Home Renovations: Patching Exterior Wall

The previous owner of our house did some renovations which included adding a couple of water faucets and an electrical outlet to the outside of the house. Unfortunately, these were done very poorly, as the photos show:

He basically cut rough holes through the siding, building paper, exterior wall and insulation and didn’t bother to patch it back up again. I’d like to patch up the holes he left behind but I’ve never patched holes in the exterior wall of a house before. Any advice from those who’ve done something similar would be very much appreciated. Is it sufficient to just cut some wood to size to cover up the hole, caulk around the edges and then add some trim to tidy it up?


I think the main thing you’ll need is some new siding. See if you can get a few sheets of the same type and color. Then you’ll be able to cut out better, more exact holes that will look better. The problem will be locating such siding, and color-matching (even if the same factory color is available, the color on your house’s existing siding has likely faded some, and new siding will look ‘off’).

Alternative 2 is to get some wood, cut it to fit, then paint it the right color. It wouldn’t be perfect, but would be better than what you have, IMO. A paint store can probably color-match your siding reasonably closely.

Thanks, Phil. A couple of other outlets that he did patch use wood cut to size and stained the same colour as the house’s exterior trim. The effect looks quite good so I think I’ll continue with that approach. I’ll likely fill any gaps behind the wood with loose fill insulation and maybe seal it up with building paper too.

When did you last paint your house?
it’s wood so a good protective coating should be applied roughly every 10 years - if that time is coming up, then wait, patch with wood and paint everything to match.

My advice would be to shoot expanding foam into the insulation, then cover the hole in the house with 3/4 plywood, either remove the faucets, cut a hole, and thread on or put two pieces with half-moons around the pipe. Screw it down thoroughly, caulk the edges (or use the roof sealant clear stuff, if you want it bombproof) foam inside by the pipe, then seal the pipe. From the look of those holes, I’m 90% scared of water, and 10% scared of bugs.


That’s not wood–it’s vinyl or fiberglass siding. So, no painting. Alas, it would be easier to repair if it were wood. As it is, even if you can find the exact siding that was used, it won’t match because the vinyl siding on your house will have faded. This is a pretty good summary of how to do small patches in that sort of siding, though.

Most Redneck Water Faucet Ever.

Incidentally, do you have a rodent/bug problem? Because those holes, they are like breaches in the walls of your fortress.

Yeah, it’s something else, isn’t it? The previous owner took on some pretty ambitious projects and I have to admire his can-do attitude; the only problem is that his skills sometimes weren’t up to the task.

We don’t have a bug problem but we do have mice. My wife surprised one in a kitchen cupboard the other day which immediately moved patching these holes to the top of the honey-do list.

Thanks for all the suggestions folks. I’ll probably tackle the job over the weekend.

One thing you could always do if you aren’t interested in replacing the vinyl siding and instead doing a patch job is build a box/enclousure around it. It’ll add some bulk to the side of the house, but it’s probably your best bet for a temporary patch until you do decide to do a siding replacement for that section. You’ll just have to make sure you make a little door for two of them so you can open/close it when needed when plugging something in / turning on the faucet.

As for painting, yes you can paint vinyl siding, so keep that in mind when you get replacement siding if you can’t find the exact colour matchup for your current siding.

Incidentally, because it must be asked; why do people do shit like that to their houses?

I hate the half-assed do-it-yourselfers. I’m all for saving money. But unless you are dirt poor, not at the expense of looking like you are living in Mad Max world.

I know this is not Brewers fault, I’m talking about the previous owner. See we had similar problems. About 6 months after we moved into our house, we noticed all of the little shit that was going wrong, because the former owner was a do-it-yourselfer (here, code for cheap fucker who half-assed anything that needed to be done). We had towel bars that were just screwed into the drywall, not studs, not with those expanders that hold them fast on the other side. So towel bars just falling off the walls here and there. Things like that.

The best, however, was the central air conditioning unit. One day, it stopped working. Repair guy comes out (who was with the big local utility, and was not trying to make commission or a buck off me, as they would not end up installing the new unit). Takes a look in there, says, “Normally I probably would be able to fix this thing. It’s not that old. But it looks like someone was in there messing around, and they screwed up all of the wiring and pretty much shorted out and messed up the whole thing. You’ll pretty much have to buy a new unit.”

My neighbors got to hear a great deal of cursing the lineage of their former neighbor at that point.

I wish I had the courage to try to fix this stuff myself like Brewer is doing, but other than basic painting and puttying, I have found that my ineptness with tools, combined with my fear of botching things like that, have lead me to go with professionals.

I think the key is knowing your limitations. I did a sprinkling system myself because after some reading it sounded pretty easy (mentally, not physically). For that same reason I’ll frame my basement. Plumbing and electrical in that basement though? That may be another story. I’d hate to buy the home of some idiot that ran the electrical himself and did something stupid enough to burn the place down.