As one of the winners of our “Win Danny and His Crew for a Day Contest,” Vicki and Russ Baker of Jonesboro, Georgia, had a to-do list of exterior repairs for us to tackle on the front of their home.
Our first project was replacing some damaged siding on a wall next to the roof of their house. Once the deteriorated siding had been removed, we replaced it with fiber cement siding and painted it to match the house.
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Next up was repairing the wobbly handrails going up the front steps of the house. The railings themselves were in fairly good condition, but the wood posts at the bottom needed to be replaced.
The old posts were removed, and new pressure treated 4”x4” posts cut to length and beveled around the top with a circular saw. The replacement posts were then set in holes dug in the ground and attached to the railings with screws.
After making sure the new posts were plumb, the holes were filled with concrete. Holes were drilled in the top of the posts, and the turned finials salvaged from the old posts were glued in place using weather resistant Titebond wood glue.
The missing spacer blocks between the balusters were also replaced, along with the half finials at the top of the stairs. The railings were then sanded, primed, and painted.
Repoint Brick Steps
Before repairing the mortar joints on the brick steps, we removed any loose mortar and caulk from the joints. After wetting down the steps with a garden hose, a grout bag applicator was used to fill the joints with Quikrete mortar mix, and the excess mortar was removed using a sponge and water.
Watch our video on How to Repair Brick Mortar Joints to find out more.
Replace Entry Door and Lock
The weathered wood front door on the home was replaced with a low maintenance fiberglass door.
Gel stain was applied to give the door the look of real wood. After the stain had dried, the door was finished with clear exterior polyurethane for protection.
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To make sure the new door was secure, we installed a Schlage Touchscreen Deadbolt which provides keyless entry for up to 30 different codes and comes with a built-in alarm.
The lock can even be operated remotely from a computer or smartphone using the Nexia Home Intelligence system.
Replace Entry Lights
The dated light fixtures on either side of the front door were replaced with new ones from The Home Depot (Progress Lighting Resort Collection, model P5913-122DI) to provide better light and improve the curb appeal of the house.
Watch our video on How to Install an Outdoor Security Light to find out more.
Other Tips from This Episode
Simple Solutions with Joe Truini:
Pressure Washer Wand Guide
To keep from damaging wood decks with a pressure washer, make a guide to hold the nozzle at the proper distance from the surface. To make the guide, cut 1/2″ PVC pipe to size, then heat the pipe to bend it slightly. Bolt two casters to the other end of the pipe, and use pipe clamps to attach the guide to the wand on the pressure washer. (Watch Video)
Best New Products with Jodi Marks:
Wi-Fi Programmable Thermostat
The Honeywell Wi-Fi Programmable Touchscreen Thermostat allows you to check and control the temperature in your home both directly and remotely by smartphone or computer. The thermostat uses Smart Response Technology to adjust to your heating and cooling habits. The Honeywell Wi-Fi Thermostat is available at The Home Depot. (Watch Video)
Ask Danny Lipford:
Finding Roof Leaks
Finding roof leaks can be difficult, since the damaged roofing is usually higher up the roof than the water damage below. To find a roof leak, look for wet or discolored wood in your attic, then follow the trail up as far up as possible. Next, look for damaged shingles or flashing at that point or higher on your roof to locate the source of the leak. (Watch Video)