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Jon's Home Improvement Encyclopedia

This site is all about information: tips, techniques and answers to thousands of your questions collected over the last 20+ years. Some working techniques are organized by topic in the video centered Learning Curve tab, but all of that and much more is organized in a searchable database. How to find an answer to your question is the key task with so much information so we have built several doorways into this encyclopedic database allowing you to use the one that suits your own style of searching best.

The Latest Information Overviews Mystery
  • Keyword Search


Personally I find that using keywords is the most efficient way to find what you want.

There is a “Keyword Search” field at the top of this page where you can type in a question and the computer will take your question and search out all keyword related entries.

Further down there is a “Keyword Filtering” drop down field with the full (and very long) keyword listing where you can choose a keyword directly. Just start typing a word, or scroll down the list. When you choose one you will get a list of all articles related to that keyword. If you want to refine your search, on the left-hand column you will see another drop down field that will allow you to choose a keyword to refine your list. If the list is still long, use that field on the left to refine it further. This is actually a very quick method for getting directly to what you are seeking.

Text Search

Some people prefer the Wiki search technique so there is the typical “Full Text Search” field that may find a buried gem but gives longer lists of possible answers for you to sift through. A more efficient version for longer question can be found in the Comments Search, explained below.


There are three buttons above leading to special searches like “Latest Entries” for those who want to see only what is new; or “Overview” for those who are looking for an understanding of concepts or house systems; and then “Mystery” for the stranger and often funny side of Home Improvement.

Comments Search

On the Contacts tab there is a link designed to allow you to send comments to Jon where you can write a full description of your problem. As it explains there, he will not likely individually answer these comments, but there is a sophisticated search engine that analyses your full description after you send the comment which is surprisingly good at leading you to answers to your questions if they do exist someplace on this rather massive encyclopaedic site. So there Jon gets your comments or questions and you probably get your answers immediately.

If you still can't find the answer to your question, take a look at the Contact tab.

Because of public demand for useful details, Jon Eakes concentrates on those details and leaves full scale projects to others. The encyclopedia you find here was originally built on question and answers aired on HGTV Canada and the DIY Network in the US over 8 years of Home Improvement shows with Jon Eakes, questions and answers from Jon’s professional articles in the Canadian Home Builder’s Magazine as well as a constant flow of e-mails. As he comes across questions not addressed already, he modifies or adds to this encyclopedia so it not only grows but perfects with time.

SAFETY for both you and your house must always be on your mind when undertaking renovations or repairs. The short answers in this database cannot always list all precautions. SAFETY REMAINS YOUR OWN RESPONSIBILITY. As a general rule, if you feel unsure about anything, or do not have the necessary equipment to undertake a task safely; obtain equipment, help or contract the job with a professional. Click here for a most interesting story about avoiding accidents.