Latest Database Entries

  • Legality of DIY electrical and plumbing work

    NEW CONSTRUCTION In the interests of health and safety a number of trades are controlled by law, most particularly plumbing and electricity. The degree to which plumbing and electrical work are actually regulated varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. For instance almost all work performed in...
  • Vent Stack Ice Capping or Evaporation : I GET SEWER ODOURS INSIDE THE HOUSE OCCASIONALLY IN THE WINTER.

      This is one of those problems that are not dealt with seriously enough by the building officials in really cold regions.  I have opened a blog space at the bottom of this article for you to add in your case history so we can demonstrate that this is a large and continuing problem.  Take a look...
  • Can a booster fans be used for the clothes dryer?

    There do exist in-line booster fans that can be used with clothes dryers for long duct runs. But you cannot use just any fan for this purpose. The fan motor and fan blades must be designed to handle the temperature of the dryer exhaust and prevent a build up of lint on a hot motor that could cau...
  • STOPPING WOOD HEATING SMOKE FROM COMING INTO YOUR HOUSE.

    Cliquez ici pour voir cet article en français IS THERE A FIRE IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD? December 2018 - As I was walking home from the grocery store in the Montreal suburb of Longueuil in one of the first cold days of winter, I found myself choking on smoke.   I started looking around to see if the...
  • Miter slot slop Adjustments

    If you have worked through the two previous videos you know that the miter slot is the basis of all line-up on the table saw.  Now, what do we do when our miter gauge wiggles in that all important slot?  We can't change the slot -- so watch the video to learn how to adjust the miter gauge and t...
  • A toilet riser to get the toilet to wheel chair height -- the TOILEVATOR

    Here is a brilliant idea. Many people who have difficulty sitting down and getting up, as well as those who have the problem of getting in and out of wheelchairs have always had to install rather unstable special chairs on top of their toilets. Here is a toilet riser and a soil stack extension th...
  • Setting Concrete Slabs Safely and Easily

    Individuals who invent things always have trouble getting them to market.  Even when they are good products they may not get enough marketing traction to make it really worthwhile.  There are many products that I have fallen in love with that have simply fallen away with time.  I have used my Sla...
  • Stopping cold air drafts from ducts to the outdoors.

    I get a lot of complaints about cold air drafts coming in through ducts connected to the outdoors. Here are some solutions.  Butterfly dampers Any exhaust vent that rises up and out will have a tendency to let cold air fall back down that duct. Quality butterfly dampers are available that have ...
  • Why hire a professional electrician?

      People ask me for professional recommendations and I shy away from doing too much of that.  But the company Electrika is worth a special mention.  First they are competent at doing things right.  Second they are great at trouble shooting and figuring out problems.  You will be won over by thei...
  • PAN FAN - an air filter for toilets

    Over the years I have seen and tested a large number of gadgets designed to get rid of toilet odours, from double walled ceramic toilets that had an exhaust pipe to the outdoors, to exhaust ducts that fitted under the tank and various carbon filters situated under the seat. Finally an New Zealand...
  • Ventilation-Maximum - A Canadian Company in Quebec

      Why I like Ventilation-Maximum products   History 101 of perfecting snow country housing Getting air in and out of our house has always been difficult, complicated by heavy snow, blowing snow and freezing rain.  Historically all Canadian houses had vents in each of the end walls of an attic,...
  • Underwater Epoxy

    OK, here's an endorsement for an incredible product, and they don't even give me free glue! They sometimes call it Wet-Bond and sometimes Underwater Glue but it all comes from a company called Mr. Sticky -- www.mrstickys.com. Actually the whole range of Mr. Sticky adhesives are two part epoxies....
  • OIL LIFT -- getting oil off of anything.

    Most driveway cleaners are powerful solvents that dilute the oil, even dissolve the asphalt, and create more pollution. Research in British Colombia has shown that more oil gets into the ocean from streets, driveways and parking lots than from oil tanker spills. So in an effort to clean the ocea...
  • Cracked Driveway

    Lisa in Edmonton has a water main that runs right under her driveway. The shutoff valve even comes up in the middle of the driveway. Erosion appears to be following the pipe and has cracked her driveway. She wants to temporarily fix it for now, and later replace the driveway, but doesn't feel she...
  • How long should a ladder be? and How far from the wall?

    Dave from Ottawa writes : Is there a formula to determine the correct length of an extension ladder for a particular application? I suppose one should consider what is a safe overlap of the ladders, the length a ladder should extend beyond the point of contact where it touches the edge of the roo...
  • Ventilation hoods -- how to identify quality

      Ventilation Maximum makes some of the best outdoor vent hoods on the market – and makes them to work in cold and snow covered climates.  They often innovate and others copy.  For instance they invented the square cupola that replaced both the troublesome spinning turbines and the rooftop bu...
  • Dog/Cat doors for a snowy climate

    For a long time it has been a dream to have dog and even cat doors that would allow the pets in and out on their own without compromising the house itself in a cold snow filled climate. When a pet door doesn't work in our climate, the snow can fill the living room. All efforts seemed to fail to ...
  • Concrete and Rock demolation without explosives

      Dynamite can disturb structures a long distance away and can even open cracks to let soil gasses rise up where they did not pass before.  Dynamite cannot be used on or under a house.  Jackhammering is not only annoying but vibrations can cause secondary damage to an adjoining house.  EcoBust ...
  • Eco-Ice Grip -- Treated wood chips for slippery ice

    This is one amazing product.  Softwood wood chips with just the right mix of magnesium chloride to help the chips to melt into and stick on the ice - making the safest icy walkway I ever walked on.  This is a Swiss invention and Canadian distribution is just beginning.  See comments at the end o...
  • PROFESSIONAL SERVICES -- removing the fog from thermal pane windows.

      When condensation shows up inside a thermal pane double window (between the two pieces of glass), you know that the seals around the edge have been compromised, allowing moisture to get inside. These cannot really be re-sealed so the standard response to this problem is to replace the glass ...
  • Specialty - Cross Cuts

    Shelving often requires evenly spaced identical width slots.  These do not need to be all measured out.  The key is an indexing jig.  In a latter video we will use this indexing jig to make box joints.