March 2004 Table of Contents

Building Stone Arches Building Stone Arches

A veteran masonry contractor describes how he built a series of stone arches below a wood-framed terrace. Read more

Installing Home Theaters Installing Home Theaters

The owner of a home automation company explains what GCs need to know to coordinate the installation of home theater systems. Read more

Practical Engineering: Load-Tested Deck Ledger Connections Practical Engineering: Load-Tested Deck Ledger Connections

Virginia Tech researchers report the load test results of four ledger-board-to-band-joist connection details. Read more

An Alternative On-Site Septic Solution An Alternative On-Site Septic Solution

On a site where a conventional leach field won't work, installing plastic leach chambers might be a better solution than a mound system. Read more

Post-Tensioned Slabs Post-Tensioned Slabs

Expansive soils can wreak havoc on conventional wire-mesh reinforced slabs. A California structural engineer explains why post-tensioned slabs have become a popular solution for building on problem soils. Read more

Refinishing a Bathtub Refinishing a Bathtub

Spray-on refinishing can be a practical alternative to tearing out an unsightly but structurally sound tub or shower unit. Read more

Scheduling Software 101 Scheduling Software 101

Computer schedulers show you where the job stands and help predict where it's headed. We compare packages and describe the key features to look for. Read more


Mold and technique, necessity of building paper, flashlight recommendation Read more

In the News In the News

Lumber trade standoff, builder's contract gag clause causes controversy, simpler energy code in the works, gravel pumping may be in your future Read more

Q & A
About Roof Truss Spacing About Roof Truss Spacing

Why you're wasting money if you install trusses closer together than their design spacing to make the roof stronger. Read more

Is Mold on Framing Lumber a Concern? Is Mold on Framing Lumber a Concern?

If you're not sure the lumber will thoroughly dry out before closing it in, here's how to clean it to prevent mold from growing. Read more

Troubleshooting Open Plans Design Troubleshooting Open Plans

Over the last ten years or so, residential designers have made tremendous progress in offering open floor plans. Eliminating long hallways and unnecessary walls are both good ways to impart a spacious feel. Read more


Saving on workers' comp; putting subs on the team; improving efficiency with the 80/20 rule Read more

Legal Sexual Harassment Liability Extends to Subs

Okay, here's the situation: You've hired a female carpenter, and while your guys are cool, she's having trouble with the suppliers and the subs. Could you be in trouble if you don't do something about that? Read more

Kitchen & Bath
High-Tech Countertop Templating Kitchen & Bath High-Tech Countertop Templating

High-tech countertop templating; jetted tubs; undercounter appliances Read more


Low-maintenance gutters, 10-ounce epoxy, long structural screws; indoor ventilation; locksets; paints & coatings Read more

Toolbox Toolbox

Ridgid 18-volt kit; cordless shop vac; jigs & clamps Read more

Two Formed & Foamed Dormers Backfill Two Formed & Foamed Dormers

Shop-built dormers for a stress-skin roof Read more

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