Home improvement and renovation tips

Exteriors


The parts of a window

You probably know a few window terms; you can probably safely identify a sash. But if you’re going to do any serious window talking, here’s a glossary to help you pontificate with confidence. Sash Let’s definie it anyway. A sash is any framed piece of glass in a window. It might move, but it can

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Plumbing


Help for "lazy" toilets – fix the flush

If your toilet is getting lazy — that is, if it’s not flushing as well as it should be — it probably just needs a little attention. A toilet flushes by quickly filling with water, which begins the flush. Then siphoning action from the p-trap finishes things off. So a few things can lead to

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Painting/Decorating


How to make new wood look old

If you’ve ever compared antique wood with modern replicas, you know why people will buy up salvage to make furniture. Old wood develops a deep, rich patina you just can’t fake. That said, you can come pretty darn close. Here are some ways to distress and “age” new wood. Pine and other softwoods acquire color

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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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