We needed to close some of the gaps in the outside walls to prevent critters from coming and going. This meant boarding up a few basement windows, adding a threshold to the main back door, and adding some wire mesh to a few other spots. We have our work cut out for us in the attic, but we haven’t gotten to that yet. For now we’re focusing on the ground level perimeter.

Basement window before

This fusion of plexiglass and incompetence was the laundry room window. I ripped all of it out, but left the original window intact, though it was missing a couple of panes. After tucking the wires into the siding to get them out of the way, I screwed a 2×2 cedar board into the bottom so I had a flat surface on all four sides. Cutting the plywood to fit was a trick because the brick foundation is parged in a stucco-like cement. After a few trims I got it in and screwed it in place. Then I painted it, filled the gaps with spray foam, and when that had set I sealed the edges with an exterior caulk.

Basement window after

The back door had a large gap under it, due in part to the porch sloping to one side and in part to the door being a standard size and the doorway being not. I cut out a clean space using the reciprocating saw and used a two by four, along with some shimming blocks to get it level-ish under the door. This wasn’t meant to be quality work, just create a nice snug fit for the door. We filled underneath with spray foam and painted the whole thing to keep the water out.

Back door threshold

The result wasn’t half-bad. I’m sure it could be better, but ultimately we’ll be tearing the whole enclosed porch down, so I wasn’t about to make it especially pretty. It’s now keeping the elements and the rats outside and making us feel a tad more secure.

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