April 2001 Table of Contents

Exterior Soundproofing That Works Exterior Soundproofing That Works

These details, used in soundproofing programs near the nation’s airports, do a good job of keeping exterior noise out. Read more

Fast Layout for Tall Rake Walls Fast Layout for Tall Rake Walls

This step-by-step procedure for laying out rake walls simplifies cutting and framing. Read more

Low-Cost, High-Value Upgrades

These economical interior features build customer satisfaction while adding little in the way of cost. Read more

My First ICF Foundation My First ICF Foundation

Foam forms hold the promise of an easily built, energy-efficient foundation — but there is a learning curve. A builder shares his first experience. Read more

Remodeling a Bathroom a Day

A remodeler whose production team installs 300 to 400 small baths a year describes the fixtures and finishes that guarantee trouble-free field installation. Read more

Two Simple Curved Walls Two Simple Curved Walls

This remodeling contractor used simple techniques and a manufactured curved plate to assemble radiused walls. Read more


Drywall codes; back-priming discussion; CAD for Macs; sizing I-joists for clear spans; safety reminder; more Read more


Online building permits; sunroom code changes; tool recalls; plumbing with lead-containing brass reconsidered; foundation failures in Texas droughts; more Read more

Q & A
Q&A: Does Snow Insulate?

Q: Assuming an attic is leaking some heat that reaches the roof sheathing, causing an ice dam, does the snow on the roof tend to act as insulation, trapping the heat near the sheathing? Will the melting of the roof snow be worse when there are 12 inches o Read more

Q&A: Replacing Sheathing Behind Brick Veneer

Q: My company is in the process of gut rehabbing a house with brick veneer siding. From the interior, we have removed the drywall and wall insulation, exposing 16-gauge steel studs, 24 inches on center. The existing gypsum sheathing is in very poor condit Read more

Q&A: Installing Asphalt Shingles on a Low-Slope Roof

Q: What is the minimum slope allowed for asphalt shingles? I have heard that asphalt shingles can be applied on a roof with a pitch as low as 2/12, as long as a rubberized asphalt eaves membrane is installed under the shingles. Read more

Q&A: Boxing in a Metal Chimney Above the Roofline Q&A: Boxing in a Metal Chimney Above the Roofline

Q: My company has been asked to enclose a triple-wall metal chimney with a rectangular chase above the roofline. The chimney vents a fireplace, and extends about 4 feet above the roof. The homeowners want to box in the chimney with framing, sheathing, sid Read more

Q&A: Stucco Repair

Q: What’s the best way to build up a damaged bullnose corner on exterior stucco? Read more

Q&A: Two Layers of Housewrap

Q: I plan to install new cedar shingle siding over existing T & G board siding. Should I install housewrap under the new shingles? Since there is already a layer of housewrap between the plywood sheathing and the board siding, I’m worried that two layers of Read more

Q&A: Wiring Bathroom Lights

Q: At several jobs, I have noticed that the electrician wires the bathroom light downstream from the bathroom GFCI receptacle. When the GFCI trips, the light goes out. Does this meet the NEC? Read more

Q&A: Box, Sinker, and Cooler Nails

Q: I would like to know the definitions for a box nail, sinker nail, and cooler nail. How do they differ from common nails? Read more

Q&A: Stripping Paint from Fiberglass Doors

Q: What is the best way to remove paint or varnish from a fiberglass door? Read more

Q&A: Foundation Wall Cracks

Q: Within 60 days of pouring a concrete basement, some vertical cracks appeared. The cracks are between 1/32 inch and 1/16 inch wide, and extend from the top of the foundation wall down about 4 to 5 feet. My subcontractor tells me that the foundation is s Read more

Q&A: Nailing Cedar Shingles Q&A: Nailing Cedar Shingles

Q: A new lead carpenter on my crew says that when installing cedar shingle siding on a house, he was always taught to put a third nail in the wider shingles. Is he right? Read more

Legal Adviser: Using Depreciation to Your Advantage

Using depreciation to your advantage Read more


Business guides for harried owners Read more


Grout removal tool; flooring clamps; foundation drain mat; painter’s tool belt; trackless bi-fold hardware; composite decking; aluminum scaffold planks; more Read more

Toolbox: Bosch Worksite Table Saw

Bosch 4000 Worksite Table Saw Read more

Backfill: Tools in Space

Inside an astronaut’s toolbox Read more

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