Home improvement and renovation tips


Exterior painting tips revisited

If you’re finally getting round to that exterior paint job, here are some techniques to make it go a little more smoothly. Summer’s a great time to get that outdoor painting done. Only problem is, the hot summer sun can be hard on fresh paint. So work behind the sun. Start with the north side

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Read more in Exteriors


Soldering tips and techniques

It may seem the easiest water supply connections are plastic and pressure fitted. However, soldering can be just as easy. You’ll need a propane torch, which consists of a cannister and a valve attachment which screws into the top. You’ll also need a roll of lead-free solder, solder flux, an inexpensive pipe cutter and steel

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Read more in Plumbing


How to remove wallpaper

You’re ready to get rid of that circa 1975 wallpaper. Where do you start? First off, decide if you even need to remove it. If it’s well-attached and has good smooth seams, you can simply wallpaper over the existing layer. To determine whether this is an option, rub your hand over the wall. If it

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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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