Home improvement and renovation tips


Unclog that toilet

Mostly, your toilet sits there doing its job. It’s only when you have problems that you start to think about it. A clogged toilet really gets you thinking about it, especially when Nature is insistently calling. Fear not, there’s hope. Your first weapon of choice should be the venerable plunger. Looks simple enough. But do

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Read more in Bathrooms


How to plan a new kitchen

It’s a big job, but kitchen remodelling brings a great return on your investment. Layout, look and atmosphere. Evaluate your family needs, with ample input from the cook. Is the kitchen the heart of your home? Do you want to eliminate traffic? Is there more than one cook in action at once? Do you entertain

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Read more in Kitchens


Create the illusion of a higher ceiling

Time to reach into the tip bag for some home decorating illusions. Are your rooms small with low ceilings? With a little magic, you can make the ceiling appear higher. Try hanging pictures just a little lower than normal, which increases the wall space above them. Or paint the ceiling a lighter shade than the

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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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