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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1
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1answer
104 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
889 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
221 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
1k 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
1k 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. ...
2
votes
2answers
566 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
12k views

Troubleshooting a leaking exterior door

I have an exterior door that leaks water into the house when rain is blown against it. The floor on the inside of the house is unfinished, meaning it is just the raw subfloor. I don't want to put the ...
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 ...
8
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3answers
581 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
651 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
1k 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
795 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
674 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
5k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
159 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
269 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
385 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
297 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 ...
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 ...
3
votes
1answer
682 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
3k 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
1answer
638 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
453 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
2k 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
6k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
2k 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. ...
6
votes
2answers
229 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
487 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
707 views

Is slate tile suitable for exterior flooring in a colder climate?

My brother-in-law lives in Northern Alberta, Canada, and is thinking about putting slate tiling down on the front deck. However, he's getting conflicting opinions, one place is saying that it will ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

What's the correct way to pass wire to exterior electrical box?

I'm doing some remodeling in our basement, and came across the following (see pictures). It looks like the contractor simply wrapped tape around the conduit to secure the box to the wall. How are ...
5
votes
2answers
4k 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
3answers
5k 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
186 views

Easy to spread caulking - window weather proofing

I want to go around the exterior of my windows, etc with some caulking. I have some now that I used in the bathroom but it doesn't spread that easy or lay a decent bead. I know when I was growing up ...
7
votes
1answer
474 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
596 views

Exterior entry door repair

I have a 20 year old flat wood entry door (without mouldings or embellishment). I was going to sand and paint it, but when I sanded, I realized that the wood must have been just a veneer (plywood, ...
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 ...
8
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
403 views

My kitchen has no real walls. Is this going to be a problem?

I recently redid my kitchen, which included removing the back splash and putting in new tile, but when I went to remove the old tile, I found that the tile is only attached to drywall. Knowing this ...
3
votes
1answer
628 views

How cold can it be when painting exterior?

Last fall we rebuilt our front porch steps. Now we are finally getting warmer weather and I want to paint these as soon as I can. The primer I have does not give a minimum temp rating. I figured if ...
8
votes
4answers
33k 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

How do I install a new exterior GFI outlet?

I have an interior outlet. I would like to place an exterior (GFI) outlet in approximately the same position on the outside wall. How should I do that? approx. loc. of desired outlet-| ...
22
votes
4answers
4k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
212 views

Extending a pebble path for an old home

My house has an old pebble path that runs around about half of it. I am looking for the best way to extend the path in the same style. The existing pebble path is made from packed dirt (which has a ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

Do I need to waterproof the external walls of my house?

I have just completed a renovation of my house. Where possible, I am putting decking around it to keep the brickwork dry and ventilated. One wall, however, will have sand and dirt added to build up ...
10
votes
3answers
8k views

How do I regrade the ground around my house?

When we purchased our house, the inspector recommended that we regrade all the ground that meets the house to ensure water is draining away properly. What do I need in order to do this (am I insane ...
2
votes
2answers
232 views

What the heck is/was this keypad for?

I recently noticed this keypad on our front porch. As far as I can tell, it's not connected to anything. Does anyone know what it was for? A security system perhaps? Garage door?
3
votes
4answers
5k views

How do I protect a coax cable junction from outside weather?

I'm planning to re-arrange some coax cable lines in my house which will effectively require me to connect them to a 4-way splitter. The wifey would prefer these connections to take place in a ...
3
votes
2answers
340 views

Are storm windows necessary for homes in mild climates?

I feel silly asking this but I'm curious. =) When are storm windows necessary and under what conditions? I live in California (US) and we hardly ever get snow or freezing temperatures where I'm at. In ...