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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9
votes
1answer
8k views

How can I fix a hairline crack in a thin wood panel of an exterior door?

My 100-year-old house has a wooden front door made of thick wood ribs interspersed with 8 wood panels, each about 10" high, 8" wide, but only 1/8" or 3/16" thick. Perhaps the door originally had ...
3
votes
3answers
7k views

How can I attach modern fixture to knob & tube wiring?

I have a modern external light fixture that needs to be attached to an existing exterior electrical 'box'. The older parts of the house have knob & tube wiring and there is evidence of gas ...
3
votes
2answers
118 views

Is a permit required for replacing the front exterior light?

I live in California and checked my city's website for building permits requirements. One of the things it says requires a permit is an electrical upgrade. I want to change my front door light to a ...
1
vote
0answers
100 views

Repairing exterior cement wall

I have an exterior wall on one side of a brick building that appears to be stucco or cement. Some of it is starting to come off in sheets. Basically, there is one layer, maybe the thickness of orange ...
2
votes
2answers
3k views

How many concrete piers do I need to support a 10 x 10 wooden floor supporting a 1600 lb shed?

Aptos, CA, United States. As you've probably noticed from my prior post, I'm in the process of building a foundation for a garden shed. My specific county/region does not have strict ...
3
votes
1answer
358 views

What kind of foundation should I use for this garden shed site location?

I'm getting ready to prep the following section of ground for a 10 x 10 wood garden shed: The actual shed itself will look something like this: I can do some minor leveling but unfortunately ...
2
votes
2answers
442 views

What is the official name for this metal bracket that sits on top of a concrete pier?

What is the official name for this metal bracket that sits on top of a concrete pier?
3
votes
2answers
2k views

How/where can I find out what the frost-line is for my area?

Aptos, CA, United States What service or documentation resource can I use to determine what the frost-line is for my area? I'd be inclined to ask the county building/planning office but I suspect ...
1
vote
1answer
311 views

Attaching punch bag bracket to pebble dash exterior wall

the outside of my house is pebble dashed like the image below I want to attach a punch bag bracket to the wall, like the image below Mt main concerns are cracking Cracking the pebble dash ...
2
votes
1answer
570 views

How can I clean exterior pebble dashing?

The exterior walls of my house mainly consist of pebble dashing. I plan to clean the walls as currently there is a small amount of red dye appearing (I think this is coming from the brickwork ...
22
votes
4answers
5k views

How do I build an ice rink in my backyard?

I'm considering building a small temporary ice skating rink in my backyard. I'm hoping to do this without buying many or any materials, and without causing any devastating damage to my lawn when ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

How do I seal/paint pine casing for maximum lifetime?

I'm working to replace the exterior pine casing around my front door. I'm wondering if I should paint between where pieces of trim butt against each other, or to use sealant between them, or to butt ...
4
votes
2answers
765 views

How should I connect 2x4 (or wood horizontal railing pieces) to exterior painted wood?

I'm planning to add a 10-foot railing to a patio that has a 6x6 wood post on one end and the exterior of the house on the other end of what will be the railing. I'm planning wood horizontal rails ...
2
votes
1answer
134 views

How to install vinyl tubing for bathroom vent?

I need to replace the vinyl tubing that goes from my bathroom ceiling to the side of the house. It had a rip in it and I was successful in pulling it out. I went into the attic crawl space and ...
6
votes
2answers
175 views

Do exterior duplex electrical receptacles have to be on multiwire branch circuits?

I have an exterior receptacle on my house, and it is currently taking up 2 circuits (similar to kitchen counter plugs). Is there any code/regulation that indicates exterior receptacles must be on ...
2
votes
1answer
546 views

How to reattach front door rain deflector?

The rain deflector from the bottom of our front door recently fell off when I trod on it by mistake. The door and deflector are both wooden. The deflector was stuck on, not screwed. I'm not quite ...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

How should I protect wood gates in a damp climate?

