October 1998 Table of Contents

Common Construction Defects

Defect litigation has become a billion-dollar industry in Southern California, driving many contractors out of business. A defect specialist describes the most frequent errors he encounters — from structure to finishes — and tells how to prevent them. Read more

Special Report: Insect Infestations in Buried Foam

Rigid foam insulation used below grade provides hidden pathways for termites and carpenter ants, and makes it impossible to chemically treat the foundation. We examine the problem, the costs, and possible solutions. Read more

Interview: Spec Remodeling Strategies: Tips from a Pro

Spec remodeler Larry Dworin tells how he chooses, restores, and markets “fixer-uppers” that provide him with a steady income and a high return on investment. Read more

New Portable Table Saws

Three tool makers have introduced new portable table saws with wider rip capacities, more accurate adjustments, and other new features. Here’s a side-by-side comparison. Read more

Organizing the Small Construction Office

Does your office look like a tornado just blew through it? This simple method improves efficiency by putting everything where it belongs. Read more

Stucco Flashing Details Stucco Flashing Details

Like most claddings, stucco is not watertight unless it’s properly flashed. A stucco contractor explains how to detail openings, penetrations, and terminations to keep the water out. Read more


Housewrap debate continues, job-site power tips, commonsense safety, roof framing math Read more


Remodelers lobby Washington, Y2K fix for QuickBooks, EPA cracks down on lead paint, bad siding suit decided, energy code trade-offs Read more

Q&A: Insulating a Flat Roof in a Hot Climate

Q: I am reroofing a flat roof framed with 2x10s on a house in Tucson. The foil-faced batt insulation was installed more than 25 years ago and seems very spotty, so I’d like to replace it while the roof is stripped. Winters are mild here, but the summer heat is brutal. I use both a/c and evaporative cooling depending on the outside humidity level, so humidity inside varies. What’s the best way to insulate the ceiling joists to provide ventilation? And how should I handle the vapor barrier? Since I don’t want to remove the drywall ceiling, is there some way to coat the back of the drywall? Or can a synthetic roof coating be used as a spray-on vapor barrier? Read more

Q&A: Applying Clapboards on a Curved Wall Q&A: Applying Clapboards on a Curved Wall

Q: I am trying to put 1/2x4-inch redwood beveled siding on a wall with a 4-ft. 8-in. radius. It doesn’t seem like a very tight radius, but so far I have only gotten up three courses before a board splits out. It seems as if each piece wants to pull further from the wall at the top. I have some pieces soaking in a tub of water hoping that will make it more pliable. Do you have any suggestions? Read more

By Design: Using Room Dividers

Using room dividers to create space Read more

Legal Adviser: Death of a Client

How to handle the death of a client Read more

Computer Solutions: Computer Proposals Make for a Good First Impression

Improving presentations with computer-generated proposals Read more


Roof truss book, well & septic guide, energy-efficient remodeling Read more


Tool belt system, tailgate step, cold weather paint, stronger felt underlayment, retrofit downlight kits Read more

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