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Fall Home Improvement

By: Danny Lipford
Porch with purple steps and white railings.

Completed porch after replacing rotten wood and resurfacing landing.

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We’re helping homeowner Sandy Reynolds get the exterior of the historic cottage-style bungalow she bought three years ago ready for painting by replacing rotten flooring and joists on her porch, resurfacing a concrete landing for the porch steps, and repairing damaged wood siding.

Porch Repair

We started by removing the old porch flooring with a pry bar. Next, we used a pneumatic jack to support the weight of the roof and lift the corner column up off the floor.

We then replaced any rotten band joists and ledger boards around the outside of the porch with rot resistant, pressure treated pine lumber.

Before installing the new tongue-and-groove porch flooring, we primed all four sides to reduce warping, cupping, and expansion/contraction due to moisture absorption. It’s also important to cover the ground under the porch with plastic to reduce moisture.

Rotten porch flooring before replacement.

Rotten porch flooring before replacement.

To install the new porch flooring, we applied construction adhesive to the top of the joists, and used a scrap of flooring to tap the boards together before securing with a nail gun.

Quarter round molding was applied around the outside of the porch to bridge the transition between the facing boards and flooring.

Watch How to Repair Rotten Porch Flooring and Railings to find out more.

The final step was painting the floor with Glidden Porch & Floor Steel Grey latex paint. If you use a roller to apply the paint, go back over it with a brush to back-brush the paint into the cracks.

Exterior House Repairs

To repair cracked siding on the outside of a house, apply construction adhesive to the crack, and screw a scrap of wood to the siding above and below the crack to hold the board together until the construction adhesives sets.

Use a quality exterior caulk, such as Titebond, to fill any cracks in exterior siding or trim. For larger gaps press foam backer rod into the crack, and then apply caulking over it.

Watch How to Caulk Around Windows and Doors to find out more.

When building a new home, or if the existing siding and trim on your house is too far gone, consider replacing it with low maintenance vinyl and cellular PVC material, such as that from Royal Building Products.

Painting the exterior siding on the house.

Painting the exterior siding on the house.

Exterior Painting

When all the repairs on the exterior of the house are completed, it will be painted with Sherwin Williams exterior paint in a Hearts of Palm yellowish green color.

To provide contrast with the green siding, white trim, and grey deck, the porch steps were painted with Behr’s Porch & Patio Floor Paint in a color matched to Sherwin Williams’ Quixotic Plum.

Watch How to Prepare the Outside of a House for Painting to find out more.

Concrete Step Repair

After filling the cracks in the concrete landing at the foot of the porch steps, we used a mixing paddle chucked into a drill to mix up Quikrete Concrete Resurfacer.

Concrete resurfacer is made so it can be applied in a much thinner layer than standard concrete. While resurfacer is usually applied with a squeegee, a trowel can also be used.

Danny Lipford resurfacing concrete slab.

Danny Lipford resurfacing concrete slab.

Dragging a broom lightly over the surface before the concrete sets will give it a textured surface to reduce slipping.

Watch How to Repair and Resurface Concrete Steps to find out more.

Installing a Whole House Generator

To keep your appliances running during cold winter weather or severe summer storms, consider installing a whole house generator, such as those from Generac.

Installing a whole house generator sized for your needs is a great way to protect your home during power outages.

Watch Whole House Generator Options for Your Home to find out more.

Other Tips from This Episode

Using plastic putty knife to scrape candle wax off table.

Simple Solutions with Joe Truini:
Removing Candle Wax

To remove candle wax from furniture, place a plastic bag full of ice on the wax to harden it. After about 10 minutes, remove the bag and use a plastic (not metal) putty knife to scrape up the wax. Use a paper towel to buff off any remaining wax residue. (Watch Video)

EGO Cordless Blower

Best New Products with Jodi Marks:
EGO POWER+ Cordless Blower

The EGO POWER+ cordless blower uses a 56-volt, lithium-ion battery to move up to 480 cubic feet of air per minute. The battery delivers an hour of runtime and recharges in about 40 minutes. The EGO leaf blower is available at The Home Depot. (Watch Video)

Rotten door casing.

Ask Danny Lipford:
Patching Damaged Wood

While it’s necessary to replace rotten structural wood, you can often patch damaged molding or siding using auto body filler. Start by removing any rotten wood, then mix the two-part filler together and use it to fill the void. The filler hardens in minutes. (Watch Video)

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Fall Home Improvement