Home improvement and renovation tips

Exteriors


Great gate design ideas

If your fence is starting to bore you, break it up. No, no, put the sledge away. Break up the design; do something a little special with the gate and renew your entire fence. It can be as simple as spacing boards on an otherwise solid fence. Or you can change materials. A wrought iron

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Plumbing


How to stop a toilet from constantly running

Water running on and on into your toilet tank is both irritating and wasteful, but it’s usually easy to fix. If water runs constantly, it could be draining into your overflow pipe, which you can see by lifting the tank lid. Lift the float ball (a plastic ball attached to a horizontal arm) to see

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Tools


Plan a great workshop 1

Whether you have your workshop in the garage, the basement, a shed, or a small back room, here are some tips to help you make it work for you. To determine where to place your bench and power tools, make a scale drawing of the room, and make paper cutouts of each item. Move these

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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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