August 2001 Table of Contents

Building Screened Porches Building Screened Porches

High-quality materials and streamlined production methods enable this Virginia builder to provide distinctive porches at a reasonable price and still make a good profit. Read more

Custom Hold-Downs for a Rooftop Deck

This stainless-steel bracket anchors and supports a rooftop deck while preventing leaks into the living space below. Read more

Designing & Testing Forced-Air Systems

Here are steps you can take to ensure proper sizing and installation of air-conditioning and forced-air heating. Included is a list of detailed specifications that will guarantee state-of-the-art performance. Read more

Framing a Barrel-Vault Dormer Framing a Barrel-Vault Dormer

How to lay out, frame, and finish a large arch-topped bumpout in a conventional gable roof. Read more

Torchdown Roofing Basics

A metal roofing contractor explains why he uses single-ply modified bitumen for low-slope applications and how he installs it safely. Read more

Undercabinet Lighting Options

Fluorescent strips are not the only choice for task lighting below wall cabinets. This overview explains the difference between halogen, xenon, and fluorescent lamps and sorts through the various fixtures available. Read more

Affordable Self-Leveling Lasers Affordable Self-Leveling Lasers

In this hands-on comparison, a finish carpenter reviews laser tools designed for interior layout, focusing on non-rotating self-leveling lasers that cost less than $600. Read more


Teaming with architects, closeup with Formosan termites, receptacle wiring caution, flexible flashings advised, solar overhangs for the South Read more


International Codes update, a look at “nominal” sizes in building materials, trend toward minimum home sizes comes to Utah, new tax rules for small businesses, more Read more

Q & A
Clipped-Head vs. Full-Head Nails Clipped-Head vs. Full-Head Nails

Some inspectors think round-head nails are less likely to be over-driven in sheathing than clipped-head nails, but they aren't required by code. Read more

Q&A: Ventilating a Rain Screen

Q: I plan to install clapboard siding using the rain screen method. The siding will be fastened to 3/4-inch vertical battens, nailed over each stud. At the top, I plan to ventilate the rain screen into the soffit area. What is the best detail to ventilate Read more

Q&A: Blotchy Shingles

Q: The shady part of a customer’s roof is stained with round, pea-green growths on the asphalt shingles. The round spots are of various sizes, and they are not fuzzy like moss. A bleach solution does not remove these growths. What are they, and how can I Read more

Q&A: Circuit Breaker Problems

Q: In a residential remodel, we replaced the electrical service panel. Within five days, two of the 15-amp breakers tripped and could not be reset. The breakers were determined to be "defective" and had to be replaced. What could be causing this problem? Read more

Q&A: Carpet Over Ceramic Tile

Q: We are converting a restaurant kitchen into an office and need to install carpet over existing 6x6-inch ceramic tiles with 1/4-inch grout lines. The floor dips 3/4 inch near the floor drain. What product can we use to level this floor in preparation fo Read more

Q&A: Deteriorated Duct Board

Q: We are renovating a 1980 home. The hvac sub says that since older fiberglass duct board disintegrates from the inside out, all of the ducts should be replaced. Could this be true? Read more

Q&A: Framing With L-Corners Q&A: Framing With L-Corners

Q: The local framing inspector told us that our L-corners are not acceptable. He says that an L-corner is not as strong as a corner framed with two studs separated by blocking. Is he right? Read more

Q&A: Asphalt Shingles on Unvented Roofs

Q: Our insulation subcontractor advises us to install dense-pack cellulose in the rafter bays over a cathedral ceiling, without ventilation baffles, and the local building inspector approves. If we don’t ventilate under the roof sheathing, what happens to Read more

Q&A: Turning Cedar Shingles Gray

Q: What’s the best way to treat new white cedar shingles to give them a gray, weathered look? Read more

Q&A: Staining New Boards to Look Old

Q: We are building an addition on a 25-year-old house. The house has cathedral ceilings with exposed unfinished pine board roof sheathing, and the walls are paneled with unfinished pine boards. The pine boards have darkened with age, and the homeowners wa Read more

Q&A: Leaving Rigid Foam Exposed in Crawlspace

Q: I plan to install rigid foam insulation in a crawlspace. As far as I know, most types of rigid foam insulation can’t be left exposed but need to be covered with a layer of drywall for fire resistance. Is there a type of rigid foam insulation panel avai Read more

Q&A: Rx for Freezing Downspout

Q: A customer has a building with a nearly flat roof surrounded by a parapet. The roof drains to a single scupper, which conducts the water to a downspout. Ice builds up regularly in the downspout, and the water backs up and spills down the wall. What’s t Read more

Q&A: Thin Radiant Slab

Q: I want to install a thin radiant slab over a wood subfloor in a remodel. The flooring will be ceramic tile. What is the thinnest slab I can get away with? Read more

Q&A: Cooling Design Temperature

Q: Some hvac contractors in this area of Virginia size cooling systems using an indoor design temperature of 78ºF. I’m under the impression that a system should be designed for an indoor temperature of 75ºF. Is there a standard interior design temperature Read more

Q&A: Metal Lath Ceiling Demo

Q: I need to remove a metal lath and plaster ceiling in a finished basement. The existing partitions were installed after the ceiling, and I want to disturb the finished walls as little as possible. What tools and techniques should I use for this demoliti Read more

Q&A: Polyethylene Water Service Pipe

Q: I would like to use black polyethylene water service pipe for plumbing in the crawlspace of a house that has a black poly service line. Are there any code limitations on using polyethylene pipe? Read more

Q&A: Powered Attic Ventilation

Q: I am trying to plan the best way to ventilate a hipped roof above an attic. Since the ridge is very short, ridge venting is not an option. I was planning to install powered exhaust ventilation. How should I size the fan? Read more

Q&A: Drying Out a Damp Crawlspace

Q: To dry out damp crawlspaces in Virginia, I have had success closing the crawlspace vents and installing a dehumidifier. Are there any other measures I could be taking? What is an appropriate relative humidity level for a crawlspace? Read more

By Design: Downplaying the Garage

Creating a courtyard feel with a front-facing garage Read more

Strictly Business: Take a Vacation

How to make yourself take a vacation Read more

Trade Talk
Trimming with Aluminum Coil Stock Trimming with Aluminum Coil Stock

Using aluminum coil stock for exterior trim Read more

Kitchen & Bath
Kitchen & Bath: From the Aisles of the K&B Show

Products from the 2001 K&B Industry Show Read more


Add-on lip for framing square, colorful stud finders, new underlayment for vinyl, classy garage doors, peel-and-stick ridge vents, more Read more

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