Home improvement and renovation tips

Exteriors


Avoid these painting mistakes (Part 2)

Last time we began a look at some of the more common exterior painting mistakes. Here are some more things to avoid if you want an attractive, long-lasting job. Painting in direct sunlight Sunlight causes the surface of the paint to dry quickly, trapping the liquid paint thinners under the skin. When they turn to

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Plumbing


How to survive the one-toilet bathroom reno

Planning a bathroom renovation? Here’s a tip you’ll thank us for. If you don’t already have one, build a second bathroom first. Just kidding, but you should plan on minimizing the amount of time the toilet’s out of service. Maybe you’re doing renovations behind or above the toilet and you need it out of the

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Tools


How to make and use an inexpensive water level

At some time or another, you’re going to need a level to determine horizontal or vertical planes, and naturally, different jobs require different tools. A standard carpenter’s spirit level will do for most jobs. Start with a 24″ or 30″ level, or a 4-footer if you’re doing a lot of framing or leveling bricks or

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More reno demo tips – plumbing protection

Eric Z, a long-time reader, experienced renovator/builder, and former owner of a large building supply store in Toronto, had some smart suggestions after reading our reno-demo checklist. “I lost an entire renovation,” he writes. “$40,000 in damage – due to a shut-off valve failing in the night the day before the new sink was to be installed.” As you can see from this photo, during the entirety of our long

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Five-point checklist for a trouble-free renovation demolition

A recent kitchen renovation reminded me, in some cases a little too late, about some key areas to cover up during a demolition or drywall mudding/sanding. Here you go. Mask doorways into other areas of the house Well, duh. Okay, I did remember this one. For a major old-house plaster demo or drywall sanding, 6 mil plastic and painter’s tape do the trick to seal the openings well. We stapled

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How to install a toilet – Tips

Now that we’ve installed a toilet, we’ll review a few tips to help you do the job with finesse. 1. It’s a good idea to pick up an extra valve just in case your soldering attempt isn’t up to snuff… particularly with a ball valve. Or do the job while the store’s open. 2. Use a MAPP gas torch when soldering such a valve. 3. When tightening the supply hose

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