Home improvement and renovation tips


Outdoor/exterior wood cleaning tips

Is that beautiful wood siding or deck looking a little tired and blah? It doesn’t have to. Let’s look at what causes discolored wood, and give you some ideas on what you can do. First guess? Yep, dirt. Try scrubbing with a stiff brush and a detergent solution. If it comes off, that’s all you

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Read more in Exteriors


All about kitchen floors (Part I)

Choosing floors for your kitchen might take a little more attention than you’d spend on other rooms. This is because kitchen floors must do a number of things well. They should complement your cabinets and appliances. They need to be tough enough to handle a lot of traffic and the inevitable spills. And they must

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Read more in Kitchens


Power saw safety tips (Part I)

Power saws can save a lot of time and work, but they’re one of the most common causes of injuries among do-it-yourselfers. If you don’t saw often, lack of familiarity can make you nervous and you might be unfamiliar with the characteristics of the tool you’re using. If you use your saw a lot, it’s

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Read more in Tools

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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