House Improvements

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Welcome to the site. We have developed this site to provide you with instructional articles and videos on how to do common and not so common DIY home improvement projects as well as articles on various other topics that are important to any property owner or renter. Whenever possible we provide photos, illustrations and videos to help make things easier for you.

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We also feature a Home Improvement Forum where you can ask questions pertaining to your home improvement or repair issues. It's totally free, just click the Forums link in the top navigation bar.

New Feature: Complete article and video series on building a shed

Recent Home Improvement Forum Discussions

Vapout barrier suggestions needed.
Hello everyone. I just joined this form and this is my first post and I'm looking for suggestions and/or comments. I'm no stranger to home construction and renovations but I'm stuck in deciding how to vapour wrap above the garage. I intend to insul...

Deck joists and posts issues
Hi everyone, I'm brand new to the forum and was completely impressed by Shannon's helpful deck video series. I started a "small" deck project for my mom which was supposed to be just sanding down and sealing her deck boards to give it a facelift. Unf...

Hi Shannon, Just wondering your opinion on using XPS vs EPS on the interior of a concrete basement 4ft below grade in eastern Canada. Planning to use it directly on concrete, with wooden studs fibreglass batt insulation between studs. R-value aside ...

Deck Ledger vs Freestanding - Brick Exterior
Watching the how to deck videos gave me the confidence to go forward with my DIY deck build, however I have run into a snag which is causing me a bit of anxiety. After more research, I have found it may not be suitable to support my 14' x 24' deck wi...

Flooring suggestion
Hello, I am pulling up a carpet in our finished basement and looking to put down a floor. The base is concrete and still has the padding from the carpet. At the home center today I saw many options: vinyl squares, tile that looks like wood and w...

Help finding a straight Adapter, 1/2 NPT Female x Male
All, I am looking for some help finding a specific plumbing part. It is a straight Adapter, 1/2 NPT Female x Male to extend the shower's drop-ear elbow that is recessed in the wall up to the tile wall. Here's my current situation, where I have a b...

We have a problem- no house wrap
Hi all, so...we've gathered all supplies to replace our small bathroom window with a wider but shorter awning window. Lo and behold, we discovered our 1974 vinyl sided house has no wrapping at all. We live in the northern 'burbs outside of NYC, ele...

Side Light Exterior Molding has come loose
The exterior molding around the side light of my front door has come loose. I have already used Liquid Nails Heavy Duty Construction Adhesive and it lasted about a year. Any other suggestions for adhesives? Thanks...

Hardwood installation - Nails came through basement ceiling
Hello I hired a hardwood company to install in my house, it is not finished yet but the wood is completely Installed. Today I noticed that the nails came through the basement ceiling. I will attach a picture. The installer said that is fine becaus...

I am wanting to start my 11' x 9' 6'' free standing deck, but have numerous questions. 1. Building on a existing concrete slab. 2. Attaching to concrete slab with 3. I n...

Treeless Treehouse or Elevated Platform
Hi all. I'm wanting to build a treeless treehouse for my kids. This would essentially be an elevated deck with some fun additions like a fireman's pole, rock climbing wall, and possibly a slide. I'd like to actually build two platforms connected with...

What is this? Loose part found in toilet tank
Found this object in the tank while replacing all the internals in our house's 1969 Gerber commode. It doesn't look to have been doing anything so curious if it serves some toilet related purpose or was left in by mistake?...

Doorway header with limited clearance
Installing a new exterior door and moving up to a standard 80" (old one is 78"). I have very limited vertical clearance and need something that can bear the weight of a small eave and span only 4-5'. Looking for something around 4" high... Steel? ...

Quality hot glue gun?
Well the wife is asking for gift ideas for me. I was thinking lately of getting a hot glue gun. I thought I would tell her to get me a hot glue gun. I don't know what brand to get as with a lot of other things there are a ton of brands to choose from...

Minimum Clearance between heater and surrounding basement walls.
Hey All, What is the Minimum Clearance between the heater and surrounding basement walls? If there is a minimum clearance, is it per side or one or two or three sides? Thx, TK...

Basement window interior sill
Hey guys, I previously posted about this but now have some ideas as Im getting ready to replace the windows. My basement windows are set in mortar (only bottom) and they are in a bad shape (leaky and rotting). They are almost 70 years old. I ordered ...

