April 2007 Table of Contents

A New Look for Old Paneling A New Look for Old Paneling

Skim-coating the walls with setting compound is easier than starting from scratch. Read more

Tool Test: Lithium-Ion Cordless Kits Tool Test: Lithium-Ion Cordless Kits

These new tools promise longer runtimes, lighter batteries, and impressive power. But do they deliver? Read more

Replacement Window Basics Replacement Window Basics

As long as you've measured carefully, you can install a high-quality insert in less than an hour. Read more

Wet-Set Mudsills Wet-Set Mudsills

With careful layout, placing sills directly into the wet concrete can save time. Read more


Forming foundation walls; warranty caution; more Read more

In the News
In the News In the News

Remodeling study predicts growth; builder gets jail time for worker's death; more Read more

Q & A
Lumpy Setting Compounds Q&A Lumpy Setting Compounds

Q: When we're working with what we call "hot mud"- setting-type drywall compounds that come in powdered form - it seems almost impossible to mix the stuff up without getting lumps. Do you have any suggestions for smoothing out the consistency? Read more

Q&A Gluing Exterior Trim

Q: When installing stained vertical cedar siding or fascia trim, what type of glue should be used for splices and corners? Some contractors like to dab a little stain on the cut ends of 3-degree splices or on 4-degree corner miters, but is there an exteri Read more

Q&A Lumber for Permanent Wood Foundations

Q: Is ACQ-treated lumber and plywood suitable for building permanent wood foundations? Read more

Q&A Repainting Aluminum Siding

Q: Does faded aluminum siding with a chalklike residue on the surface require any special preparation before repainting? Read more

Q&A Does Drenched Insulation Dry Out

Q: A winter's worth of rain fell on a large hillside home we're building before we could complete the roof. Though we tarped the project, rainwater seeped through the first-floor decking and into the floor framing of a basement wine cellar. I suspect that Read more

On the Job
On the Job: Office on Wheels On the Job: Office on Wheels

Office on wheels; all-weather blueprints Read more

Keeping an Eye on Chimneys Design Keeping an Eye on Chimneys

Though it's but a single element, a chimney can do much to enhance a house's overall design. In its materials and form — how it rises and terminates — a successful chimney respects the context of the surrounding home. Read more

Scheduling With Post-it Notes Business Scheduling With Post-it Notes

When I was in commercial construction, I used formal scheduling procedures on all of my projects. With formal scheduling, each task or activity in the job is written down, placed in sequence, and assigned a certain amount of time. Read more

Making Change Orders Work for You Legal Making Change Orders Work for You

Many of the costly owner/contractor disputes I see in my legal practice involve change orders — or the lack thereof. I know of innumerable residential contractors who, having failed to obtain signed change orders, have eaten hundreds or even thousands of dollars of legitimate extra work at the end of a job just so they could get the homeowner to release that final check. Read more

Kitchen & Bath
Kitchen & Bath

Tiling; toilets Read more


Electrical; fasteners Read more

Toolbox Toolbox

New cap nailers from Bostitch and Spotnails; DeWalt D24000 tile saw; framing; safety gear Read more

Hammer Museum Backfill Hammer Museum

If you're feeling that hammers are beginning to seem sort of, well, last century, there's a place in Alaska that you should visit. Read more

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