January 2004 Table of Contents

Making the Markup Move Making the Markup Move

Are you charging what your work is worth? Seven veteran builders tell how they learned to stop undercharging and get serious about turning a profit. Read more

Repairing a Bulging Foundation Repairing a Bulging Foundation

A veteran contractor shares his method of repairing damaged foundations with tension rods and concrete deadmen. Read more

Top-Down Roofing Top-Down Roofing

Installing shingles in 4- to 7-foot lifts from the ridge down reduces granule loss and makes the job go faster. Read more

Clever Storage for Kitchen and Bath Clever Storage for Kitchen and Bath

Rethinking standard cabinet configurations allows you to make use of space that would otherwise go to waste. The owner of a high-end remodeling company provides several examples. Read more

Fixing the Holes Where the Air Gets In Fixing the Holes Where the Air Gets In

Reducing air leakage boosts thermal performance, reduces drafts, and keeps this GC's customers comfortable. Read more

Letters Letters

Stucco rebuttal, vinyl details, preventing hanger corrosion, Mac privacy protection, flashing tops of deck joists Read more

In the News In the News

New ventilation standard, economics of OSB prices, ICFs resist test blasts, after the California fires, green building products Read more

Q & A
Q&A How to Prime New Pine

Q. We're new home builders and use a lot of newly milled kiln-dried eastern white pine exterior trim. We paint it in batches, spraying both sides with a good-quality oil-based primer, then following with two topcoats of 100% acrylic. To cut down drying time, we'd like to switch to an acrylic primer, but most painting contractors we talk to swear by an oil-based primer for pine because it penetrates better. Is there an acrylic primer that would give good performance? Read more

Q&A LVL Dimensions

Q. Why are LVLs sized differently than framing lumber? I can understand the 13/4-inch-thickness dimension, because two laminations make up a matching header for a 2x4 wall, but why are they 91/2 inches deep instead of 91/4? Read more

Q&A Comparing Propane and Oil

Q. Which home heating fuel is usually cheaper, oil or propane? Read more

Business Allocating Overhead to Labor Makes Financial Sense

If I were to ask ten contractors how they calculate and apply overhead (indirect expense) to their estimates or time-and-material work, I would get ten different answers. If I were to press further as to how they arrived at their numbers, most of their methods would turn out to be arbitrary or have some element of guessing. Read more

Legal Writing an Employee Manual

If you're like most business owners, you already have more than enough paperwork to do. Why should you spend valuable time writing an employee manual? Read more

Document Management With ACT! Computers Document Management With ACT!

You might think of ACT! as a contact manager or a task scheduler — and it does both of those things as well as or better than any other CRM (customer relations management) package on the market. But in construction, you can't manage customers without managing tons of documents and correspondence, too. Read more

Kitchen & Bath
Kitchen & Bath

Tile; water filters; recycling centers Read more


Harness dolly, watertight decking, bamboo plywood; structural fasteners; central vac & accessories; exterior doors Read more

Toolbox Toolbox

Dust-free drywall sanding; Impulse utility stapler; demolition tools Read more

Hull-House Remodel Backfill Hull-House Remodel

Life in a boat Read more

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