For questions generally relating to the outer "skin" of a home or other building, and the materials, features and fixtures generally found and used to construct and maintain it.

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11
votes
3answers
50k views

How do I properly feed coax through an outside wall?

I would like to add a new cable outlet to an outside wall and wanted to find out what kind of drill bit is needed to drill through and feed the coax cable as well as anything else to be mindful of. ...
2
votes
1answer
78 views

Uh oh. I've just noticed flying termites around my new outdoor office. What is a cost-efficient way to protect it?

I recently finished building an outdoor shed/office: The porch is redwood. The structure itself is "nordic spruce" I have not painted the outside yet (I'm planning to do that soon) but I've ...
1
vote
1answer
85 views

crumbling exterior plaster

We have a semi-exterior wall with some spots where the paint is peeling and what appears to be dry, powdery plaster is falling out. The wall is under a roof so it's not rained on directly, but ...
0
votes
1answer
105 views

Kitchen remodel to studs, infilling a window, no insulation, no building wrap!

looking for some urgent feedback. My Husband and I are remodeling our kitchen. We're down to the studs, and two of the walls are exterior. The house is a 1920's bungalow. We're actually making our ...
0
votes
2answers
706 views

Where to split existing water pipes for new pipe run?

Goal: Install a new hot and cold supplied exterior faucet for garden watering and year round animal watering. Here's the rough situation: We're on a rural property, drawing from a well, into a ...
0
votes
1answer
46 views

Does door jamb size make a difference in installation?

How can I install a 34 inch door made for a 4 inch door jamb in to a 6 inch door jamb. Can it be done?
0
votes
2answers
40 views

Correct Glue for Foam Outsulation?

My house is masonry block about halfway up and then wood siding with top. Two months ago I had outsulation installed. It’s made up of 2x4 feet foam panels that are 2 inches thick. These are covered ...
1
vote
2answers
133 views

How to enlarge a 4 in. vent hole on exterior wall

My house is covered by sheet metal and I currently have a 4 in. vent hole from a previous air exchanger. I'm changing the air excahnger and require a 5 in. hole. So I basically have to make a hole ...
3
votes
4answers
17k views

Can I tap into an exterior light in order to power a security camera?

I have an exterior light (shown below) that I was wondering if I could tap into, in order to power an outdoor IP cam. I understand I would have to pull appart some cables and potentially purchase ...
0
votes
2answers
339 views

Exterior Fire-rated Wall Assembly?

I am renovating a 100+ year-old house that sits less than 5 feet from the property line on two sides. The renovation involves re-sheathing and residing the whole house. In order to bring it up to ...
3
votes
1answer
732 views

How to Replace Exterior Door & Casing in Old House

My house is about 100 years old. The door jamb is about 10" wide. I've replaced a few doors before, but all of them had standard jams. I'm not sure how to go about replacing this. I'm assuming I need ...
4
votes
3answers
377 views

How can/should I mount this porch light?

I want to mount a porch light on my outdoor shed/office. I recently had an electrician place interior wiring however I elected to do the fixtures myself. Uh oh. Here's what the back of the porch ...
2
votes
1answer
206 views

How can I repaint a bad paint job?

I just got a wooden sweet cart made for myself. I asked someone to paint it for me but he did a really bad job. He didn't let paint dry completely so it has smudged all over an looks uneven. How can ...
3
votes
2answers
629 views

How often should I paint the exterior of my house?

We're about to have the exterior of our house repainted. How often should we expect the paint to last? Location: Metro Atlanta, GA Surfaces: Wood & Wood Composite Siding (Yes, I know it sucks) ...
2
votes
2answers
747 views

Paint adherence on fiberglass door. Does it need time to 'cure'? Can I top-coat it?

We bought this door: http://www.homedepot.com/p/Feather-River-Doors-6-Lite-Clear-Craftsman-Unfinished-Smooth-Fiberglass-Prehung-Front-Door-GK3191/204487447?N=5yc1vZas82Z7cm I've primed it using ...
2
votes
1answer
133 views

Cracked wall, is it serious?

