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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0
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1answer
26 views

How do you get rid of flies that like to hang out on the side of my house in the sun?

Each year as it gets nicer outside, I begin to find flies congregating in the sun on the side of the house just outside our patio door. It tends to be a nice sunny place for them. I do not have a ...
4
votes
3answers
90 views

How can/should I mount this porch light?

I want to mount a porch light on my outdoor shed/office. I recently had an electrician place interior wiring however I elected to do the fixtures myself. Uh oh. Here's what the back of the porch ...
1
vote
1answer
125 views

How can I repaint a bad paint job?

I just got a wooden sweet cart made for myself. I asked someone to paint it for me but he did a really bad job. He didn't let paint dry completely so it has smudged all over an looks uneven. How can ...
0
votes
1answer
67 views

Kitchen remodel to studs, infilling a window, no insulation, no building wrap!

looking for some urgent feedback. My Husband and I are remodeling our kitchen. We're down to the studs, and two of the walls are exterior. The house is a 1920's bungalow. We're actually making our ...
1
vote
7answers
668 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
2answers
74 views

How often should I paint the exterior of my house?

We're about to have the exterior of our house repainted. How often should we expect the paint to last? Location: Metro Atlanta, GA Surfaces: Wood & Wood Composite Siding (Yes, I know it sucks) ...
1
vote
1answer
384 views

How to Replace Exterior Door & Casing in Old House

My house is about 100 years old. The door jamb is about 10" wide. I've replaced a few doors before, but all of them had standard jams. I'm not sure how to go about replacing this. I'm assuming I need ...
7
votes
3answers
20k views

How do I properly feed coax through an outside wall?

I would like to add a new cable outlet to an outside wall and wanted to find out what kind of drill bit is needed to drill through and feed the coax cable as well as anything else to be mindful of. ...
2
votes
2answers
129 views

Paint adherence on fiberglass door. Does it need time to 'cure'? Can I top-coat it?

We bought this door: http://www.homedepot.com/p/Feather-River-Doors-6-Lite-Clear-Craftsman-Unfinished-Smooth-Fiberglass-Prehung-Front-Door-GK3191/204487447?N=5yc1vZas82Z7cm I've primed it using ...
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 ...
2
votes
1answer
107 views

Cracked wall, is it serious?

I am in the process of purchasing a home and this was reported in the inspection report. The side of the house showed long cracked lines of the wall "with deformation". Would anyone be able to tell if ...
1
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2answers
49 views

Anti-Siphon Sillcock Handle

I just moved into a new home and the anti siphon sillcock on the outside of the house is leaking from behind the knob. I tried to remove the handle via the center screw but it was rusted so badly it ...
0
votes
1answer
36 views

Should I fill in 15-20 nail holes in my roof underlayment? If so, how?

I goofed right off the bat when installing shingles for my garden office roof. I forgot to trim the rake of the first shingle in the starter strip. The net result is that it wasn't aligned properly. ...
1
vote
1answer
49 views

Best way to cover external XPS insulation

My house has a basement, and on the outside, there's a layer of XPS foam insulation on the outside of the basement wall, up to the grade. For most of the house, the sod goes right up to the house, ...
1
vote
1answer
157 views

When should I consider using Plastic Round Cap Roofing Nails?

I'm getting ready to shingle a roof for a shed/outdoor office and I'm confused on if/when I should use plastic round cap roofing nails: I haven't seen these used in any instructions (including the ...
1
vote
1answer
44 views

How to seal swamp cooler ducting into house siding?

My swamp cooler enters the house horizontally through an exterior wall. What is the correct way to seal this interface to the wood siding? Should I just use an exterior caulking around the edges?
1
vote
2answers
416 views

What's better for outside trim- treated pine 1x4 or painted/primed yellow pine in Houston?

Which is best choice? Contractor says pressure treated pine does not hold paint because it might still be wet. He prefers primed and painted yellow pine. This is for a rental. On my home I live in, ...
0
votes
2answers
238 views

Is exterior paint more protective than stain for protecting a shed from rain/elements?

I'm assembling a shed (more like an outdoor office) made out of "Nordic Spruce" and want to make sure that it's protected from the elements (particularly rain and direct sunlight - no snow). Aside ...
1
vote
1answer
143 views

Repainting exterior sandstone

We live in a traditional Victorian house in the North-East of England, i.e. fairly damp and wet. The windows have sandstone lintels. However due to damp and age the paint eventually bubbles (see ...
1
vote
2answers
142 views

Relative maintenance costs of painted vs. stained cedar siding?

I'm house shopping and I have a pretty good idea about the costs to maintain painted cedar exterior siding, but I've run into a few homes with stained cedar exteriors. How does the cost to maintain ...
3
votes
3answers
3k views

What type of insulation is needed for exterior walls on a brick house?

