Home improvement and renovation tips


How to stop a toilet leak (Part II)

Last time, we identified a few causes of water around your toilet. Here are some more. If the water’s still leaking near the tank, you need to replace the tank-to-bowl gasket. To do this, shut off and disconnect the water line. Flush and drain the tank as much as possible. Then remove the tank bolts,

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Read more in Bathrooms


Plan a kitchen island (Part I)

A kitchen island is a great way to add storage and counter space to your kitchen without cutting into valuable wall space for appliances, tables and other things. Plus, you can put the counter wherever you want it; you’re not restricted by the wall layout. Islands can also house appliances you don’t have room for

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Read more in Kitchens


Safe chainsaw use 3

Ready to fire up that chainsaw? More than many tools in your arsenal, you should inspect this one often, and give it a little TLC now and then. Keep your saw tuned up and sharp. Sharpening takes a bit of work, but even if you have automatic sharpening, it should be done fairly regularly. File

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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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