March 2000 Table of Contents

Best-Practice Energy Upgrades

Here are five cost-effective ways to cut energy costs in new construction and remodels. Read more

Builder Time Bombs

These common oversights will lead to early building failure. Read more

Getting Ready for Tax Season

In the rush to get ready for April 15th, don’t forget these deductions. Read more

Good Subs, Great Work

A project manager tells how he communicates with subcontractors to ensure work of the highest quality. Read more

Installing Metal Door Jambs

A finish expert shows step-by-step how to install metal jambs perfectly every time. Read more

Stripping Old Paint Stripping Old Paint

A painter shows how to use a nontoxic chemical stripper to safely remove old exterior paint. Read more

Tying In a New Foundation

A builder describes his proven method for adding a full-height basement to a crawlspace foundation. Read more

Wrapping the House: Do's & Don'ts Wrapping the House: Do's & Don'ts

It’s easy to get sloppy when installing housewrap and flashings, but beware — reverse laps can dump water into the structure. Read more


More on unvented crawlspaces, January cover questioned, rules of thumb for flue sizing Read more


Temps helping to meet labor shortage; fixing up after Floyd; new study says cross-bridging helps stiffen floors; innovative foundation system requires no excavation; analysis of low-e paint; failing flex duct cover; elves slow development in Iceland Read more

Q & A
An Electrical Panel in the Kitchen? An Electrical Panel in the Kitchen?

There's more than one reason why you can't put an electrical panel under a counter. A master electrician explains why. Read more

Q&A: Upstairs Window Egress Rules Q&A: Upstairs Window Egress Rules

Q: I know that the sill of an egress window in a second-floor bedroom must be no higher than a certain distance from the floor to allow for easy escape. But what if it’s a tall window that is only 12 inches off the floor? Is this a code violation? Read more

Q&A: Paint vs. Stain on Clapboards

Q: I plan to install radially cut spruce clapboards on a new house and want to stain them with a white semitransparent or opaque stain. What type of finish appearance should I expect, and how often will the finish need to be renewed? Although stained siding looks better to me than painted siding, I know that some people say that stain is "just thinned paint." Read more

Q&A: Preventing Wind Washing of Attic Insulation

Q: Since ventilated attics can be breezy, doesn’t the wind rob heat from the insulated ceiling? Would it help to install housewrap on top of the R-38 fiberglass batt insulation? If the client wanted a storage area, I could install plywood over the housewrap. Similarly, would it help to have housewrap on the back of second-floor kneewalls, which I typically insulate with R-24 batts? Read more

Q&A: Exterior Stair Riser Heights

Q: I’m building an exterior stairway from a deck to grade. Is there a building code requirement that the risers of an exterior stairway all be the same height? Read more

By Design: A Friendlier Façade

Improving plan book facades Read more

Strictly Business: Charging for Estimates

Charging for estimates not an end in itself Read more

Legal Adviser: Comp Claims for Off-the-Job Accidents

Comp claims for off-the-job accidents Read more


Steel framing guides Read more


Inflatable knee pads; truck bed extender; caddy for extension ladders; roof guardrail; track for heavy pocket doors; finish works on wet wood; mortarless brick veneer; elegant aluminum balusters; more Read more

Toolbox: Segmental Arches

Layout tool for segmental arches Read more

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