Home improvement and renovation tips

Bathrooms


How to survive the one-toilet bathroom reno

Planning a bathroom renovation? Here’s a tip you’ll thank us for. If you don’t already have one, build a second bathroom first. Just kidding, but you should plan on minimizing the amount of time the toilet’s out of service. Maybe you’re doing renovations behind or above the toilet and you need it out of the

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Plumbing


Hot water heater care

Over time, sediment can build up in your hot water heater. If enough sediment builds up, it blocks heat and can also effectively decrease the size of your tank. You need to turn up your heater to maintain sufficient hot water to fill a bathtub or give you a shower, which can increase the risk

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Tools


How to drill in concrete

Drilling through wood… no problem. Metal? With the right bit, easy! How about concrete? If you have the right tools, it’s a lot easier than you may have imagined (or may have experienced.) Wood is made up of fibers, and your spinning drill bit slices its way through. The harder and sharper the better, of

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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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