Home improvement and renovation tips

Exteriors


Driveway paving tips

While expense and ease of installation play no small part in choosing driveway paving, the more prominent your driveway, the more its new look will be noticed. Many of the patio options we discussed will also work on your driveway, with similar installation. The key thing for most driveways is proper preparation with a good

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Plumbing


Soldering tips and techniques

It may seem the easiest water supply connections are plastic and pressure fitted. However, soldering can be just as easy. You’ll need a propane torch, which consists of a cannister and a valve attachment which screws into the top. You’ll also need a roll of lead-free solder, solder flux, an inexpensive pipe cutter and steel

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Tools


Pull Saws 101 – what the heck are they?

Even if you’re outfitted with three or four types of power saws, there are times when you’ll need a handsaw. More and more North American carpenters — of both the finish and the rough construction variety — are discovering a tool their Japanese counterparts have used for centuries. It’s called the pull-stroke saw. Instead of

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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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How to install a toilet – Tips

Now that we’ve installed a toilet, we’ll review a few tips to help you do the job with finesse. 1. It’s a good idea to pick up an extra valve just in case your soldering attempt isn’t up to snuff… particularly with a ball valve. Or do the job while the store’s open. 2. Use a MAPP gas torch when soldering such a valve. 3. When tightening the supply hose

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