Home improvement and renovation tips

Exteriors


All about flashing (part II)

Here are some more flashing facts. We’ll look at the two options when a sloping roof meets a vertical wall. Horizontal along the wall: In this case, a piece of 10″ flashing bent in half (or valley flashing) will do the trick. Slide one end up under the siding, and nail the bottom half over

Read More…

Read more in Exteriors

Plumbing


How to build a drainage system 2 – more tips

Last time we talked a bit about planning your ABS or PVC drainage system. Here are some more tips on laying out and assembling the system. When changing direction on the horizontal, try and keep the change of direction even more gradual. A sharp corner on the horizontal is a good way to clog things

Read More…

Read more in Plumbing

Tools


10 steps to nailer/nail gun safety

If you’re working on a big framing project, you may have considered getting your hands on a nailer, or a “nail gun”. No more hammering, or the sore arms, smashed thumbs and callouses that come with it. Of course, a nail gun can be a tad more dangerous. Before you arm yourself, make sure you’re

Read More…

Read more in Tools

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

Read More…

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

Read More…

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

Read More…