Home improvement and renovation tips

Exteriors


All about flashing (part I)

Put that raincoat away! We’re talking about the sheet material (metal, vinyl, etc.) covering joints on the outside of your house to keep moisture from getting in. Here’s a quick rundown on what to use where. Vents: Wherever vents protrude from your roof, you need flashing to seal out water. The flashing is flat with

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Kitchens


Six tips to install kitchen cabinets

Some tips to help you put in cabinets easier. Measure twice before ordering. Floors are rarely perfectly level, but your cabinets should be. If you start at the floor’s high spot, you’ll need to shim most of the cabinets — easier than starting low and scribing and cutting the bases. But if the floor varies

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Painting/Decorating


Painting and refinishing tricks

Here are some tips and ideas from our painter and refinishing friends. To keep air from getting into a paint can and forming a film, store the can upside down. Painting windows and don’t want to mask? Spread some petroleum jelly around the edges of the glass. Or wet some strips of newspaper and place

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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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