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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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 ...
4
votes
2answers
721 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
7k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
246 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
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
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
4answers
700 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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
7
votes
3answers
13k views

Is super insulating exterior walls with rigid foam board insulation possible?

2" rigid foam-board insulation can have an R-value of up to R-10, layering 4 boards would create a R-40 value, right? However that creates an 8" foam wall above the actual wall. What would be a ...
1
vote
1answer
119 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
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 ...
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 ...
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. ...
2
votes
2answers
641 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
17k 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
votes
3answers
630 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
822 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
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
980 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
957 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
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 ...
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
305 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
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 ...
4
votes
1answer
316 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
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 ...
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
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 ...
3
votes
1answer
518 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 ...
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 ...
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. ...
6
votes
2answers
299 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
547 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
829 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
2k 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
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
3answers
7k 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
199 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
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 ...
1
vote
1answer
696 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
413 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 ...