Building Confidence

Volume 12 Issue 7
ISSN 1923-7162

Welcome to Dave's Shop Talk's Home Improvement Newsletter of questions from our members on their construction projects, a Tip of the Month and a home remodeling article, both from our website at

Tip of the Month

When laying out studs for a wall, be sure to layout both top and bottom plates at the same time. Ref: Tables 5: Conversion Calculator.

And a Bonus Tip:

When laying out the height of cripples in a renovation, be sure to allow for the thickness of the finished floor material and allow for 1" clearance space on the bottom for air circulation - a building code requirement. Ref: Remodeling 13: Cutting Wide Crown Molding and Cove Molding.

Ask Dave!


TSP is trisodium phosphate. it is available in most hardware stores. It is used for cleaning and removing the gloss from a painted surface, in different concentrations.


Gable roof on a deck. Do you have a print for a gable roof 12/12 pitch on 8x24 deck the roof on the house is a 12/12 pitch and ridge to drip edge is 24'.

Hi Zach,

A 12/12 pitch is very steep, you won't be able to stand on it without support. If the length of the deck at 24' is more than the width of the house, the deck ridge will be above the house ridge.

There are 2 ways of framing a roof add-on such as this:

Gable Roof

Drawing of a sunroom attached to a house with a gable roof.

or Lean to or shed Roof

Drawing of how to extend a roof with a new pitch or slope.

Could you measure the width of the house and tell me how high the deck is off the ground or the headroom on the deck for the ceiling to match with the house. This puts the gutter line on the house the same as on the deck roof, if that is what you want.

With only an 8' wide deck you may be better off with a lean to roof using roof joists. A gable roof looks better, but watch the length of the deck in this case so the ridge won't be above the house ridge, of course you can always lower the pitch.

Are you planning a truss roof or rafters with the gable roof over the deck?


Feature Article of the Month

(taken from our website:

How to Build a House 3: Services, Concrete Slab and Backfill

The Excavation

This is our third article in the How to Build a House series which will discuss the procedures required to waterproof the house's concrete foundation, install the piping used to drain away surface water around the concrete foundation and roof of our house, prepare for pouring and finishing the basement concrete slab and finally backfill the excavation around the concrete. Some areas in our country require different procedures in dealing with this phase of construction. As in the preceding two articles in the How to Build a House series, we have discussed the jurisdiction having authority, the Building Department in your city, town, county or municipality. Get familiar with these people, ask them questions, find out what the different requirements are in your specific area. You cannot just go to the National Building Code and expect to see the requirements in your local area. Our countries, states and even counties are too diversified to have a national code without amendments for local differences. Let's start by discussing how to keep water out of our house and to shed it away from the concrete foundation.

How to Build a House: Concrete Foundation Coating

After the poured concrete wall and footing forms are stripped (removed) the snap tie holes should be filled with a cement mortar or an asphalt mastic (roof repair). Don't use... Read more at How to Build a House 3: Services, Concrete Slab and Backfill

Almost the End

Not too many emails this month. I can't fault anyone on this, since I enjoy the boat or the beach during this hot summer period. Enjoy your summer!

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(Ask Dave) (About Dave)

Your source for building tips, woodworking & furniture plans, house plans and building advice directly from Dave...

Hi, I'm Dave Osborne. With over 50 years experience as a journeyman carpenter, foreman and contractor in heavy construction I enjoyed working with apprentices and sharing the tricks of the trade that others shared with me. Now I get emails from Members all over the world and we include many of my answers in our Free Monthly Newsletters. Some of my answers include drawings and instructions specific to a project, but may also answer your questions. I use correct construction terminology, so you can confidently inform your building supply dealers or contractors exactly what you need.


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