February 2000 Table of Contents

Bidding Errors To Avoid Bidding Errors To Avoid

Taking shortcuts when preparing contracts, job specs, and estimates could cost you your profit margin. A seasoned contractor tells how to avoid typical pitfalls. Read more

Compound Miter Saw Review Compound Miter Saw Review

Our tool editor takes a close look at 10- and 12-inch compound chop saws, and compares them for power, accuracy, and durability. Read more

Installing Direct-Vent Space Heaters

Proper installation of these fan-assisted units can provide comfortable, energy-efficient heat in room additions and small dwellings. Read more

On Site with Advantech

Field testing of this new-generation OSB subfloor shows improved resistance to swelling, even in severe weather exposure. Read more

Waterproofing ICF Foundations

Even foundations built with insulating concrete forms need to be made water-resistant. A builder shows how he applies a self-adhering membrane to guarantee a dry basement. Read more

Working with Preprimed Wood Siding Working with Preprimed Wood Siding

Factory priming protects wood siding from moisture and UV degradation until the finish paint can be applied. Here’s what to look for when speccing this cost-effective product. Read more


Bonding to gas pipes; Frank Lloyd Wright rebar mystery; vinyl siding comments; recipe for roof algae cleaner Read more


International code finally a reality; housewrap performance; OSHA takes on repetitive stress; innovative temporary shelter Read more

Q & A
Q&A: Notches & Holes in Joists

Q: What’s the largest hole I can drill in a 2x8 joist? What about notching? Also, how close to a bearing point can I drill a hole? Read more

Q&A: Ceiling Vapor Barrier — Yes or No? Q&A: Ceiling Vapor Barrier — Yes or No?

Q: Should you put a vapor barrier in an insulated ceiling or not? I build in a cold climate, where many longtime builders swear that you shouldn’t put a ceiling vapor barrier in. The reasons go something like, "Because you have to let the moisture escape," or "Because the house has to breathe out the top." What do the experts say? Read more

Q&A: Performance of Wood vs. Steel Beams in a Fire

Q: Is it true that a wood beam is safer than a steel beam in a fire? I’ve heard that metal twists and deflects in the presence of heat, while a wood beam will withstand the heat and a great deal of fire before burning through enough to collapse. Read more

By Design: Better Shed Dormers

Making a shed dormer look better Read more

Strictly Business: Simple Job-Costing

A simple approach to job-costing Read more


Electrical wiring guides Read more

Kitchen & Bath

Noise-reducing batts; cool eye protection; simple cord connector; generator power panel; aluminum fence system; foolproof GFCI receptacle; thin profile radiant heat for tile Read more

Toolbox: Single-Nail Pneumatic Driver

Makita single-nail pneumatic driver Read more

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