February 1997 Table of Contents

Controlling Termites and Carpenter Ants with Borates

Borates have no odor, do not discolor wood, and are no more toxic to humans than common table salt. An expert explains why they are ideal for protecting wood-frame buildings from a broad spectrum of insect pests and decay fungi. Read more

Energy-Efficient Cathedral Ceilings Energy-Efficient Cathedral Ceilings

It’s difficult to achieve a high R-value in a cathedral ceiling while preserving adequate roof ventilation. Here are four options for packing more insulation into the rafters, by an energy-conscious builder who has tried them all. Read more

Engineered Studs for Tall Walls

Fingerjointed, LSL, and LVL studs may be too expensive to use throughout the house, but they’re ideal for select walls that need extra strength or that need to be perfectly flat and straight. We take a look at what’s available. Read more

Extreme Stucco Extreme Stucco

Hot and cold weather are the enemies of a durable stucco exterior finish. But by following these recommendations, you can apply a long-lasting, good-looking stucco finish in almost any kind of weather. Read more

Preventing Tile Failures Preventing Tile Failures

When a tile job fails, it’s easy to blame the materials. But in most cases, shoddy workmanship is the culprit. A tile expert lays out the trouble spots and tells how to prevent problems. Read more

Remodeling Basements

To the homeowner, finishing the basement is an obvious way to gain extra space. To the builder, however, the project is fraught with problems, from moisture and code restrictions to beams and mechanical systems that are in the way. Here are some tips from a builder who works down under — for a profit. Read more


Spray foam defended, CO detectors Read more


Innovative foundation forms, salvaging plants from construction sites, pressure relief for freezing pipes Read more

Q&A: Foundation and Framing Tolerances Q&A: Foundation and Framing Tolerances

Q: What is a reasonable degree of accuracy to expect from foundation and framing subcontractors? Read more

Q&A: Overrated Service Panel

Q: Can a 100-amp service panel be used with a 60-amp incoming service? Read more

Q&A: Sealing Fire-Stop Penetrations

Q: When we build homes, we drill numerous holes through wall plates and subfloor assemblies for wiring, plumbing, and hvac ducts. Are there any code requirements for sealing the gaps around these penetrations? Read more

Practical Engineering: Attaching Steel Beams and Columns

Attaching steel columns to I-beams and footings Read more

Resources: Primers for Plumbers

Plumbing installation guides, e-mail forums Read more

Kitchen & Bath
Kitchen & Bath: Venting Island Sinks Kitchen & Bath: Venting Island Sinks

Venting strategies for island sinks Read more


Cordless recip saw, waterproof deck lumber, safe ladder jack staging, prefab templates for undermount sinks Read more

Toolbox: Point-to-Point Lasers

New point-to-point laser levels Read more

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