Home improvement and renovation tips


Bathroom safety tips

The bathroom can be a dangerous place, but you can make it safer by taking care of a few things. The bottom of your bathtub should be fairly flat, since soap, water and a slope make a slippery combination. If you find yours is more like a bowl than a plate, consider installing adhesive-backed textured

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Read more in Bathrooms


How to install a toilet – Part 1

So, let’s talk toilets. Just realized that after all this time, we’ve never discussed how to install a toilet. We’ve talked about repairs and tips and tricks to make your toilet work, but not about how to put one of ’em in. We’ll figure you’ve got the rough plumbing in, and if you followed the

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Read more in Plumbing


Safe chainsaw use 3

Ready to fire up that chainsaw? More than many tools in your arsenal, you should inspect this one often, and give it a little TLC now and then. Keep your saw tuned up and sharp. Sharpening takes a bit of work, but even if you have automatic sharpening, it should be done fairly regularly. File

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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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