MikeGuertinMike Guertin, East Greenwich, RI, US
My plan was to be a school teacher but when offered a job during my student teaching making less than I earned framing houses during summer break, I took up home building full time. I didn't understand benefits and pensions at the time or I may have made a different choice.
Instead of getting sacks of concrete delivered, get precast EZ-Tube footing sections dropped off. Dig the hole, stack them up, start building.
The CAMO Edge Pro speeds up edge-screw decking installation without bending over.
The CAMO Marksman Edge edge-screws wet pressure treated lumber even with the boards tight together.
Cut a board wrong and you blew a few bucks; build a house on the adjoining property and you may blow $1.8 million.
My go-to deck design and construction guide has been revised to dovetail with the 2012 International Residential Code. DCA 6 'Prescriptive Residential Wood Deck Construction Guide' has most of the information you need to build a code-compliant deck.
The right tool for the job - Demo Demon carbide tipped blades work well perform well at cutting through nail-embedded wood abrasive materials (like asphalt roofing, fibercement siding and old plaster.
Rather than toss post sleeve cutoffs in the trash, recycle them into bird houses in just a few minutes.
Deck Screw Depth Setter from Starborn sets consistent screw depths on more than just deck boards.
The American Wood Council reduces southern pine beam, joist and stringer spans in the DCA-6 Residential Wood Deck Construction Guide
AfterShokz headsets allow personal music listening without risking jobsite safety.
Standard 36 in. countertop height doesn't suit everyone. Short base cabinets set the countertop a few inches lower and afford height-challenged clients a comfortable working surface and easier access to upper cabinets.
The IRC ramped up deck codes in 2009 and 2012. See what may be coming around the corner in 2015
The 2012 International Residential Code (IRC) includes a few new provisions that limit where you position the deck ledger in relation to the main floor of the house. Those of us in snow-prone regions who like to drop a deck one step from the inside floor level will be challenged to continue doing so.
Decks on the verge of falling down generally don’t look any different than safe decks. You have to take a close look in order to see if problems exist.
You can't just bolt or screw a deck ledger to open web floor trusses. Follow either the fabricator's detail or one from the SBCA.
The 2012 IRC ledger attachment schedule only works on house rim joists made of solid-sawn lumber or Douglas fir laminated veneer lumber (LVL). You can’t follow it when mounting deck ledgers to rim joists made of engineered wood products. Instead we have to look to other resources to ensure these connections are made safely.
Decks were not in the plans when many homes were built, so the framing was not designed to permit easy deck ledger attachment. Many homes framed with wood I-joists and floor trusses, for example...
Premium deck ledger flashing is well designed and durable
Cordless comes to roofing with the Paslode CR175C gas powered roofing nailer. It excels at prep work, wrap-up work and small roof jobs.
Window and door flashing best-practices are now code-minimum practices in the 2012 IRC
The 2009 IRC now has prescriptive step flashing size requirements. They're still puny and don't meet my sniff test but it's a step in the right direction.
Unbalanced indoor air movement diminishes HVAC comfort and can lead to increased energy bills. Testing identifies problems and two door treatments can solve them.
FHB's 'Start Your Railings Right' spring 2010 article covered the basics of securely mounting deck guardrail posts to the frame. Now an article in Professional Deck Builder magazine goes the next step - and fills in the blanks along the way.
Pop-up dampers and hinged dampers install and operate similarly.
Attach-A-Deck spaces the ledger off the wall even on existing houses without removing the siding.
Decking is essentially flooring so why not install it using a pneumatic flooring nailer? You can now with the HIDfast decking tool and fasteners.
The Eliminator hidden fastener installation tool comes in two versions. One model works exclusively on the Mantis hidden decking fastener and the other works on several fasteners.
Well known for their hidden decking fasteners, Tiger Claw offers the Tiger Claw Installation Gun. It's a metal connector style nailer with a specially designed nosepiece that grooved board fasteners clip onto.
I’ve just about given up installing hidden fasteners by hand. Now I use a semi-automatic or automatic pneumatic tools to mount grooved decking fasteners or specially designed fasteners. It’s a fast-changing part of the deck business and one to keep your eyes on.
