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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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Vinyl Siding block new construction

I have a vinyl siding block, new construction, I was going to use a round metal box attached to the plywood siding. The vinyl block has a round cut out guide on the inside, do I cut that out and slide ...
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1answer
29 views

Should I caulk a front door step riser when I replace it?

This section of the house is slab on grade. There is a concrete step just in front of the door. The rotted wood riser fits between the house and the concrete step. I'm going to attempt replacing it. ...
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6answers
4k views

Why is all this exterior trim rotting and how do I fix it?

We realized there was some rot on the exterior of the house when we bought it two years ago, and I knew obviously I would want to deal with it eventually. As I've been looking more around the outside ...
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1answer
26 views

Old dryer vent in concrete

We have an old dryer vent that is no longer in use, but is still on the outside of the house. Due to some regrading, the vent is now below the ground line (but boxed off). This causes obvious ...
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1answer
28 views

Before blowing in wall insulation, is it better to remove old rock wool insulation?

We're going to blow in fiberglass insulation to improve the exterior walls we haven't had an opportunity to upgrade—after ten years of remodeling projects we've modernized about 60% of the walls....
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1answer
19 views

Advice on wiring garage coach lights

I'm planning on replacing the garage coach lights at my house. We have a junction box on the inside of the garage, directly behind where the fixture is mounted however it's behind the plywood / cedar ...
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1answer
15 views

Painting unfinished exterior wood (porch) with oily stain

I need to paint my front porch, but there is a small stain that appears to be oil, grease, or a similar substance. (Water beads on it, despite there being no paint or finish.) Here's the stain in ...
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1answer
30 views

What is an estimated paint to primer ratio on exterior bare wood?

I've used 3 gallons of KILZ Premium Primer (2 coats plus touch ups) and will top it with Behr's Premium Plus, Paint & Primer All in One, Exterior Satin Enamel in a Medium Base. Please don't tell ...
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0answers
41 views

Re-Painting Concrete porch

Hi I have a concrete porch with peeling and cracking paint. Do I need to sand it and then power-wash it before repainting. I tried using an orbital sander with 60 grit sandpaper but it just kept ...
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2answers
68 views

Crumbling brickwork on exterior wall

House is approximately 40 years old. On a wall on a balcony the brick work appears to be crumbling. What is causing this to happen and what can be done to fix this? We can see both sides of the wall ...
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3answers
48 views

What size wire for 20 amp 220V 80'

I am running an electrical line for an a/c unit 220 it calls for 20 amp breaker about 15' underground and the rest overhead in conduit 80' total. My question is what size wire should I use? Thankyou ...
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1answer
28 views

Dry Rot (?) in Exterior Trim, patch or replace?

There is some moderate deterioration and cracking in part of the exterior trim of my house. I believe the trim in question is cedar. Looking for repair advice. My thoughts were: 1) Get some epoxy ...
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1answer
42 views

What type of contractor

I have a number of projects I want to get done all on the exterior of my home: Replacing an old 1970s metal awning with a retractable solar shade Adding window trim over stucco Replacing a fence gate ...
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1answer
27 views

Tread boards in external stairs for houses

I am about to build a small (3-riser) entrance stairway for my house guided by this how-to: This question is about the treads which appear to be consisting of three separate boards each. The text ...
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1answer
68 views

Home Building: Do the first and second floor exterior walls have to line up?

we are planning on building a house, and i had a question about the exterior walls. does the second floor exterior wall have to run on top of the first floor exterior wall? we are trying to make the ...
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1answer
94 views

Are the plants too close to the building?

Are these greens too close to the building or not? I heard different people say differnt things: some recommend 6 inches clearance between greens and the building; but some said it's ok to leave as it ...
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1answer
75 views

What kind of threshold for this door - inswing - exterior - concrete - dricore?

