Home improvement and renovation tips

Bathrooms


Ways to fight mold and mildew

With all that moisture hanging around in your bathroom, mold and mildew (those kissin’ cousins in the fungus family) are bound to find cozy little homes in cracks and crevices. The nasty stuff isn’t good for your health, so here’s a few things you can do to avoid it. If you’ve already got it, clean

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Plumbing


How to stop a toilet leak (Part I)

If your toilet is leaking, and you’re not sure where it’s coming from, it’s time to do some detective work. Dry up the water regularly, and examine the area around the toilet. If the bowl and tank are generally wet, there’s a good chance it’s condensation, caused by cold water constantly running into the toilet.

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Tools


Techniques to mark cutlines in wood and other materials

Some of the most important tools on the job are the least expensive, and the most often overlooked. Once you’ve measured and calculated your angle, you need to make your mark accurately. Here’s what you need. For framing and other rough carpentry, a soft “carpenters” pencil leaves a dark mark that’s easy to see. The

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A mouse ate my dishwasher drain hose and I don’t know what to do! (A quick fix)

I don’t know why they’re here. It’s summer and it’s warm and there are lots of goodies outside. But I guess that’s why they call them house mice. The water under the sink appeared between one onslaught of guests and another dinner gathering that night. So I took my usual decisive approach to a problem such as this. I ignored it. Something must have spilled. It was a momentary leak

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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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