So what hidden fastener works with your decking? Dig deep into decking manufacturer installation instructions and you may find the answer. Or you can check this list. We checked the recommendations of over 30 decking brands and here's what we found.
Many decking companies offer unique or branded hidden fasteners. Here's a list of what to look for.
In 94 OSHA started ramping up fall protection requirements for residential construction leaving most of us baffled how to comply. Now OSHA is reverting to an older, more relaxed standard.
Hinged entry doors can swing in or swing out. Which style is best for sealing out weather and thwarting would be thieves?
Rule-of-thumb deck ledger fastening is out and the code is in. Now the International Residential Code 2009 has a table to follow for bolting and lag screwing.
FastCap Hammer Holster replaces a conventional hammer hook with a few extra features and benefits.
The Bostitch Quick Change Nail Set gives you two sized set tips with just a flip.
The Bostitch Twin Blade Knife gives you two blades at your fingertips in an instant - what's not to like?
The Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS) research facility is large enough to fit two full sized 2-story homes for wind testing - see the results.
FastenMaster’s new ThruLok is a screw-in bolt that replaces ½ in. through-bolts used to mount deck posts to beams and guardrail posts to the deck frame. ThruLoks will save time and $$ - I think deck builders will warm up to ThruLoks quickly.
The Power Hand is a specialized bar clamp for installing deck boards.
The Tiger Jaw pulls deck boards together with ease whether you're installing hidden fasteners or straightening a warped board.
Pre-cut white cedar shingles from Maibec for inside and outside woven corners will speed installation without sacrificing quality.
Consumer Reports' evaluation of leaf guards confirm my suspicion, solid gutter caps don't perform as wells as humble gutter screens.
So when you install pressure treated, flat sawn, wood decking, do you face the bark side up or bark side down? Ask ten people and half will likely say ‘bark-side-up,’ a few will say ‘bark-side-down’ and the rest will shrug their shoulders. For some direction, we can turn to wood scientists – they actually study stuff like this.
Want the look of hidden fastener attached decking and the positive anchoring you get with screws? Then check out the Kreg Deck Jig.
In "Start Your Railing Right" (FHB 212 pp 67-69), Mike Guertin describes the details for securing guardrail posts to the deck frame. Here he describes a novel method for detailing the infill between posts.
Not every pressure treated board today can touch the earth. Most are only treated for above ground applications. And don't skimp on the fasteners or they may not last.
Malco's fiber cement cutter shears panels without dust, electricity or battery power.
Ensure success and happy clients by following these important guidelines before the work begins on any remodel project
The AFPA has a new version of the Prescriptive Residential Wood Deck Construction Guide – DCA 6
New book from ICC cuts through 850+ pages of the IRC and gets down to where the business of building decks intersects with the code. And an added plus – it deciphers code language with discussion.
This time its payback. Consider these variables when when estimating the cost savings of an energy efficiency upgrade to your home
Heard of TimberSil? Wondered how it's different than ordinary pressure treated lumber? Mike Guertin tried it out on a 900 sf deck last year and reports on what it is, how it handles and the upsides and downsides.
Environmental Building News article highlights health and environmental safety issue with EPS and XPS foam.
You’ve heard of a See Saw but how about a SEE Stud? Turn your stud scraps into engineered lumber right on the jobsite.
Skip the mess and stick ceramic tile right to the wall using a new peel and stick mat.
The 2009 International Residential Code (IRC) has a number of big changes when it comes to framing decks. If your state, county or town will be adopting the ’09 IRC you’d better take a look at a copy of the code before you get a code violation.
Many driveways are oversized to provide extra room for backing and turning and parking for occasional guests. Excess pavement often overwhelms a small lot and increases storm water runoff. On a recent project I used blacktop pavement for the high traffic area with Turfstone ™, a green pervious paving alternative around the perimeter for extra swing room when turning and extra off-street parking.
Horizontal blocking installed between studs makes for a more secure cabinet installation.
I use redundant layers of flashing integrated into the housewrap to keep water from getting behind exterior cladding; a kickout flashing directs water into the gutter. The process might seem overcomplicated at first, but the minor expense in time is much better than having to tackle rot repairs down the road.