What kind of threshold might work for this 1938 exterior door? It's actually an interior door, and it is exposed directly to weather (there's no porch or overhang). If it were modern wood, it would ...
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0answers
26 views

Chipping Concrete/Peeling Paint

I have a concrete porch that has a skim coat of concrete and was painted with an all in one paint and primer that was for concrete. The problem is, it was chipping and peeling everywhere due to ...
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1answer
64 views

Mystery of misbehaving hose bibs and missing shutoffs

My father recently passed away, and I'm working on getting his house ready for sale. For the most part, Dad kept up with preventive maintenance, but obviously things slipped a little in the last year ...
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1answer
35 views

External Door Covering (temp fix 5 ish years)

Guys I want your opinion on what I can do with the door shown in the photo. The doorway is bricked off from the inside and I want to cover it from the outside and rebuild a new shed to hide it. I ...
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1answer
35 views

crumbly plaster

I'm in a new build, timber frame house with the back clad in plaster. The plaster seems quite "sandy", if that makes sense. If I rub it my hand comes away dusty and gritty. Around one window I can ...
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1answer
390 views

Can cement backer board be used to support bluestone or slate outdoor raised patio?

We are designing a multi-level stone patio. To exit the kitchen directly onto the stone patio, the highest part of that patio would be 12 inches above the foundation. The next level would be flush ...
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1answer
50 views

Tinting ValSpar Light Base Paint

I am building my new house and at the painting stage. I found a good deal on Light Base Valspar paint, and picked up enough to finish the house. I had the interior tinted at my local hardware store ...
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1answer
77 views

How can I seal off exterior hole?

I have an A/C line (left) which has been chewed threw by mice. They are now enjoying the comfort of my attic. I've temporarily put in steel wool into the hole, but they have evolved and pull it out. ...
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1answer
56 views

How to repair wood rot on exterior (decorative) exposed beam?

I have a split level mid-century built in 1969. It has protruding exterior beams that have been painted. I noticed that one has rotted internally and was sloppily repaired with foam backer and spackle ...
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2answers
201 views

Outdoor faucet's indoor shutoff valve not working - OK to drip water out of faucet through winter?

We have an outdoor faucet on the side of the house with a shutoff valve that no longer appears functional. (Thankfully, the house's main water valve does shut off water, but many other valves appear ...
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1answer
187 views

How to fill a large exterior settlement gap between wall and courtyard

I'm looking for the best way to restore appearance and seal a gap after a settlement problem. It's a 20 year old house with a flagstone courtyard surrounded by cultured stone walls. The flagstone was ...
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0answers
21 views

Sealing/Insulating Exterior Wall/Uninsulated Slab/Interior Wall

The corners of an interior partition wall were rotting and crumbling, and unsurprisingly, after removing the rotted drywall, I found that the metal sill is rusted, as well. The partition wall abuts an ...
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1answer
36 views

reuse hot tub wiring for an EVSE?

I need to install a 240V 40A circuit into my garage. The end goal is to plug in a level 2 EVSE. (maybe it can be a 50A circuit? not sure). I have an existing 50A GFCI breaker hooked up to 6 gauge 3 ...
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0answers
61 views

How can you attach solid wood weatherboards to ICF furring strips?

We're contemplating a design where the external walls are ICF (Insulating Concrete Forms) and the "cladding" is solid wood weatherboards (lap-siding). [Rusticated design, 8" / 200mm exposed]. ...
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0answers
80 views

How can I run wire rope around the corner of my railing with a turnbuckle?

I have a rooftop that looks like the following. I'll be using turnbuckles to connect each tube to the wire rope. The issue is: what do I do with the corner tubes? If I use the turnbuckles for the ...
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1answer
127 views

Install wire rope to several steel tubes?

We have 13 1.5" round steel tubes that go around a small area in our backyard Each tube has a small hole that crosses the tube. I'm including the basic design: I would like to use wire rope (or steel ...
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0answers
26 views

I have new exterior doors that are a standard height (80"), and they must go in without a header (no room without raising flat roof above)

New door, needs to be installed without a header, and I fear that we'll also need to cut into the top plate of the framing. If I did this, what are some things I can do to mitigate the risk (as I ...
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3answers
1k views

Will a fire pit damage my patio's ceiling?

