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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0answers
73 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
140 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
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1answer
91 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, ...
10
votes
4answers
44k 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 ...
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0answers
17 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
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3answers
237 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
146 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. ...
4
votes
5answers
11k 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
54 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
392 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
29k 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
1k 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
1k 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 ...
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vote
2answers
327 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
73 views

How many arms should a 5.8m long awning have?

I am preparing to install two awnings with folding aluminum arms. The length of each awning is 5.80 meters or 19 ft. The house is at an elevation of 200 meters or 656ft (in the city outskirts) and ...
0
votes
1answer
479 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
488 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
177 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
118 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 ...
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2answers
1k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
187 views

How do I cover the attic rafter bays after installing baffles from the soffit before replacing the siding?

Should I be covering exposed fiberglass batts I stuffed into rafter bays below stapled in plastic baffles with an air barrier, such as with foil faced rigid foam board or house wrap, before replacing ...
0
votes
2answers
179 views

Solid stain on untreated exterior wood

I am putting together a bar top on my deck, and don't want to use pressure treated wood on the top surface (as I understand it that would be ill advised for an eating area). An option I am considering ...
4
votes
1answer
386 views

How should I fill in decorative “gashes” in wood siding?

Our house has old siding with decorative holes: At first I thought this might be termite damage but a house inspector examined it and confirmed that this is purely decorative style. I'd like to ...
1
vote
2answers
64 views

Facade entrance damage

The entrance to our condo was damaged in the last few moves and I am not sure how to fix it. Check out the pictures What is this material called? It seems to be some soft of plaster shell with ...
2
votes
3answers
4k views

how to fix rotten exterior wall

Due to moisture my outside wall is rotten in a small section of house. Picture attached. What is the best way to fix this.
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2answers
76 views

How to choose from options from house painting company?

I recently had someone from a painting company visit my house to give an estimate. He gave me three options: (1) the cheapest paint, six year warranty, $3000 (2) a thicker paint, nine year ...
1
vote
1answer
71 views

Back door frame no longer square

I live on the 3rd (top) floor of a condo building. Our back door - which opens to the outside, is not square. The building was built in 2006 and the drywall around the door at the corners is cracked ...
5
votes
2answers
14k views

How can I prevent the clanging of my extractor fan vent cover?

I installed this exterior vent for our oven extractor fan However, the metal plate in the vents keeps swinging open and closed when it gets windy and we can hear it in the house to the point where ...
1
vote
2answers
559 views

Cheap solution for underside of barn overhang (soffit, siding, something else?)

My wife and I bought a house and it has a barn with an overhang by the entry door on the side. The 2x6s (I think that's what they are) are exposed and the birds love it. There is also a little gap at ...
1
vote
1answer
180 views

Can I install a floodlight with 18AWG conductors on a 20A (12AWG) circuit?

I am running a new 20A circuit with 12 AWG wire to the exterior of my home and will be adding a flood light to the circuit. All of the flood lights I have seen have 18AWG conductors in them. Is it OK ...
6
votes
2answers
8k views

How do I properly seal an exterior door?

I've recently discovered that rain is getting in around my exterior (front) door and forming a little pool in the frame under the door. I'm assuming I can fix this by adding a seal around the door ...
0
votes
2answers
239 views

How do I replace a missing exterior wood shingle?

I just bought a house and noticed one of the shingles was missing on the exterior above the garage. How would I install a replacement piece (just go up there and nail it in?)?
3
votes
3answers
5k views

How can I safely work around power lines?

I have to do some painting and repair work on the outside of the house near the incoming power line. The repair is pulling off molding and replacing it as well as painting the surrounding area. I am ...
2
votes
2answers
5k views

How do I seal around an outdoor rated wall mounted luminary?

What's the proper way to seal a exterior wall mounted luminary from water entry? I was unable to find one for purchase with any sort of gasket, and it appears that any water sheeting down the wall ...
1
vote
1answer
176 views

What type of exterior floodlight will turn on slowly (or not at all) when it's cold out?

I have eight (8) floodlights on my tennis court. I didn't install these, they came with the court. Questions: Recently, in the evening when it was cold I switched them on and only 3 of the 8 came ...
6
votes
2answers
699 views

What is the proper and accurate way to measure space for window screens?

One of our metal windows is missing a screen and I'd like to replace it. I don't have other windows of the same size so I can't easily copy the screen dimensions. How should I measure the window ...
1
vote
1answer
336 views

can I cut in / blend old brick extension

Our house was extended some time before we moved in and it has left a straight line of mortar running down the front and back of the building went instead of cutting out the half bricks that wrap ...
3
votes
1answer
108 views

What is the white paneling under the vinyl on my house, and how can I fix it?

On the back of my house, the section between the vinyl siding and the ground is covered with some sort of white, textured material. What exactly is it? Is it stucco? Secondly, what would be the best ...
3
votes
1answer
222 views

What kind of paint should I use on the hinges and hardware of an exterior door?

I've stripped and painted an entry door. What kind of paint should I use to paint the hinges and hardware?
9
votes
1answer
12k 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
15k 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
132 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
154 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
8k 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
564 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
874 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?
5
votes
2answers
14k 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
560 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
1k 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 ...
23
votes
4answers
8k 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 ...