Home improvement and renovation tips

Exteriors


Avoid these painting mistakes (Part 1)

You put a lot of work into painting the outside of your house, so it’s a real pain when problems show up a couple weeks, months or years down the road. The best way to avoid these problems is to do it right from the start. Here’s how to avoid some of the most common

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Kitchens


How to plan a new kitchen

It’s a big job, but kitchen remodelling brings a great return on your investment. Layout, look and atmosphere. Evaluate your family needs, with ample input from the cook. Is the kitchen the heart of your home? Do you want to eliminate traffic? Is there more than one cook in action at once? Do you entertain

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Painting/Decorating


How to paint your basement floor

Last time, we listed three ways you could finish your basement floor and covered the pros and cons of each. Let’s get into the how-to. Paint is by far the most inexpensive — and the simplest — of basement floor coverings. Here’s how to do it right. If the concrete is brand new, it needs

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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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