Home improvement and renovation tips

Exteriors


Spring driveway repairs

Winter and frost can do a number on your driveway. If your final few feet of driving gives you a sinking feeling, here’s help. Obviously, if your driveway’s gravel, you just need to fill the holes. Other materials require a little more work. Asphalt Clean out the hole, and if it’s really deep, fill the

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Plumbing


Trunk o' Tips – abs cutting tips, painting tip

Thought we’d reach into the tip bag today to help you through some tough situations. Cutting ABS pipe is easy when you have a lot of space; you just use a hacksaw (or a backsaw, which can give you a straighter cut). But what if you have to retrofit something in a tight spot? Make

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Painting/Decorating


The rules of wallpapering

One rule you MUST follow. 1) If you value your marriage, don’t wallpaper with your spouse. But seriously, folks. Here are some other important rules. 2) Read and obey all instructions that come with the paper. Papers vary in their soaking, setting and application times and techniques. 3) Check the rolls before you open them

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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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