Home improvement and renovation tips

Exteriors


Winter gutter/eavestrough prep

The joys of autumn: family gatherings, rosy apples, jack-o-lanterns… and inspecting and cleaning the gutters. Yep, it’s that time again. Here’s how to keep your gutters in tip-top trim. Start with the ladder. You have a perfect angle when the distance from the house to the bottom of the ladder is 1/4 the distance from

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Kitchens


How to replace your kitchen countertop (Part 2 of 3)

Last time we measured and ordered. Next, you need to remove the existing countertop. Start by shutting off the plumbing to the sink, and disconnecting the supply pipes to the faucet from underneath, by loosening the fittings. Disconnect the drainpipe from the drain(s) by loosening these nuts. You’ll also need to use a wrench to

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Tools


Top 10 trim tips

Looking back at the archives, we pulled out a few of the trim tips that will save you time and give you a job you can be proud of. 1. Always leave a reveal around window and door casing. That’s the little 1/8″ or so edge of the jamb that you can see on the

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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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