September 1999 Table of Contents

Accrual Accounting

Accrual accounting gives you a much more accurate picture of your day-to-day finances than cash accounting. Here’s how to set up a popular accounting program to track payables and receivables and provide the reports you need to track your company’s financial health. Read more

Flitch Beam Retrofit

A custom remodeler tells how he and a helper used standard tools to install a three-quarter-ton steel sandwich before removing a masonry support wall for a first-story addition. Read more

Floating Floor Options

Floating floors offer some advantages over conventional hardwood strip flooring: They’re more dimensionally stable, come prefinished, and because they’re laminated, are available in wood species that would be cost-prohibitive in full-thickness flooring. Here’s a survey of what’s available. Read more

Making Paint Stick to Wood Siding and Trim Making Paint Stick to Wood Siding and Trim

To reduce your chances of callbacks, follow this wood expert's guide to choosing and applying finishes on various types of exterior wood surfaces. Read more

Rigid Foam Update

There are three types of rigid foam insulation — expanded polystyrene, extruded polystyrene, and polyisocyanurate. Each has its own characteristics, advantages, and disadvantages. Whether your application is above or below grade, inside or out, this guide will help you choose the right product. Read more


Asphalt shingle recycling, crown molding tip, on the durability of vinyl siding, how to enter the building trades Read more


Harvard remodeling report analyzed, up-to-the-minute satellite weather for contractors, buildings damaged by swelling coal ash, questions about masonry wall strength, older U.S. homes too leaky, skid-steer accidents, California demands lower-VOC paint Read more

Q&A: Asphalt Shingles & High Wind

Q: Is the self-adhesive strip on standard asphalt shingles adequate for occasional 100-mph winds, or should extra roofing cement be applied under each shingle? Read more

Q&A: Condensation Dripping Under Metal Roof Q&A: Condensation Dripping Under Metal Roof

Q: I designed an open-plan house with what I hoped would be an energy-efficient, maintenance-free roof. The house and its roof have performed well except for occasional annoying ceiling drips, which occur every winter. (A similar but not identical situation was discussed in your March ’99 On the House column.) The roof construction is 2x6 T&G planking, two layers of 3-inch rigid foam, 2x4 horizontal strapping, and a galvanized roof attached with neoprene-gasketed screws. There is a continuous ridge and soffit venting. There is no poly vapor barrier above the plank ceiling because I was assured that the double-layered foam insulation formed its own vapor barrier due to the closed cell structure of the foam. There is no felt above the insulation. Dripping does not occur after heavy rains, but seems to occur most often during thaws after very cold weather, on both north- and south-facing roofs. The water accumulation is a couple of tablespoonsful from each of two or three drips. Where is the water coming from — above or below? Is there a fix short of pulling off the roof or putting on a new ceiling? Read more

Q&A: Cordless Tool Trigger Guards

Q: I’d like to know why cordless tools don’t have trigger guards anymore. Bosch used to make one, but they gave it up, or so it seems. Does it have something to do with government requirements? With the gun I use now (Bosch), I hang it in the spare hammer loop on my left hand nail bag, but the new guns without trigger guards cannot be hung this way without the trigger being depressed. I use three nail bags and a separate hammer loop, so I don’t have room for an additional drill holster. If you have any influence on the manufacturers, please bring this to their attention. Read more

By Design: Adding a Deck with Style

Adding a deck to fit the house Read more

Legal Adviser: A Fixed Cost for Delays

Protecting yourself against construction delays Read more

Computer Solutions: Visual Estimating

A visual estimating program Read more


Window technology guide, roof framer’s handbook, construction tax help, timber framer manual Read more


Steel hollow-wall fasteners, exterior vinyl flooring, low-maintenance vinyl deck boards, remodeling for your pickup, easy metal roof panels, one-piece PVC deck system, low-profile hydronic baseboard, outdoor lighting, rooftop snow guard Read more

Toolbox: Steel-Cutting Circ Saw Blade

Steel-cutting circ saw blade Read more

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