Home improvement and renovation tips

Bathrooms


Ways to fight mold and mildew

With all that moisture hanging around in your bathroom, mold and mildew (those kissin’ cousins in the fungus family) are bound to find cozy little homes in cracks and crevices. The nasty stuff isn’t good for your health, so here’s a few things you can do to avoid it. If you’ve already got it, clean

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Kitchens


All about kitchen floors (Part II)

Last time we looked at vinyl. Here are some other choices. Hardwood is more expensive than vinyl, but the look more than compensates. It’s warm, it goes great with most cabinets, and it can be quite durable and easy to maintain. Traditional planking is a bit of work to install, and then you need to

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Tools


Choose the right hand and power saw for every job (Part 2 of 3)

Before we get into power, here are some other useful handsaws. Hacksaw: Held taut in a C-shaped frame, the replaceable blade should have 18-32 ppi for cutting metal. It’s also useful for wood trim. A tight blade and a steady hand prevent crooked cuts and binding. Coping Saw: A shorter, fatter hacksaw-type-thing, with a very

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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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