Home improvement and renovation tips


Bathroom renovation tips

Renovating or working in your bathroom has its own challenges. Here are some tips to make the job go more easily. When working with finished nuts and parts, such as chrome or brass-plated faucets, be careful not to scratch the finish. Here’s a quick way to modify your ordinary pliers or pipe wrench. Cut two

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How to install a toilet – Part 3

With your toilet bowl in position, you’re ready to add the tank. Lay the bowl on its side on a towel, and install the rubber gasket on the outlet. Insert the bolts provided, with washers, per instructions now. A standard setup would be bolt with rubber washer inserted from inside the tank, secured with a

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Read more in Plumbing


Pull Saws 101 – How to choose one

Last time we talked about the advantages of a pull-stroke saw. This time, we’ll have a look at getting one for yourself. A traditional Japanese saw looks a bit like a meat cleaver, with a long hardwood handle, wrapped in bamboo, extending straight back from the blade. They come in a variety of specialty blades

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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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