November 2006 Table of Contents

Block-Laying Basics Block-Laying Basics

Masonry techniques aren't hard to learn and can be valuable on small jobs Read more

Building a Slate-Tile Deck Building a Slate-Tile Deck

Strong framing and proper substrate details reduce the chances of cracking Read more

Electrical Problem-Solvers

When it comes to wiring, these tools and products can save you time and money Read more

Framing a Spiral Staircase Framing a Spiral Staircase

Painstaking layout made it possible to build this lighthouse stair with standard framing tools Read more

Investing in Real Estate Investing in Real Estate

You've got the skills, and financing is available. You just need to make the first move. Read more


Legal debate; quality-control checklist; call for advice; woodpecker problems; more Read more

In the News In the News

Deck ledger bolting schedule may become code; pump-truck accident; West Coast Green show; more Read more

Q & A
Q&A Sawn vs. Plywood Shims

Q: Ideally, pier/beam connections are always properly aligned, with the pier at the right elevation to fully support the beam above. But in the real world, a little shimming always seems to be required. Are shims ripped from framing lumber really adequate Read more

Q&A: Service-Entrance Cable Under a Garage

Q: The proposed location for my client's new detached garage is right on top of a buried service-entrance cable. The electric meter is mounted on a pedestal about 100 feet from the house, and a conduit runs to the house through the area where the garage — Read more

Q&A Fast Fix for Dark Paneling

Q: We recently completed the remodel of a 1970s relic complete with dark paneling and shag carpet. In some areas, the homeowner acquiesced and allowed us to apply new 1/2-inch drywall over the old paneling, while in other areas we simply painted over it. Read more

On the Job
Business Business Business

Prepare your company for the end of the year; get paid faster with credit cards Read more

Legal How a Bidding Error Can Turn Into a Disaster

It's your worst nightmare: You've submitted a bid, it's been accepted, and then you find out there was a mistake in your estimate or that your bid was based on a subcontractor's mistake. Read more

Kitchen & Bath
Kitchen & Bath

Kitchen sinks; high-performance showers Read more


Fencing; soundproofing; lighting Read more

Toolbox Toolbox

Makita 2704X1 table saw; roll-around trim station; concrete & masonry cutting; floor installation Read more

Breakneck Backhoe Backfill Breakneck Backhoe

With a top speed of 20 mph, most backhoe loaders are unlikely candidates for the passing lane. The HMEE (high-mobility engineer excavator) is different. Read more

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