This web is in the corner of our house.
Is this the harmless North American version, or one done by the venomous Australian variety? How can I tell (short of finding the spider)?
Here's what I found from the Univ of Kentucky';s Ag school site: http://www.uky.edu/Ag/CritterFiles/casefile/spiders/funnel/funnel.htm
Funnel weavers and grass spiders build funnel-shaped webs close to the ground. The spider hides in the narrow end of this funnel, which is usually protected by leaves or rocks. When an insect, spider, or other small creature crosses the wide end of the funnel, the spider feels the vibration and rushes out to grab the prey. Funnel weaver and grass spiders are incredibly quick, and can dash from the protected part of their web to the other end at lightning speed. These spiders are common in many Kentucky habitats, including lawns and on the forest floor.
Funnel weaver and grass spiders are beneficial predators. They very rarely leave their webs, so they don't often enter homes. They will only bite if provoked, and are not considered dangerous.
Grass Spiders are very common in Kentucky. We have several species, but they are all virtually identical in appearance and behavior.
Seems to fit your description.
I concur with the above assessment that it looks like a grass spider (funnel weaver) web. We have a LOT of these around our home (and in our basement) here in Colorado, and I've read that they are very commonly found throughout all of the lower 48 states. I was pretty disturbed by them when we moved in, and have researched them extensively. Although I desperately want to eradicate them from within our home, I won't mess with them outside too much, as I agree with the above answer that they prey on pests. But, as this one is directly against the house, I'd recommend just using the water hose, spraying a strong jet at the web to wash it off. Then repeat as often as they rebuild. They WILL eventually stop building in that location. It doesn't kill them, just encourages them to relocate: win-win! Oh, and keep the debris cleared away from your foundation as much as possible, to discourage as well. :)