I have a government grant (2,440$) to insulate all of my exterior walls. The issue is, I cannot access them from the outside because I have a brick house. My first guess was that I will need to take ...
2
votes
2answers
58 views

What is the right type of contractor to fix slightly damaged house siding corner

Sorry if I'm using incorrect terminology. A car slightly damaged a corner of the house siding and I'm not sure what type of contractor should take a look into that. I need to make sure that it's ...
0
votes
0answers
44 views

Major Renovation

I'm considering hiring a contractor to do some major renovations to my home. I'm already in need of a new roof so this is the ideal time to do this. Currently, we have a patio that I would like to ...
2
votes
1answer
992 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 ...
8
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
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 ...
1
vote
4answers
445 views

Best way to air seal, vapor seal, and insulate exterior wall in old house?

I have a 90-year old house in Seattle. Exterior walls are constructed as follows: lath and plaster, uninsulated 2x4 stud bays, plank sheathing, cedar clapboard, 1" foil-faced styrofoam, vinyl siding. ...
0
votes
1answer
414 views

How can I adjust for an uneven exterior door threshold?

What is the most appropriate way to adjust for an uneven threshold on an exterior door? In the image below you can see the gap that exists on one side of the door. We have considered taking up the ...
6
votes
8answers
55k views

How do I prevent water from collecting against side of house?

Our house has a concrete patio (I'd say about 12' x 10') in the back that is very slightly angled in so that rainfall can cause water to collect where the patio meets the back wall of the house. What ...
10
votes
4answers
999 views

Are bubbles in new exterior paint normal?

Not happy with the new exterior paint job - it bubbled immediately, and the initial recommendation from the contractor was "don't pop them". We gave it time to settle, but the issue still hasn't been ...
0
votes
0answers
60 views

Extending the back of our house

We are going to be replacing our entire roof with a metal roof this summer. I was wondering if it would be possible to extend the back of our house before we put on the new roof. We would have to pour ...
0
votes
0answers
25 views

how to repair exterior wall above window

I removed rotten wooden panels off the sides of the windows but pieces of the wall crumbled in the process. I have to replace the wooden panels but need to know how to repair the wall.
3
votes
1answer
26k 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
99 views

What should I use to cover the walls of an alcove for a water heater?

My water heater is located in an alcove on the back corner of the house. Today I found water line leaking from the heater, replaced and it is good now. I have always just assumed the walls and ...
0
votes
1answer
60 views

What is the importance of “breathable” home exteriors?

I have heard many people say that it's important for a building's exterior materials to be able to "breathe." In particular, materials like brick are desirable because of their breathe-ability, ...
8
votes
4answers
30k views

How do I find where mice are entering my house?

So the house I just finished remodeling, and am now living in, has a small mouse problem. We have caught a couple of mice, and suspect there may be more. Catching the mice does little good, if more ...
1
vote
0answers
17 views

I want to install veneerstone to a painted, dirty concrete wall. How do I properly prepare the wall?

I want to install veneerstone to the concrete porch foundation. It is dirty and has been painted with latex paint. What do I need to do to the concrete so I can apply the veneerstone?
3
votes
3answers
153 views

What is a quick and easy way to disable a door so you can no longer use it?

I have a two story home with a one story garage attached. The garage has a flat roof. I can access the roof through a door in my upstairs bedroom. At one time the garage roof had a fence around the ...
8
votes
3answers
20k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
107 views

Is there a reason for an exterior vent not connected to anything?

I have an exterior vent on the side of my house not connected to any piping within. You can look inside and see wood/concrete/insulation into the cavity between the basement ceiling and main floor. ...
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 ...
2
votes
2answers
48 views

should I stain the bottom of exterior steps?

When staining exterior steps should I also stain the bottom of the steps? I ask because I think it might better to leave the bottom unstained to let any moisture in the wood evaporate. There would be ...
0
votes
1answer
209 views

Repairing a gap under a eave.

Last night I heard scratching in the wall and upon investigation found that a squirrel had managed to knock loose a piece of wood (I assume as there was no covering to be found) in the eaves where one ...
7
votes
4answers
20k 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 ...
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 ...
2
votes
2answers
765 views

Is it a bad idea to use pine for painted exterior siding if prepared properly?

My house is about 95 years old, and currently has wood clapboard siding that is in pretty rough shape and needs to be replaced. My local lumber yard has 1/2" x 6" for $0.53/linear foot. Since vinyl ...
1
vote
2answers
213 views

How can I secure a metal frame to polyurethane foam?

I have used polyurethane foam to cover a 5 cm (2 inch) horizontal gap between a metal door and the ground. Polyurethane foam , as I know , needs to be covered with cement in order to withstand the ...
3
votes
0answers
69 views

How many arms should a 5.8m long awning have?

I am preparing to install two awnings with folding aluminum arms. The length of each awning is 5.80 meters or 19 ft. The house is at an elevation of 200 meters or 656ft (in the city outskirts) and ...
0
votes
1answer
329 views

Can I fill this AC line inlet with expanding foam?

I think the PVC inlet for my AC lines is a possible entryway for mice getting into my attic. Is there any reason I shouldn't fill it with expanding foam to seal it off? Or is there a better, less ...
2
votes
2answers
348 views

Can I use THHN/THWN-2 within a lamp post?

Foreword: I've been using UF wire for about 10 years now, and I've really grown to hate it. It's hard to work with, hard to strip, and hard to pull through conduit. I prefer all my underground wire to ...