Home improvement and renovation tips

Exteriors


Your spring home checkup

As if you didn’t need more reminders about all the things you need to do to get ready for summer – here’s our pestering list of spring cleanup and inspections. 1. Check out the roof and gutters. Winter can be damaging to shingles and drainage areas. Look for missing or damaged shingles. Make sure gutters

Read More…

Read more in Exteriors

Plumbing


How to survive the one-toilet bathroom reno

Planning a bathroom renovation? Here’s a tip you’ll thank us for. If you don’t already have one, build a second bathroom first. Just kidding, but you should plan on minimizing the amount of time the toilet’s out of service. Maybe you’re doing renovations behind or above the toilet and you need it out of the

Read More…

Read more in Plumbing

Tools


Sanding secrets from the pros 2

Last time we looked at a few of those amazing sanding tips those workshop guys seem to have so much time to come up with. But, actually, some of them are pretty neat. Here are a few more. To make sure you’re sanding the entire surface of a piece, draw a bunch of squiggles over

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…