Home improvement and renovation tips

Exteriors


How to make and use an inexpensive water level

At some time or another, you’re going to need a level to determine horizontal or vertical planes, and naturally, different jobs require different tools. A standard carpenter’s spirit level will do for most jobs. Start with a 24″ or 30″ level, or a 4-footer if you’re doing a lot of framing or leveling bricks or

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Plumbing


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

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Painting/Decorating


Create the illusion of a higher ceiling

Time to reach into the tip bag for some home decorating illusions. Are your rooms small with low ceilings? With a little magic, you can make the ceiling appear higher. Try hanging pictures just a little lower than normal, which increases the wall space above them. Or paint the ceiling a lighter shade than the

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Read more in Painting/Decorating

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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