I am in the process of purchasing a home and this was reported in the inspection report. The side of the house showed long cracked lines of the wall "with deformation". Would anyone be able to tell if ...
1
vote
2answers
124 views

Anti-Siphon Sillcock Handle

I just moved into a new home and the anti siphon sillcock on the outside of the house is leaking from behind the knob. I tried to remove the handle via the center screw but it was rusted so badly it ...
0
votes
1answer
88 views

Should I fill in 15-20 nail holes in my roof underlayment? If so, how?

I goofed right off the bat when installing shingles for my garden office roof. I forgot to trim the rake of the first shingle in the starter strip. The net result is that it wasn't aligned properly. ...
1
vote
1answer
94 views

Best way to cover external XPS insulation

My house has a basement, and on the outside, there's a layer of XPS foam insulation on the outside of the basement wall, up to the grade. For most of the house, the sod goes right up to the house, ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

When should I consider using Plastic Round Cap Roofing Nails?

I'm getting ready to shingle a roof for a shed/outdoor office and I'm confused on if/when I should use plastic round cap roofing nails: I haven't seen these used in any instructions (including the ...
1
vote
1answer
126 views

How to seal swamp cooler ducting into house siding?

My swamp cooler enters the house horizontally through an exterior wall. What is the correct way to seal this interface to the wood siding? Should I just use an exterior caulking around the edges?
0
votes
2answers
964 views

Is exterior paint more protective than stain for protecting a shed from rain/elements?

I'm assembling a shed (more like an outdoor office) made out of "Nordic Spruce" and want to make sure that it's protected from the elements (particularly rain and direct sunlight - no snow). Aside ...
1
vote
1answer
800 views

Repainting exterior sandstone

We live in a traditional Victorian house in the North-East of England, i.e. fairly damp and wet. The windows have sandstone lintels. However due to damp and age the paint eventually bubbles (see ...
1
vote
2answers
238 views

Relative maintenance costs of painted vs. stained cedar siding?

I'm house shopping and I have a pretty good idea about the costs to maintain painted cedar exterior siding, but I've run into a few homes with stained cedar exteriors. How does the cost to maintain ...
2
votes
2answers
77 views

What is the right type of contractor to fix slightly damaged house siding corner

Sorry if I'm using incorrect terminology. A car slightly damaged a corner of the house siding and I'm not sure what type of contractor should take a look into that. I need to make sure that it's ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Replacing a sill, on a factory built Marvin window?

The following windowsill, and the ones like on the same building, have failed. Patching with Smith's Flexible Epoxy kept the sills alive for a few years, but now the entire sill feels like balsa wood ...
8
votes
5answers
2k views

What are my gutter guard options?

As I mentioned in a prior post, I'm planning to add some gutters to my house. I see that there's wide variety of gutter guards available and was curious which ones are better? As far as I can tell,...
8
votes
2answers
3k views

How do I run a wire underground to an outdoor post lamp?

I live in Geauga county Ohio. My question is three part. First what type of wire do I need to run from the house underground to a post lamp 100 feet away? Second,does it need to be in conduit and ...
1
vote
4answers
1k views

Best way to air seal, vapor seal, and insulate exterior wall in old house?

I have a 90-year old house in Seattle. Exterior walls are constructed as follows: lath and plaster, uninsulated 2x4 stud bays, plank sheathing, cedar clapboard, 1" foil-faced styrofoam, vinyl siding. ...
0
votes
1answer
2k views

How can I adjust for an uneven exterior door threshold?

What is the most appropriate way to adjust for an uneven threshold on an exterior door? In the image below you can see the gap that exists on one side of the door. We have considered taking up the ...
6
votes
8answers
72k views

How do I prevent water from collecting against side of house?

Our house has a concrete patio (I'd say about 12' x 10') in the back that is very slightly angled in so that rainfall can cause water to collect where the patio meets the back wall of the house. What ...
0
votes
0answers
113 views

Extending the back of our house

We are going to be replacing our entire roof with a metal roof this summer. I was wondering if it would be possible to extend the back of our house before we put on the new roof. We would have to pour ...
2
votes
2answers
170 views

What should I use to cover the walls of an alcove for a water heater?

My water heater is located in an alcove on the back corner of the house. Today I found water line leaking from the heater, replaced and it is good now. I have always just assumed the walls and ...
0
votes
1answer
129 views

What is the importance of “breathable” home exteriors?

