The Handyguys Podcast - Working Together on that Honey Do List Home Energy Savings Tool tests

Synthetic Decks And GFCI Outlets

by The Handyguys

in Audio Podcasts

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The newest generation of synthetc decking looks much more like real wood and has a much longer warranty.

The newest generation of synthetc decking looks much more like real wood and has a much longer warranty.

Synthetic Decking Material and a Fiberon Warranty

The Handyguys begin the show by talking about whats new in Synthetic decking. Composites versus PVC. While composite decking appear to be maintenance free, some manufactured decks become marred with mold, staining and deterioration. There are many newer synthetic decking materials that now have long warranties. One such synthetic decking material, with a 10 year warranty, is Fiberon.

Making the decision to choose a synthetic deck versus a real wood deck can be daunting. What is your budget? What look do you want? Can you be careful about not staining the deck with a dropped hamburger or plate of buttered corn?

Listener Question On New Electrical Outlets

We answered a question from  James  regarding adding outlets to front and back porch and attic.

James wrote us Hi guys, love the podcast. I’ve listened to every one so far.

Quick question for you: We got our house last august, a 3 story, brick Victorian that will be 100 years old next year. It’s in surprisingly good shape, the home inspector thought so, and we agreed with him. Our only problem was the electrical system. They still had some active knob and tube wiring in the home and the insurance company refused to insure it until it was updated. The owners agreed to update it to a 100 amp service, we asked about upgrading it to 200 and we would split the difference, but the electrician wanted $2000 extra so we went with the 100 amp.

Anyway to make a long story short (I know, TOO LATE!) There are 3 places where there’s little or no electricity. 2 of the places are on the front and back porches. There are outlets inside the house where I’d want to place outlets on the outside, and from what I understand from reading online, you just (after turning off the electricity) take the outlet out on the inside, drill a hole to the outside, run the wiring, splice it in, mount the box? Sound about right? What size hole would you recommend? Any other thoughts would be welcome.

Third location is in the attic, there’s a light fixture, basically a bulb hanging from a wire, but no outlets. I wouldn’t be running anything heavy duty up there, beside the light, maybe a fan, radio, and/or my son’s slot car track. I was thinking of mounting a junction box onto the wires to the light fixture and then running some surface mount boxes, one on each end of the attic. Any thoughts on this?

I don’t want to end up on one of your “DIY costly mistakes” episodes, so any help and advice you could give would be greatly appreciated.

Keep up the great work guys!

We discuss Jame’s issue during the show. The one issue James didn’t mention is how much load is on the circuits he wants to extend. If there are not too many outlets on the circuits in question, he can extend the outlets inside the house to he porch as he suggests. A GFCI will be required outside. James could use a surface mount box or a recessed box.

James – Determine if a licensed electrician is required to do the work in your and follow all local codes and permit processes.

For the attic, same issue of not overloading the circuit applies. If you have enough juice, you can certainly add some outlets. However, without more detail about the space (finished or not finished?), it would be difficult for me to provide more explanation. You may need to run wires in conduit if it is exposed to contact/abuse. You may run it by a local electrician to make sure everything is up to snuff.

If James can get a new circuit, wire, back to his new panel then it would be ideal. Same for the porch outlets. Adding a new circuit will ensure you are not overloading anything.

Speaking of GFCIs.

wallbox extenderWhat do you do when retrofitting an older house and the boxes too shallow to fit a GFCI? Well, you could change the box to a bigger one. This can be a challenge when you are trying to avoid damage to plaster, tile or wallpaper. They sell box extenders at the home center. Those box extenders are designed for when you add tile. They are not meant to be seen.

Handyguy Paul found an interesting solution. Extended wall plates. These plates gove you the extra room you need and have a finished look. You can get the in our Amazon Affiliate store.

The Handyguys addressed some methods for adding a GFCI outlet where there is only a shallow electrical box.


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