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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1answer
109 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
111 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
681 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
169 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
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2answers
111 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
362 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
62 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
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3answers
3k 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
66 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
64 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
11k 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
421 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
138 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
7k 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
187 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
3k 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
3k 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
141 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
529 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
282 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
97 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
175 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
10k 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
11k 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
124 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
133 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
6k 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
485 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
719 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?
4
votes
2answers
8k 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
441 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 ...
22
votes
4answers
6k 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
2k 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
946 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
151 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
196 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
745 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
2k 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
342 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
892 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
553 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
213 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
6k 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
3k 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
2k 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
293 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
3k 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
43k 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
762 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 ...