I have heard many people say that it's important for a building's exterior materials to be able to "breathe." In particular, materials like brick are desirable because of their breathe-ability, ...
11
votes
4answers
53k views

How do I find where mice are entering my house?

So the house I just finished remodeling, and am now living in, has a small mouse problem. We have caught a couple of mice, and suspect there may be more. Catching the mice does little good, if more ...
1
vote
0answers
18 views

I want to install veneerstone to a painted, dirty concrete wall. How do I properly prepare the wall?

I want to install veneerstone to the concrete porch foundation. It is dirty and has been painted with latex paint. What do I need to do to the concrete so I can apply the veneerstone?
3
votes
3answers
375 views

What is a quick and easy way to disable a door so you can no longer use it?

I have a two story home with a one story garage attached. The garage has a flat roof. I can access the roof through a door in my upstairs bedroom. At one time the garage roof had a fence around the ...
2
votes
1answer
169 views

Is there a reason for an exterior vent not connected to anything?

I have an exterior vent on the side of my house not connected to any piping within. You can look inside and see wood/concrete/insulation into the cavity between the basement ceiling and main floor. I'...
4
votes
5answers
14k views

Should I use a roller or a brush for painting exterior walls?

I'm about to embark on painting my house. I have researched all the info here and on painting sites I can find about preparation and safety etc., but I'm still not sure the best choice regarding ...
2
votes
2answers
56 views

should I stain the bottom of exterior steps?

When staining exterior steps should I also stain the bottom of the steps? I ask because I think it might better to leave the bottom unstained to let any moisture in the wood evaporate. There would be ...
0
votes
1answer
602 views

Repairing a gap under a eave.

Last night I heard scratching in the wall and upon investigation found that a squirrel had managed to knock loose a piece of wood (I assume as there was no covering to be found) in the eaves where one ...
9
votes
4answers
41k views

When painting a house exterior, do you need to scrape and sand the entire house or just the peeling parts?

I'm repainting my house and everything I've read on the subject suggests scraping the old paint before applying new, but it isn't clear if you're only supposed to scrape just the peeling parts or the ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Should I add a vapor barrier when re-siding?

I am removing the siding on my house in Montana, which was built in 1964. From inside out I have sheetrock, 4" studs with R-11 paper backed fiberglass insulation and gypsum board sheathing. I want ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Is it a bad idea to use pine for painted exterior siding if prepared properly?

My house is about 95 years old, and currently has wood clapboard siding that is in pretty rough shape and needs to be replaced. My local lumber yard has 1/2" x 6" for $0.53/linear foot. Since vinyl ...
1
vote
2answers
414 views

How can I secure a metal frame to polyurethane foam?

I have used polyurethane foam to cover a 5 cm (2 inch) horizontal gap between a metal door and the ground. Polyurethane foam , as I know , needs to be covered with cement in order to withstand the ...
0
votes
1answer
675 views

Can I fill this AC line inlet with expanding foam?

I think the PVC inlet for my AC lines is a possible entryway for mice getting into my attic. Is there any reason I shouldn't fill it with expanding foam to seal it off? Or is there a better, less ...
2
votes
2answers
617 views

Can I use THHN/THWN-2 within a lamp post?

Foreword: I've been using UF wire for about 10 years now, and I've really grown to hate it. It's hard to work with, hard to strip, and hard to pull through conduit. I prefer all my underground wire to ...
0
votes
1answer
244 views

How do I remove this exterior Water Valve cap?

How do I remove this exterior water valve cap? Bonus points for a name! Update: I cleaned it a bit more: I attempted to pry it but, I haven't made much progress: I also noticed this bolt but I ...
3
votes
1answer
128 views

What is the most effective exterior insecticide?

I am planning on doing a perimeter spray around my house. There are a lot of different options for insecticide but I have not been able to find any comparison or description of the different products....
1
vote
2answers
2k views

What would cause the mortar to crack across a number of bricks?

Over the winter a large crack appeared, running across the mortar between a number of external bricks. The crack runs on a diagonal and includes a crack along a windowsill. It appears that this ...