I just got a portable fire pit and some new furniture for my back porch. The fire pit is 3' in diameter, and the porch is 10'×10', with a 9' ceiling. It would be nice to be able to have a small ...
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1answer
39 views

Hanging lights in holes in the front of roof line

We just moved into a new house (newly built) that has these holes all along the roof line I was wondering if it would be appropriate to attach something like these to the holes so that I could hang ...
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1answer
395 views

How to attach a security camera to an existing box?

Our house was wired for security cameras, when we moved in, and I'm now getting around to install the cameras on some of the corners. However, the cameras and the separate mounts on sale today all ...
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0answers
44 views

What type of exterior siding tiles are these?

I'm trying to identify these tiles around our windows as a few on the far side are missing/broken and need replacing. Our neighbours have the same tiles, just in different colours which I believe ...
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1answer
126 views

Painting aluminum garage door

I need to repaint my aluminum garage door but want to use the right paint / process to do it. Will an oil based paint like rustoleum work? Is there a special primer that I need to get this done the ...
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1answer
515 views

Why aren't siding nail holes a concern with tyvek housewrap?

So when you install wood siding over a tyvek house wrap, you take care to flash and seal all penetrations from plumbing, HVAC and electrical connections to make sure no water can get in... then you ...
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0answers
54 views

exterior door threshold over distinct concrete slabs at different grades

I need to replace an exterior door that leads from my garage, which sits on a smooth concrete slab, out to the patio, which consists of a pebbled slab that is approximately 1/4" to 1/2" lower than the ...
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3answers
360 views

Should the meter base be installed before chink siding in new construction?

I'm planning to do my own electrical for a new house that will have pine chink siding. Should I: A. Install the meter base on the OSB sheathing, and flash the Tyvek around it? B. Install the meter ...
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1answer
39 views

How do you deal with the giant foundation overhang when using ridged foam and a rain screen on an exterior wall?

When designing a building that uses modern techniques like those featured in this Building Science article, such as exterior ridged foam insulation and a rain screen, how do you deal with the hideous ...
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2answers
270 views

How can I hide an HVAC line on the blank face of house with a chimney?

We have an exterior HVAC line running up the center of an exterior wall to a second floor unit. The face in question is the side of a colonial style, and has a two story chimney with a taper at the ...
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2answers
71 views

What is a good exterior wall composition for a wood frame house with pine chink siding in a moderate climate?

I'm designing a house for myself that will be built in northern Georgia (USA). The climate is moderate, with lows in the 20's during the coldest part of winter. The house will be framed with 2x6's, ...
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2answers
69 views

Swapping Lock On Exterior Door

I thought this was simple standard take out the old, plug in the new. However, I am switching from a Schlage to a GateHouse and the (excuse my lack of terminology) actual "lock", the piece that ...
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0answers
27 views

Area Under Exterior Wooden Deck

I have an external wooden deck, and the area underneath it always has moisture which makes it an unusable area. I'm assuming the moisture is because it is shaded almost all the time from the house ...
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1answer
33 views

Can I use fewer than the recommended number of fasteners for exterior wall insulation?

I'm insulating my exterior wall (built of perforated Porotherm blocks) using 40mm gutex wood-fibre boards. The recommended application involves the use of an adhesive (allegedly very strong) and ...
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1answer
212 views

Preserve treated wood?

What should I use, if anything, to preserve these steps made of treated wood? These are on my townhome's back porch. Two of the steps are directly exposed to weather. They were filthy but cleaned up ...
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2answers
203 views

Firewall on existing building

We are required to create a firewall on our building that is less than 5' from the property line. We removed a window and now need to know if we can just leave the old header and framing and insert ...
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2answers
105 views

Reducing traffic noise in front and back yard

Our rural house is located 200 yards from an interstate highway overpass. House is parralel to interstate, and overpass is located near a corner of property. How can we reduce the noise entering the ...