Concrete mixes
I have access to loads of blasting abrasive “silica sand”. Can I use this as an aggregate, along with 1” clear gravel, in a concrete mix for a frost wall? Is it beneficial or detrimental to strength and durability over regular cement sand? I was th...

Securing windows
Hi. I am looking to secure my windows better then they already are. I was looking at those little locks with the thumbscrews that go in the rail. I live in a rental so I cant screw anything into the frame or modify anything. However, my windows are o...

Hello,I will be insulating our new cabin and was wondering what the best approach would be to combine a rigid foam board with a spray foam.Would I place the foam board first and then spray or vice versa?Thank you. Also love your vids Shannon,you...

Dimmer switch
Installing a new light fixture and switch. The power feed line has black, white and bare copper. Does the switch use only black wire ie. Install the switch breaking the black feed wire only?...

Recent Articles

LED Lighting
So as your incandescent bulbs burn out, you are thinking it may be a good time to switch to LED (light emitting diode) bulbs. LEDs have been around for a few years now and we all know basically 3 things about them. They are pricey, they last much longer than incandescent or CFLs and they are more energy efficient...

Types of common roofing materials
Information on the common types of roofing materials (shingles) found in North America

How to fix a leaky crack in your basement or pool
So you have a crack or old snap tie hole in your basement wall that is leaking water, or maybe it is leaking around the conduit coming through the basement wall to the electrical panel, what should you do?

Keeping A Clean, Organized Work Space
Big or small one of the biggest challenges of keeping your reno project on time and budget is having a plan and a organized work space that is safe.

FAQ: Bathtub Answers
FAQ: Flooring Questions & Answers
Shannon answers many of the frequently asked questions...

How To Connect Multiple Light Fixtures To One Switch
I have a video showing how to conect a recessed light (pot light) to a switch but usually most people want more than one light on a switch. So this article will explain the easiest way to connect multiple light fixtures to one switch. But you may want to watch the video as well.

How To Replace a Razor Plug with a GFCI Receptacle
In the bathrooms of many of our homes that are Pre-1980's you will probably have a plugin in the wall with a large front cover and a small single plugin the middle. These where for razors most of them are so large because there is a small transformer behind there that reduces the voltage so it can be used by razors that did not need 120 volts of electricity.

How To Refinish Hardwood Floors
Just about anyone who has older hardwood floors in their home or has discovered they have them under their carpet has thought about refinishing them. It is true you could hire someone to do this task, but if you have ever gotten it priced out you were probably surprised by the cost.

How To Construct an Arched Opening
Many times people will create an opening through a wall between two rooms similar to a large window opening to try to make their home feel more open or bigger. These openings really can make a big difference but adding an extra feature to them like an arched top makes them more appealing to the eye...

How To Install Hardwood Flooring
Installing hardwood flooring can make a dramatic improvement to any room in your home! Installing the hardwood is not that difficult but does require a couple of specialty tools to do the job right. Most importantly you need an air compressor and hose as well as a flooring nailer/stapler.

Dishwasher Buying Guide
So its finally time to replace that old inefficient dishwasher with a new energy efficient model. The choices seem endless when you start to look around. Every manufacturer has many different models and all different price ranges. How do you decide?...

How To Install Bifold Closet Doors
Installing a bifold closet door is a fairly quick and easy DIY project as long as the door opening you are trying to install it into is the correct size and fairly square.Measuring your opening first will help you determine if...

How To Insulate An Attached Garage
Insulating an attached garage has some special considerations that you must address differently then a unattached garage. The most important issue is that attached garages must have a system in place, to keep carbon monoxide (CO2) from a running vehicle inside the garage, from filtering through the walls and ceiling into the house.

How To Install Insulation In Your Walls
To insulate a wall cavity you have pretty much two different ways to do it. You can either have someone spray foam it or you yourself can install batt style insulation. In this article I will explain to you how to install batt insulation or as sometimes referred to as fiberglass insulation.

DIY New Home Construction
So you think you want to take on building your own home as a ! Or at the very least you want to act as your own general contractor and as well do what you are comfortable with tackling yourself. Well this can be a very rewarding but also risky undertaking.

How To Install Poly Vapor Barrier
Installing polyethylene (poly) to the warm side of a exterior wall is very important. This is generally referred to as installing vapour barrier because the main function is to stop the warm moist air in your home from entering the cold interior space inside of your wall cavity. Privacy Policy