Home improvement and renovation tips


GFCI line and load

You need to installing a GFCI outlet near wet locations in bathrooms and kitchens, and as simple as it is, replacing a standard outlet with a GFCI does have a couple of wrinkles. With a standard outlet, you may connect the black (hot) wire coming from the panel to one of the brass screws on

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Read more in Bathrooms


All about kitchen floors (Part I)

Choosing floors for your kitchen might take a little more attention than you’d spend on other rooms. This is because kitchen floors must do a number of things well. They should complement your cabinets and appliances. They need to be tough enough to handle a lot of traffic and the inevitable spills. And they must

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Read more in Kitchens


An introduction to wrenches

    There’s at least one in every toolbox. But wrenches come in all shapes, sizes and types, and each is suited to different tasks. Here’s a rundown of a few you should add to your arsenal, if you don’t have them already. Adjustable wrench. The old standby is a great, versatile tool. It comes in various

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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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