Home improvement and renovation tips

Exteriors


How to fix a rotted post

Replacing a rotted deck post can be a big job, as it’s often tied in to the deck at a number of locations, forcing you to dismantle half the deck to get at the post. So try and replace the rotted section only. Of course, you can’t just cut it out and toenail in a

Read More…

Read more in Exteriors

Kitchens


The proper way to install a double drain

Here’s a common plumbing faux pas. Maybe you’ve even committed it yourself when replacing old plumbing with fresh new ABS. The good news is, it’s an easy fix. In a double-drain kitchen sink, the drain setup often looks like this. The drainage will be good from the one side, but because the center T should

Read More…

Read more in Kitchens

Tools


Pull Saws 101 – How to choose one

Last time we talked about the advantages of a pull-stroke saw. This time, we’ll have a look at getting one for yourself. A traditional Japanese saw looks a bit like a meat cleaver, with a long hardwood handle, wrapped in bamboo, extending straight back from the blade. They come in a variety of specialty blades

Read More…

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

Read More…

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

Read More…

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

Read More…