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
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 ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Replacing a sill, on a factory built Marvin window?

The following windowsill, and the ones like on the same building, have failed. Patching with Smith's Flexible Epoxy kept the sills alive for a few years, but now the entire sill feels like balsa wood ...
1
vote
1answer
290 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
22k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
171 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
99 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 ...
1
vote
7answers
724 views

How do I choose paint for exterior steel on carport?

Planning on painting the steel purlins of a carport, that is peeling. I assume the primer and old paint are "oil based" alkyd. I think we will have it sandblasted. What primer should I use on the ...
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 ...
3
votes
1answer
182 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?
3
votes
1answer
112 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
0answers
139 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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
2
votes
2answers
753 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
1answer
505 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
9k 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
469 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 ...
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
5answers
8k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
981 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
155 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
197 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
787 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
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 ...
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 ...
3
votes
1answer
355 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
222 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
568 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
934 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
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 ...
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 ...
8
votes
3answers
21k 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
145 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
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 ...
2
votes
2answers
303 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
3k 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
785 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
27k 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
5k 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
732 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
1k 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
2k 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
4k 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
1k 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
12k 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
205 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
384 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 ...