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Exterior Articles


Home improvement isn’t limited to projects inside the home. In this section you’ll find how-to articles that take place outdoors whether it’s Building a Shed Foundation or How to Shingle a Roof.

How to Build a Shed (with a Record 100+ Pics, Vids, and Diagrams!)
Ethan | May 22, 2014
How to Build a Shed (with a Record 100+ Pics, Vids, and Diagrams!)

This article is part of our library of DIY and expert Project Guides that share step-by-step explanations for a wide range of home improvement projects. As part of building this library, I follow expert contractors to the job site, documenting their steps, tips, techniques, and tools. We’re striving to be the best on the web! If you like what you read, please subscribe to our feed to keep up with all of the latest projects! Most of last week, I followed expert general contractor and carpenter Steve Wartman and his crew as they built... 

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Building a Custom Fire Pit
Ethan | May 24, 2013
Building a Custom Fire Pit

Today we’re featuring a guest contribution by Matt from the DIY Village on building a custom fire pit. If you don’t know Matt and Jacque, hop on over to their site. It’s chock full of awesome DIY articles! When it comes to transforming a back yard, an outdoor fire pit rates high on everyone’s DIY to do list. When my wife, Jacque and I purchased our new home a few years ago, we were moving from a townhouse. One thing that always bugged me about living there was that we were restricted on what we could modify outside... 

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Performing a Professional Home Energy Audit
Ethan | May 21, 2013
Performing a Professional Home Energy Audit

Recently a friend was having a professional home energy audit performed, and I asked to tag along. I was curious to learn what tools and techniques a professional uses to analyze the efficiency of a home. I also wanted to learn what actions an auditor would recommend. The audit was performed by James from Energy Services Group, a local business specializing in residential energy conservation since 1981. If you live in central Maryland, Baltimore Gas & Electric (BGE) is probably your energy provider. The state of Maryland requires... 

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Rust-Oleum Deck Restore Review
Ethan | May 17, 2013
Rust-Oleum Deck Restore Review

Update May, 2014: After a full year, our deck continues to look great and we are very happy with Rustoleum’s product. However, other users have had a poor experience with this product and that is reflected in many of the comments. It is important to note that people visiting who do leave a review are more likely to write a negative review than a positive one. This happens because people only look for reviews on sites like ours after they use a product when that product didn’t perform well. We have not taken the time to analyze... 

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How to Install or Replace an Exterior Door
Ethan | March 5, 2013
How to Install or Replace an Exterior Door

It’s time for another Pro-Follow update! If you’ve been following along, you know that Joe Bianco is in the process of remodeling Fred and Kim’s basement. Last time we left off, Joe brought in Dave and his mold sniffing dog, Sam, to detect any mold in the basement. It was a fascinating process, and I hope to bring you more with Dave and Sam in the near future. Since then, drywall has been hung in the basement, doors installed and most of the painting has been completed. I’m not focusing on these aspects of the remodel... 

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How to Repair Cracked Concrete
Ethan | November 8, 2012
How to Repair Cracked Concrete

Ever since Jocie and I purchased our home in 2006 the concrete stoop has had this long, ugly crack, and this past summer some yellow-jackets tried to take up residence within the crack. That was enough for me to bump the concrete repair to the front of my to-do list. If you look around online, the typical repair involves filling the crack with a flexible patching compound followed by a sealant. The result is a structurally sound and visibly unattractive repair. I wanted something better because this is a repair that everyone will see when... 

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How to Shingle a Roof (90 pics, Pro tips, Recommendations)
Ethan | August 21, 2012
How to Shingle a Roof (90 pics, Pro tips, Recommendations)

A couple of weeks ago we published a two-part series showing how a local roofing contractor shingled a roof with architectural shingles. This Project Guide is a combination of those two articles, and it covers replacing the existing roof decking, installing underlayment and ice dam protection, laying the first row, laying shingles in the field, flashing, ridge shingles and vents, and more. This how-to is a great resource for anyone looking to shingle a roof or better understand what to expect of a roofing contractor. We want to thanks... 

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How to Pour Concrete Stairs
Ethan | July 5, 2012
How to Pour Concrete Stairs

It’s time for another Pro-Follow, and regular readers will recognize this as part of our ongoing series for building an in-law addition. We’re back with the guys from Luciano Cristofaro Contractors. You’ve already met Victor, and today we’re spending time with Victor’s brother Carlos as he pours a set of concrete stairs. The opening for these stairs was cut out from the existing garage slab and dug with the backhoe during excavation. The block walls are new, and they were completed in a similar fashion as... 

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How to Build a Concrete Block Foundation
Ethan | June 7, 2012
How to Build a Concrete Block Foundation

It’s time for another Pro-Follow update as we follow along with contractor Steve Wartman and his crew. If you remember, Steve brought in Victor and his team from Luciano Cristofaro Contractors to build the foundation, and today’s article shares how they built the block wall foundation. If you missed it, read up on how Victor’s team dug the footers, laid rebar and poured the footers at those links. Here’s how everything looked after the concrete cured and a little bit of rain.Step 1: Mix Mortar The guys used... 

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How to Build a Post & Beam Shed Foundation on a Slope
Ethan | May 2, 2012
How to Build a Post & Beam Shed Foundation on a Slope

Last week I had the opportunity to help a friend build the foundation for a new shed that will be delivered in a couple of weeks. His back yard has a bit of a slope, and it would take too much concrete to pour a slab (read how to pour a concrete shed foundation here). For that reason, we decided that building a post and beam foundation would be the best way to go. This article is a step-by-step guide for how we built it, and if you’ve read our article for building a deck, you’ll see some similarities. Editors update: The shed... 

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