Home improvement and renovation tips


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

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Read more in Bathrooms


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 Kitchens


Quick wallpaper repairs

If you have wallpaper problems, but you’re not ready to redecorate just yet, simply repair it. Here are cures for some common problems. Lifting seams. Moisten the affected area and carefully lift the wallpaper away from the wall. Apply a thin coat of wallpaper glue (available in small containers) to the wallpaper, then press back

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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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