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S21 E6: Sandstone Repair, Awning Install

In this episode, Mark McCullough travels to Dallas, Texas, to repair sandstone steps. Then, Ross Trethewey explains how to pick a solar plan without being scammed by the company. Finally, Nathan Gilbert helps a homeowner install an awning.

Previous episode: S21 E5 | Next episode: S21 E7

In this episode:

Mason Mark McCullough takes us on a house call to Dallas, Texas, where a homeowner’s sandstone steps are starting to cause issues. After noticing that the bond between the pre-existing concrete steps and the new sandstone veneer is failing, Mark and the homeowner get to work.

First, Mark shows the homeowner how to carefully remove the sandstone veneer with a hammer and chisel. Then, the two remove all of the mortar mix, allowing them to add a new bed of mortar while keeping the steps uniform. After applying an adhesive additive directly to the steps, Mark and the homeowner spread new mortar mix onto the step and set the sandstone pieces back in place for a seamless repair.

Next, host Kevin O’Connor and home technology expert Ross Trethewey meet back at the shop to talk solar financing. Ross explains to Kevin that solar is so popular right now because the system's cost is at an all-time low while energy prices are at an all-time high, and local and federal governments are providing rebates and credits. However, not every solar installer is in it for the right reasons, and Ross explains how to avoid scams and make the most of a solar installation.

Finally, we tag along with carpenter Nathan Gilbert as he helps a homeowner install an awning over their main entry door. First, the two get to work cutting custom mounting blocks for the homeowner’s vinyl siding. Then, Nathan creates a custom mounting frame that will allow the awning to sit correctly over the siding.

With the custom frame built, Nathan and the homeowner install it over the entry door. After applying sealant to the top and face of the frame, the pair hoist the awning in place and secure it to the home with lag bolts.


How To Repair Sandstone Steps

Mason Mark McCullough helps a Dallas homeowner repair their sandstone steps.

Where to find it?

To repair the stone steps Mark removes old mortar and loose stones, using a hammer and chisel. To apply mortar to smaller areas between stones, Mark uses a 5x2 margin trowel. To spread mortar over stones and larger areas, Mark uses a brick trowel. To finish the mortar joints, Mark uses a concave jointer. He then textures the mortar joints with a soft bristle brush.

Expert assistance by Metro Brick Repair. Materials supplied by The Mountain Stone Supply.


How To Avoid Solar Panel Scams

Home technology expert Ross Trethewey teaches host Kevin O’Connor what he needs to know about solar installation plans, financing, and rebates to ensure homeowners get the most for their investment.

Where to find it?

Ross tells Kevin to look for Solar North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP). These contractors have undergone third-party certification that ensures they know what they’re doing.


How To Install an Awning

Carpenter Nathan Gilbert helps a homeowner install a modern glass outdoor awning.

Where to find it?

Nathan creates the proper-sized PVC mounting blocks by following the template of the vinyl mounting block to measure and trace where the French cleat will be cut. Then Nathan uses a miter saw to square the edges of the board and cut the boards to length for the mounting bracket. After, Nathan uses a portable bandsaw to cut out the cleat for each piece of PVC. Nathan uses an electric drill to securely mount the blocks to the exterior siding using exterior grade screws.

To mount the awning, Nathan first applies a silicone sealant along the backside of the bracket to keep it watertight. Nathan then uses an electric drill to make pilot holes on the mounting blocks. Nathan then uses exterior grade heavy-duty structural screws to secure the awning to the siding. Finally, Nathan applies silicone sealant around the edges of the awning to ensure no water can penetrate the siding.

Expert assistance is provided by Feeney, Inc. All other products can be found at home centers.

Original Air Date: Nov 3, 2022, Season 21; Ep. 6 23:42


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