VOCs has made the change to latex finishes inevitable. A painting contractor explains how to get the same quality and performance from water-based paints that you were accustomed to with oil-based products. Read more

Case Study: Framing an Engineered Floor

In second-story additions, existing bearing walls can limit your design choices. A design/builder tells how he used steel and engineered lumber to handle large loads and wide spans. Read more

Scribing Panels and Countertops Scribing Panels and Countertops

Some finish carpentry installations leave no room for error — like fitting a built-in desktop into a three-sided nook. These two techniques guarantee accuracy in even the tightest situations. Read more

Selecting Quality Customers: The Art of Prequalification

Not every sales lead is worth following. Here’s the point system one remodeling company uses to screen prospective clients over the phone — before wasting time on an estimate. Read more

Taking Care of Business

Hands-on tips for running a successful construction company. Read more

Tips for Custom-Milled Trim

Ordering hardwood trim is a lot more complicated than buying pine at the lumberyard. Success depends on careful planning, clear communication, and a good working relationship with a reputable millwork shop. Read more


Building inspector defends practices, R-value of cellulose insulation, L.A. quake revisited Read more

Eight-Penny News

Leaks in high-temperature plastic exhaust pipes, new asbestos regs coming, training architects as builders Read more

Q&A: Simple CAD Solution

Q: What simple CAD program can you recommend for generating low-tech working drawings? Read more

Q&A: Vapor-Retarder Paints

Q: Do "vapor-retarder paints" really work? Can I rely on them as the sole vapor barrier in an old house? If so, can you recommend some brand names? Read more

Q&A: Septic Systems and Low-Flow Fixtures

Q: Can low-flow fixtures cause any problems with residential septic systems? Read more

Building With Style: Graceful Transitions

Designing transitions between rooms Read more

Business Forum: The Mistake of Markup

How to include gross profit in your selling price Read more

Legal Column: The Problems of Arbitration

The shortcomings of arbitration Read more

Practical Engineering: A Porch Roof Diaphragm

A porch roof diaphragm for lateral loads Read more

Kitchen & Bath
Problem-Solving Tools and Materials

Here’s a look at new and noteworthy products we think will help you build better, faster, and smarter. Read more

Backfill: Please Pass the Butter Firkin Hammer

Old-time tool talk: Pass the butter firkin, please Read more

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