Home improvement and renovation tips


Build a better deck (Part 1 of 3)

If you’re building a deck, there are a number of species which look great, weather beautifully, and require no maintenance. Of course, they’re also more expensive than other woods, and can sometimes be tough to get your hands on. Pressure-treated lumber is the most popular alternative, as it’s cheaper, very durable, eventually loses its color

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Read more in Exteriors


Save energy with an upstairs laundry room – 3

It’s only a laundry room, but it’s still a room in your house, and since it’s on the busy upper floor, it’s going to get visited more often. So have fun decorating it. You may want to extend your home’s décor into the laundry room, or maybe let your inner designer go wild, trying out

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Read more in Plumbing


Avoid these painting mistakes (Part 3)

Here’s the last in our instalments of mistakes to avoid when painting the outside of your house. For a job that lasts, don’t try this at home. Waiting too long between the primer coat and the finish coat After applying an oil-based primer, you should apply your next coat within two weeks. Otherwise, a layer

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Read more in Painting/Decorating

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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