February 1996 Table of Contents

Foolproof Change Orders

This standard form and tracking system for change orders, created by a practicing contractor who is also an attorney, will ensure that you get paid for all extra work. Read more

Heating System Tuneups

Most furnaces and boilers more than five years old can benefit from modifications that will improve performance. A seasoned hvac contractor explains which upgrades will be most cost-effective for gas- and oil-fired systems. Read more

Presentation Drawings for Design-Build

Selling professional design services requires more than an ability to sketch floor plans. An experienced design-builder offers advice on how to use quality perspective drawings and textured elevations to sell jobs. Read more

Site-Built Modular Addition

To avoid the expense of working off the ground and to keep disruption of the homeowners’ lives to a minimum, this custom builder and remodeler framed an 18x32-foot addition on the ground, then hired a crane to lift it into place. Here’s how he did it. Read more

Tips for a Perfect Floor Finish

A second generation floor finisher tells how to control job-site temperature and humidity for a durable floor finish every time. Read more

Working with Architects

Builders and architects need not be adversaries. These tips from an experienced site foreman show how common courtesy, planning, and a respect for the design process can promote a spirit of cooperation. Read more


Duct cleaning can help, housewrap prevents rot, pneumatic impact wrenches Read more

Eight-Penny News

OSHA compromises on fall safety, Inner-Seal failure suit settled Read more

Q&A: Insulation Won’t Trigger Asthma

Q: I’m working on a beautiful old stone farmhouse. Inside, the house has wood-framed walls with the original lath-and-plaster finish. The owners would like to cut their heating bills, and we’re considering blowing insulation into the 4-inch voids between the plaster and the stone. The problem is, my customers have asthma and they’re concerned about the health effects of fiber insulation. Got any advice? Read more

Q&A: Splashback Causes Deck Decay Q&A: Splashback Causes Deck Decay

Q: I am having a problem that’s not uncommon in my area (north-central Florida). I recently built a nice custom deck for a customer who wouldn’t accept pressure-treated wood because of its appearance. I used kiln-dried southern pine 5/4x6. We primed all sides of the boards with oil-based primer before installation, then applied three coats of oilbased enamel when the deck was in place. We ran the boards perpendicular to the house, and sloped the deck so that water would drain away from the building. Still, some boards are rotting at the ends, where stairs join the deck (there’s a decorative bullnose nailed to the edge of the deck there). What’s causing the problem? Read more

State-of-the-Art Contractor: Tracking Costs

Simple, low-cost estimating/job-costing program Read more

Practical Engineering: Reroofing Over Asphalt Shingles

Rafter sizing chart for multiple shingle layers Read more

Focus on Energy: A Nearly Perfect Cathedral Ceiling

Airtight, well-ventilated cathedral ceiling Read more

Kitchen & Bath
Kitchen & Bath: Cabinet Installer's Helper

Portable cabinet lift speeds installation Read more

For What It's Worth

Lightweight coil nailers, efficient two-fuel heat pump, hands-free fall arrest Read more

Toolbox: Custom Hot Rod Table Saw

Contractor table saw upgrade kit Read more

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