Home improvement and renovation tips

Exteriors


How to repair concrete (Part II)

Last time, we looked at materials and helped you decide how to tackle your concrete repair. Let’s get down to patching that damaged area. Remove any loose or crumbling sections of concrete, and brush the area firmly with a steel brush. If the surrounding area appears loose, tap it lightly with a mini-sledge to test

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Plumbing


How to stop your toilet tank from sweating

If you have condensation on your toilet tank, you could be damaging your tiles or causing rot in your subfloor. This “sweating” occurs when moist air hits the cold sides of your toilet tank, so it stands to reason that warming up the sides of the tank will cure the problem. Of course, you could

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Tools


Safe chainsaw use 3

Ready to fire up that chainsaw? More than many tools in your arsenal, you should inspect this one often, and give it a little TLC now and then. Keep your saw tuned up and sharp. Sharpening takes a bit of work, but even if you have automatic sharpening, it should be done fairly regularly. File

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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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