I would like to make a set of external timber yard gates, i.e. both sides of the gates will be exposed to the elements. Since I live in the North of England, it tends to rain. In order to avoid the ...
3
votes
1answer
247 views

What is the sheathing underneath my brick exterior walls?

I am trying to figure out what is inside of my exterior plaster wall that the brick is attached to. The house was built in 1946, has no insulation in the walls, and (oddly enough to me), has drywall ...
2
votes
4answers
701 views

Should a concrete slab slope toward my house?

I am adding a room to my home, the contractor poured a concrete slab for the addition and it slopes toward the existing house and it is now raining and water is coming under my floors. Is the slope of ...
7
votes
1answer
487 views

Are these brown finger-like things on the outside of my house caused by termites?

Is this ground termite? This is on the outside of a wall in the backyard. This is the only occurrence of this thing. Should I be worried? Should I call someone to look at it? OR can I fix this ...
2
votes
2answers
160 views

What do I need to do to finish this outside-door install properly?

A new steel door was installed to our unfinished garage but I am not satisfied with how it currently looks. The previous door had trim covering the gap between the siding and the door, as well as the ...
7
votes
2answers
4k views

How should I fill a hole in an exterior wall?

I noticed a good sized hole in an exterior wall that allows wires and things to go from my AC unit into my basement. The problem is that the hole is a good deal larger than it needs to be and there ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

How do I stop water from seeping between my porch roof and house siding?

I have a small roof over my side door on my porch. Whenever it rains or snows, some water always seeps in between the small roof and the vinyl siding. It drips down the siding and makes a puddle on ...
0
votes
1answer
1k views

Protecting a finished wood exterior door

I have a solid wood exterior door, that I had stained and finished by the maker. I was looking for a way to prolong and protect the finish. I thought about waxing the door (especially the exterior ...
2
votes
2answers
245 views

What type of window is this and how can I remove it with minimal damage to the wall?

I want to replace some old metal windows in my house but I'm confused on how they're attached/installed. I'm more accustomed to vinyl windows that have "fins" extending out the edges with trim. These ...
1
vote
2answers
2k views

How to repair this metal corner siding?

My dog run attaches to the back side of my house, and every time my dog sees or hears something in the front lawn worth chasing after, she goes tearing after it around the side of the house. When she ...
8
votes
4answers
36k views

Are cracks on exterior walls serious and can I fix them myself?

I recently noticed some mostly-vertical cracks present on some exterior walls. In case it is relevant, this is a South Florida home built in the mid 50s. The downstairs walls are CBS (Concrete Block ...
2
votes
2answers
642 views

What could be causing wall cracks through the middle of our house

We have been fixing cracks in our interior, and exterior walls since we moved into our house 3 years ago, and it just keeps getting worse. Our house sits between a field that goes uphill at a 45 ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

How should I build an exterior door landing pad?

I've got a building with several exterior doors (all opening inward). The slab and walk-up is about 18+" from the ground. Code requires that I have a 36"x36" landing pad outside each exterior door. ...
7
votes
3answers
446 views

Options for fixing outside cement staircase?

We have a below-grade basement and a exit door. There are concrete steps to the door, parallel to the house (so on your right is the house) and on the left is a brick wall. The steps appear to have ...
6
votes
2answers
3k views

Do I need exterior grade cables or conduit to run wire in an enclosed soffit?

I'm looking to add some lights on motion detectors (un-switched) and security cameras under the eaves of our house. I know standard romex is often used in attics, but the soffits seem like they might ...
3
votes
1answer
823 views

Can I repair hairline cracks in a solid wood exterior door with clear silicone caulk?

My front doors have several small hairline cracks around the door panels. I would like to seal them. Can I use clear silicone caulking without damage to the stained surface? Do I need to clean or prep ...
7
votes
1answer
520 views

Can I replace / recreate a tri-fold garage door with three fiberglass flush doors?

