Questions tagged [exterior]

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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29
votes
4answers
14k views

How do I build an ice rink in my backyard?

I'm considering building a small temporary ice skating rink in my backyard. I'm hoping to do this without buying many or any materials, and without causing any devastating damage to my lawn when ...
24
votes
4answers
148k 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. ...
16
votes
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 ...
14
votes
4answers
110k 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 ...
11
votes
6answers
7k 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 ...
11
votes
4answers
99k 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
16k 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 ...
9
votes
9answers
137k 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 ...
9
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 tell,...
9
votes
4answers
46k 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
26k views

How should I fill a hole in an exterior wall?

I noticed a good sized hole in an exterior wall that allows wires and things to go from my AC unit into my basement. The problem is that the hole is a good deal larger than it needs to be and there ...
9
votes
2answers
5k 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
20k views

How can I fix a hairline crack in a thin wood panel of an exterior door?

My 100-year-old house has a wooden front door made of thick wood ribs interspersed with 8 wood panels, each about 10" high, 8" wide, but only 1/8" or 3/16" thick. Perhaps the door originally had ...
9
votes
1answer
3k views

What lubricant should I use for an outside garage door lock?

I recently asked what sort of lubricant I should use on locks. I was wondering if the advice there (i.e. graphite powder) applied to an outside garage door handle lock? The lock in question looks ...
8
votes
4answers
70k views

Are cracks on exterior walls serious and can I fix them myself?

I recently noticed some mostly-vertical cracks present on some exterior walls. In case it is relevant, this is a South Florida home built in the mid 50s. The downstairs walls are CBS (Concrete Block ...
8
votes
3answers
2k 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.
7
votes
5answers
61k 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 ...
7
votes
5answers
98k 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
14k 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
18k 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

Options for fixing outside cement staircase?

We have a below-grade basement and a exit door. There are concrete steps to the door, parallel to the house (so on your right is the house) and on the left is a brick wall. The steps appear to have ...
7
votes
1answer
942 views

Can I replace / recreate a tri-fold garage door with three fiberglass flush doors?

My garage has three wooden doors that cover the opening. The middle one's hinges are attached to the right door. The left and the right doors' hinges are attached to the walls. This way you could ...
6
votes
3answers
59k views

What type of screw is the most resistant to rust: galvanized, stainless steel, or deck screws?

How do the following screw types fare in an outdoor (wet) long-term application? Galvanized screw: Stainless steel screw: "Deck" screw:
6
votes
3answers
4k 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-| ...
6
votes
4answers
6k views

Fixing a large (1/8"-wide) crack in a wood exterior door panel

This is a follow-up to my previous question: How can I fix a hairline crack in a thin wood panel of an exterior door? While getting ready to apply wood glue (actually a mixture of wood glue and ...
6
votes
2answers
647 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. ...
6
votes
2answers
276 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
12k views

How do I properly seal an exterior door?

I've recently discovered that rain is getting in around my exterior (front) door and forming a little pool in the frame under the door. I'm assuming I can fix this by adding a seal around the door (...
6
votes
3answers
87k 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
3answers
3k views

What is the proper and accurate way to measure space for window screens?

One of our metal windows is missing a screen and I'd like to replace it. I don't have other windows of the same size so I can't easily copy the screen dimensions. How should I measure the window ...
5
votes
4answers
49k 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 ...
5
votes
5answers
1k views

Does dark exterior paint hold and transfer more heat to an uninsulated house?

We are picking exterior paint colors for our stucco house. The interior walls are plaster and there isn’t insulation in the walls. I want to stay away from dark colors because I think it will make ...
5
votes
3answers
22k 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
21k 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
8k 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. ...
5
votes
1answer
479 views

How should I fill in decorative “gashes” in wood siding?

Our house has old siding with decorative holes: At first I thought this might be termite damage but a house inspector examined it and confirmed that this is purely decorative style. I'd like to ...
5
votes
2answers
8k views

How should I troubleshoot and unclog an outdoor drain?

Our back concrete patio directs water to a nearby outdoor drain. The drain consists of what seems to be a 5 Inch green PVC pipe with a plastic grate cover that sticks out of the ground a few inches. ...
5
votes
1answer
11k views

How can I fit a door in a frame that is too small?

I bought some used French doors to replace a sliding door. The sliding door measured 96" X 60". The French doors measure 96" X 60¼". I made the mistake of not measuring both doors. I just ...
5
votes
2answers
3k 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
3k 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 ...
4
votes
6answers
40k 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
9k 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
7k views

What's the correct way to pass wire to exterior electrical box?

I'm doing some remodeling in our basement, and came across the following (see pictures). It looks like the contractor simply wrapped tape around the conduit to secure the box to the wall. How are ...
4
votes
4answers
34k 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 restrictions/...
4
votes
2answers
266 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
671 views

What to do with broken outdoor lights that left the bulbs exposed?

A hail storm has broken the outer casing of our outdoor lights, exposing the bulb. What should I do? Can I leave just the bulb exposed to the elements?
4
votes
6answers
36k 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
165 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
33k 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 ...