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S19 E14: Precast Concrete, New Lamppost

Watch as Mark installs precast concrete steps, Mauro paints a table, and Heath installs a new lamppost.

Previous episode: S19 E13 | Next episode: S19 E15

In this episode:

Mason Mark McCullough helps a homeowner replace his crumbling flagstone steps. The front steps seem to be original to the 1940s house and they haven’t aged well. One reason could be found in the lack of gutters on the house. After 80 years of water falling off the roof and onto the steps, it’s easy to see why the steps are eroding. The other culprit is the lack of a base, so while the ground moved over time, the steps settled into a downward slope.

As a replacement, the homeowners want something more affordable and sturdier, so they have decided on precast concrete steps. Precast stairs can be ordered to size and with the desired finish if wanted, then they can be craned right into place. But a site will have to be prepared ahead of time in order to have the steps installed and Mark demonstrates just how to do that. He demolishes the original and installs a base for the new steps. Then, Mark takes a tour of the facility where the precast concrete steps are made. Back at the homeowner’s, the steps are delivered and set into place.

Painter Mauro Henrique demonstrates how to refinish an old piece of furniture with the help of Kevin O’Connor. Mauro’s client has a table that belonged to her grandmother and she would like to spruce it up so it can come out of the basement and be showcased in her home. Mauro decided it would be a great opportunity to teach the proper technique in painting old furniture. He goes through the steps of reviving the table and what tools to use. With a little bit of work and a little bit of paint, any old furniture can have a new life.

Master electrician Heath Eastman helps a homeowner replace his lamppost that is not exactly to code. To start, it is a mailbox post, not even a lamppost. The top is wide open to water infiltrations, only held down by a zip tie. It also uses a voltage way too high to use for residential outdoor usage. All in all, it’s an electrician’s nightmare. Before the work, Heath talks about all the components that will make the lamppost.

This includes wiring, which requires installing a light switch, connecting it to the nearest electrical source, digging a trench to connect the wires from the new lamppost to the light switch, and calling a utility locating service to make sure digging is done safely. Luckily with the existing post, a lot of the work has already been done so none of that will be an issue. The post has an underground feeder cable but Heath will add GFCI protection, as all electrical circuits that could accidentally come in contact with water are required to have them. Heath and the homeowner remove the old lamppost and install a new, proper lamppost.

The new post is slightly taller than the old one, so the wiring won’t reach the new lamp. To solve this problem, Heath adds a receptacle to the side of the post and runs a new wire to the lamp. As a bonus, the homeowner gets a receptacle to use for any holiday lighting. When the work’s all done, the homeowner is left with a stylish lamppost that accentuates the beauty of the home.

How to Install Precast Concrete Steps

Mark McCullough helps a homeowner remove his crumbling stone steps. Then, he tours a factory to learn how precast concrete steps are made and helps install a set at the homeowner’s house.

Where to find it?

Mark toured the facility and then installed precast concrete steps with a stone veneer from Shea Concrete. Steps can be ordered to size and with the desired finish (if any), and they are delivered directly to the site.

Before the steps can be delivered, the old steps needed to be removed, and a new concrete base needed to be poured. The jackhammer used to remove the steps can be rented from any home center, and the other materials used for the job, including the concrete mixes, wheelbarrows, trowels, and shovels can all be found at home centers as well.

How to Refinish a Table with Paint

Mauro Henrique demonstrates how to take an old piece of furniture and give it a new life with a little bit of paint.

Where to find it?

Prep work is key to any good painting job. Mauro and Kevin started by lightly sanding the table with 220 grit sandpaper, which can be done with any type of power sander, and cleaned up the remaining dust with HDX Tack Cloth.

To prime the table, Mauro used Zinsser BullsEye 1-2-3 Interior/Exterior Water-Based Primer, which is manufactured by Rust-Oleum. For the paint, Mauro used PPG Timeless Acrylic Interior Paint, in “Naval Blue” in a semi-gloss finish.

How to Replace a Lamppost

Heath Eastman helps a homeowner replace his front lamppost with some hilarious code violations with a new post.

Where to find it?

Lampposts usually come in at least two pieces: the post, and the lantern. In this case, Heath installed a Hammond Lantern Post with Sign Bracket for the post and a Jefferson Post Mount Lantern for the lantern. This particular post was designed with a hanging sign in mind, which can be custom ordered separately. All of these items are manufactured by Walpole Outdoors.

To safely extend the UF cable, Heath decided to install an outdoor-rated receptacle, wire it with the UF cable, and then run a new cable from the receptacle to the lantern. He protected the receptacle using an Expandable Weatherproof In-Use Cover, which is manufactured by TayMac.

Original Air Date: Feb 7, 2021 Season 19; Ep.14 23:42

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