Home improvement and renovation tips

Exteriors


How to install siding straight and true

It should be easy. Lap or clapboard siding comes with a rabbet in the bottom edge, which sits directly on the piece below, so keeping the siding level and consistent all the way up the side of the house should be a breeze. But if you plan it well, and keep an eye on it,

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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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Tools


Pull Saws 101 – Use and care

Pull-stroke saws take some getting used to, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll quickly see the benefits. To begin with, the blades are a lot thinner — up on 50 percent thinner — and the flexibility might throw you at first. On the other hand, since the pressure is applied on the

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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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