Home improvement and renovation tips

Exteriors


Stop light pollution (save energy and money)

Outdoor and indoor lighting should be more than functional. It can make your home more attractive and set a mood. But it can also work to your disadvantage if turning on a few lights makes your house look a prison during a jailbreak. Here are some tips to keep your lights doing their jobs without

Read More…

Read more in Exteriors

Kitchens


Six tips to install kitchen cabinets

Some tips to help you put in cabinets easier. Measure twice before ordering. Floors are rarely perfectly level, but your cabinets should be. If you start at the floor’s high spot, you’ll need to shim most of the cabinets — easier than starting low and scribing and cutting the bases. But if the floor varies

Read More…

Read more in Kitchens

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

Read More…

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

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…