Breaktime Spotlight

Breaktime Spotlight

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Searching for Clues to Wet Sheathing

Searching for Clues to Wet Sheathing

10 comments

A 6-year-old house on the Washington coast looked like an enviable retirement home, but a closer inspection finds wet OSB sheathing and the homeowner wonders whether the underlayment is to blame.

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Whats the Best Way to Install Cedar-Shingle Siding on an Old House?

What's the Best Way to Install Cedar-Shingle Siding on an Old House?

4 comments

New shingles are going over the old as part of a lead-abatement program, but the contractor who won the job is using techniques that make the homeowner nervous.

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After the Storm: Tales of Home Repair

After the Storm: Tales of Home Repair

Storm damage can range from broken rafters to smashed windows and shredded roof shingles. Repairs don't always go as smoothly as they should, and sometimes uncover shortcuts taken in the past

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How to Reinforce 2x6 Ceiling Joists to Handle Heavy Loads

How to Reinforce 2x6 Ceiling Joists to Handle Heavy Loads

17 comments

After building a new workshop, the owner belatedly realizes the 2x6 joists may not be strong enough to support the weight of hardwood lumber he wants to store overhead. Now what?

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How to Drum Up More Remodeling Business -- Should I Pay to Estimate?

How to Drum Up More Remodeling Business -- Should I Pay to Estimate?

14 comments

Even in the best of times, getting new business isn't easy. When buying newspaper ads or relying on word-of-mouth referrals isn't getting it done, what are some off-beat approaches to reeling in new paying customers?

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How to Attach a Deck Ledger to the House

How to Attach a Deck Ledger to the House

3 comments

Breaktime contributor Starboardtacker is looking for suggestions on how to attach a deck ledger to his house. Should he use pressure-treated blocks between the ledger and the house? Skip the blocks and use a few washers? Or is there another way?

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How to Convince Customers Not to Go the DIY Route?

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What's the best approach with a couple that's divided over the scope of the work? The wife wants the contractor to build a complete house. The husband wants only a shell he can finish himself.

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Should Builders Accept Credit Cards?

Staying in business means taking advantage of every opportunity to stand out in a field of competitors. Accepting credit cards is convenient for customers, but are their hidden hassles?

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Whats Wrong With This Picture?

What's Wrong With This Picture?

23 comments

A contractor has started framing canon4me's new house, and something in the basement has the homeowner scratching his head. A main carrying beam in the first floor ends at a window header, and canon4me worries the connection won't be strong enough. What to do?

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How Do I Splice a Deck Beam in the Middle of a Post?

How Do I Splice a Deck Beam in the Middle of a Post?

1 comment

Pizza has designed a 14-ft. by 18-ft. free-standing deck at his house 40 miles west of Philadelphia. His dilemma? He doesn't know where to get his hands on 18-ft. stock for the full-length beams so he's planning on a mid-span splice. Will it work?

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