Home improvement and renovation tips

Exteriors


Avoid these painting mistakes (Part 2)

Last time we began a look at some of the more common exterior painting mistakes. Here are some more things to avoid if you want an attractive, long-lasting job. Painting in direct sunlight Sunlight causes the surface of the paint to dry quickly, trapping the liquid paint thinners under the skin. When they turn to

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Plumbing


Plumbing vents and what they do

Believe it or not, one of the most important parts of your drainage system is up on your roof. Those things that look a bit like anorexic chimneys are vents — the V in your drain-waste-vent (DWV) system. Vents help protect you from gases in the sewer system. To begin with, they allow sewage gases

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Tools


Drilling tips

It all starts with the kind of power drill you have. On the wish list of most homeowners, you’ll find keyless chucks (for quick-change bits) and cordless convenience (make sure you have a few extra batteries.) But even if you have a good old-fashioned drill, try these tricks. In case you haven’t already discovered it,

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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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