Home improvement and renovation tips

Bathrooms


Create a hideaway medicine cabinet

This hanging mirror is actually a medicine cabinet door. Rough frame in the opening with 2x4s, allowing an extra nailer for more flexibility in placement of the hinges. Trim out the inside and add shelves. Attach a lighweight mirror with hinges glued or screwed to the mirror and screwed into the nailer. Glue a set

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Plumbing


Save energy with an upstairs laundry room – 1

It came from the basement. Long tucked in a dusty, cold corner, a bare lightbulb casting eerie shadows behind it, it was ready to join the living… Then main floor laundry rooms became popular. Now, there was no longer a need to lug a load of laundry down to the dreary basement to wash it,

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Tools


Tools you need for electrical work

If you’re going to do any electrical work around the house, use this checklist to get ready. Insulated needle-nose pliers. These are handy for getting into tight places and pulling wires through. Electrician’s pliers. Even handier than the needle nose. If you’ve ever stripped insulation off wires with a utility knife, you’ll really appreciate 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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