Home improvement and renovation tips


How to install a basement bathroom

You can never have enough… bathrooms. At least, that’s what some families discover. If all that’s left is the basement, here are some things to look for while planning the new loo-cation. If you’re lucky enough to have the main sewage drain below the level of the basement floor — which is the norm in

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Read more in Bathrooms


How to build a drainage system 2 – more tips

Last time we talked a bit about planning your ABS or PVC drainage system. Here are some more tips on laying out and assembling the system. When changing direction on the horizontal, try and keep the change of direction even more gradual. A sharp corner on the horizontal is a good way to clog things

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Read more in Plumbing


How accurate are your tools? (Part I)

Your measurements are only as good as the tools you’re using. If you count on accurate measurements, perhaps it’s time to put your tools to the test. Framing squares can throw you off if they’re not spot-on. You can test yours in a few minutes, and you might even be able to correct the error.

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Read more in Tools

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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