Home improvement and renovation tips

Exteriors


Fence design tips

Putting up a fence seems simple enough. Just set some posts, run the rails, and nail on the boards. But a fence is a big part of your yard, and you should spend a bit of time planning ahead of time to make sure you end up with a fence you can live with. Here

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Kitchens


Plan a kitchen island (Part I)

A kitchen island is a great way to add storage and counter space to your kitchen without cutting into valuable wall space for appliances, tables and other things. Plus, you can put the counter wherever you want it; you’re not restricted by the wall layout. Islands can also house appliances you don’t have room for

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Tools


What drywall tools do you need? (Part I)

You can get by doing drywall with a minimum of tools and materials, but if you want the job to go well — without frustration — there are a few things you may want to consider. Knives Drywall knives come in various widths. You might be able to get by with two — either a

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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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