My garage has three wooden doors that cover the opening. The middle one's hinges are attached to the right door. The left and the right doors' hinges are attached to the walls. This way you could ...
8
votes
3answers
632 views

Trying to identify this box on the outside of my house

This was under a small panel. Don't know what it is, or what it's used for.
3
votes
1answer
2k views

How do I secure wooden balusters to an exterior stair railing?

I'm building an exterior railing for my front porch & stairs. I will be using pressure treated lumber. My balusters will be turned like these: To secure the baluster to the bottom rail I was ...
5
votes
3answers
984 views

Options for replacing an at-grade hose bibb

The problem My house is built on a crawlspace and the floor of the house is just a few inches above grade. The hose bibbs come straight out of the crawlspace and are thus very close to the ground. ...
2
votes
1answer
4k views

What technique(s) is recommended for waterproofing exterior foundation walls?

I have a late 70's split-entry, so my basement foundation wall is roughly 4 feet under the ground. The basement is finished with wood framing, spray foam insulation, and sheetock. Recent heavy rains ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

Which exterior outlet cover is required by NEC?

There are two types of outlet covers used on external outlets. The first type is for damp locations that covers the outlet when it's not in use: And the second type is for wet locations that allow ...
4
votes
1answer
959 views

How can I fix a loose door frame?

Every time I shut my door to go in or out of the house the door frame moves. Also where the door locks it wont completely shut all the way. Which is hard to go out places, without worrying someone ...
2
votes
1answer
160 views

How much should brick “give” when pushing against it?

My wife and I are having a home built by a local contractor. The house is wood framed construction with a brick exterior. The home is nearly complete -- just interior trim and paint work remains. ...
1
vote
1answer
306 views

Should I be concerned about rusty nails just inside an outer wall?

Last year I nailed down the linoleum in my pantry with small brads because it was curling badly. This year during spring cleaning I noticed that the nails on the edge near the outer wall of the house ...
6
votes
4answers
2k views

Fixing a large (1/8"-wide) crack in a wood exterior door panel

This is a follow-up to my previous question: How can I fix a hairline crack in a thin wood panel of an exterior door? While getting ready to apply wood glue (actually a mixture of wood glue and ...
4
votes
3answers
411 views

Replace rotting porch treads with trex?

My front porch has some treads and the bottom riser are rotting out. I'd like to replace the surface with Trex if possible. Is it as simple as removing treads and risers and replacing with Trex ...
3
votes
1answer
818 views

How can I build a porch enclosure?

I'm looking to take on this project myself, I want to enclose my porch. It's roughly 2x5 metres, and 8 feet high and is part of a semi detached where the porch continues on the other side to my ...
3
votes
1answer
726 views

How can I fill old screw holes in wood on the exterior of a house?

The exterior of my house is stucco, but there are some spots that have vertical wood planks. I think this was considered "in style" when my house was built (1950s). Anyway, over the years previous ...
5
votes
2answers
5k views

How can I fit a door in a frame that is too small?

I bought some used French doors to replace a sliding door. The sliding door measured 96" X 60". The French doors measure 96" X 60¼". I made the mistake of not measuring both doors. I just ...
3
votes
1answer
521 views

How can I fit patio French doors in a frame that is too small?

My question is very similar to "How can I fit a door in a frame that is too small?" except my house is made of concrete block. I bought a used patio French door to replace my sliding door. The ...
1
vote
2answers
3k views

What is the expense and difficulty of moving an exterior kitchen wall?

I'm considering a kitchen remodel, that is in the front-right corner of a house, and surrounded by a covered deck on both sides. The deck extends out 8ft in the front and 9ft on the right. I'd like ...
5
votes
1answer
3k views

How should I troubleshoot and unclog an outdoor drain?

Our back concrete patio directs water to a nearby outdoor drain. The drain consists of what seems to be a 5 Inch green PVC pipe with a plastic grate cover that sticks out of the ground a few inches. ...
9
votes
1answer
550 views

What lubricant should I use for an outside garage door lock?

I recently asked what sort of lubricant I should use on locks. I was wondering if the advice there (i.e. graphite powder) applied to an outside garage door handle lock? The lock in question looks ...