August 1998 Table of Contents

Cash accounting with Quickbooks Pro

A construction accounting specialist shows how to generate detailed job-cost reports by using Quickbooks like a powerful electronic checkbook. Read more

Job-Site Power: Handle With Care Job-Site Power: Handle With Care

An electrician discusses several options for safe, economical temporary job-site power, and tells how to size extension cords so you don’t burn up your power tools. Read more

Ladders - Top to Bottom

Should you buy aluminum, fiberglass, or wood? What size? And what do those ratings mean? A scaffolding contractor answers these and other questions about ladders, and describes the most useful accessories. Read more

Laying Out Unequally-Sloped Gables

Here’s a simple method for figuring the rafter runs on a lopsided gable — where each side of the roof has a different pitch. Read more

Quick Foundation Repair

Rather than shore the house and replace the bulging block foundation, this builder used plywood slip forms to pour a concrete reinforcing wall on the outside. Read more

Shedding Light on Lasers Shedding Light on Lasers

If you’re shopping for a laser layout tool but are confused by the variety of products on the market, this article’s for you. We compare cost and performance, and discuss whether a specific type of laser is suitable for the work you do. Read more


Defining vinyl, using sloped-seat joist hangers, pressure-washing debate, closed valley shingles, glulam commentary, slope vs. pitch, more on safety Read more


Free business advice for builders, rigid foam banned below grade in heavy termite areas, safety liability protection for GCs proposed, deducting bad debts, photovoltaic roof shingles Read more

Q&A: Shingling Over Stressed-Skin Panels

Q: Is it necessary to provide ventilation under shingles installed over SIP (structural insulated panel) roofs? I’ve heard that shingles installed directly over SIPs, without a vent cavity, fail prematurely. Read more

Q&A: Rust on Rebar

Q: Our rebar was delivered to the site before excavation for a stemwall foundation began. After sitting in the weather, it’s gotten quite rusty. Is this a problem? Read more

Q&A: Shoring a Balloon Frame Q&A: Shoring a Balloon Frame

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? Read more

By Design: Building a Barrel Vault Ceiling

Designing & building a barrel vault ceiling Read more

Legal Adviser: Subs, Employees & the Safe Harbor Rule

Subs or employees? What the IRS has to say Read more

Practical Engineering: Fixing Shear Wall Nailing Mistakes

Simple fixes for shear wall nailing mistakes Read more


Guide to small-claims court, solar design & construction handbook Read more

Kitchen & Bath

Hydronic zone control valve, pro-duty kneepads, prefab corner moldings, emergency generator panel Read more

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