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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3
votes
2answers
363 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
447 views

How do I set up a wiring closet that connects to the exterior of the house?

I'm looking to build a central wiring closet for ethernet, phone, and co-ax. I would like this closet to have a single pipe to the exterior of the house, which service lines can come in through. ...
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
198 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
687 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, ...
4
votes
2answers
410 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
737 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
275 views

What type of wood for moist exterior location that is also paintable

My rear screened porch has some has 2x2s that hold the screens in place and many of them are rotted from moisture. It looks like they are plain old 2x4s that were ripped down (though I'm not sure) ...
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-| ...
2
votes
1answer
217 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
9k 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
7k 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
1answer
500 views

Installing railing pickets using dowel pins

I am building porch railing, and I'm considering using dowels to attach the pickets so that no nailing is required. For 2x2 pickets: What size dowel stock should I use? How long should each dowel ...
8
votes
4answers
1k views

What are my gutter guard options?

As I mentioned in a prior post, I'm planning to add some gutters to my house. I see that there's wide variety of gutter guards available and was curious which ones are better? As far as I can ...
1
vote
1answer
449 views

Exterior lighting: Is a round waterproof lampholder ACTUALLY compatible with a rectangular housing?

I happened to be at Home Depot for something else, so I didn't get a good look at our exterior floodlights that need to be replaced (they're about 13 years old and don't work anymore). So I picked up ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Can I run a copper pipe for water in an exterior wall without it freezing in the winter?

I would like to install a new hose bib on the exterior wall of my house, to be accessed on the deck. Currently, there is a hose bib on the lower level (underneath the deck) straight down from where I ...
1
vote
3answers
1k views

Is it possible to install pocket doors in the cavity of an external wall?

Is it possible to install pocket doors in the cavity of an external wall, it will be an internal door as it's between a room and a conservatory. The cavity does have foam in it though.