Home improvement and renovation tips


How to repair concrete (Part I)

Concrete’s a hard material, but water and temperature changes can damage it, particularly if it’s cracked. Water seeps into the cracks, where freezing and thawing causes it to expand and contract. The secret to long-lasting concrete is to repair cracks and damaged concrete as soon as possible. Here are some of the materials you can

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Read more in Exteriors


How to paint and update kitchen cabinets

Your kitchen cabinets just don’t work. Well rip ’em out and start over. Wait a minute. Is it just the style that’s bothering you? If you like your current layout and the carcasses (the boxes) are in good shape, you may be able to reface your cabinets for a fraction of the time and cost

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Read more in Kitchens


How to hang ceiling tiles

This is a fairly fast, economical way to dress up your ceiling. And with the vast number of styles these days, you can easily match or enhance your home’s decor. To give you an idea of what’s involved, here are the basics to attaching tiles in a non-suspended ceiling. First, if your ceiling’s in really

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Read more in Painting/Decorating

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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