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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...
  • Zoom Consultation - Matching raised floor levels

    Video conferencing, like Zoom, is known for head-to-head talks, but it is also a dynamic tool for interactive inspections, remote on-site consultations, and remote on-site teaching.    In 2016 I tried to start a Zoom interactive webinar but back then, not many people were comfortable with video c...
  • Why Zoom problem solving consultations are effective and easy to do!

    Video conferencing, like Zoom, is known for head-to-head talks, but it is also a dynamic tool for interactive inspections, remote on-site consultations and remote on-site teaching.    See for yourself! Let me show you how much amazing detail I can see with a Zoom consultation, and with it being...
  • Zoom Consultation - Drywall compound imperfections

    Video conferencing, like Zoom, is known for head-to-head talks, but it is also a dynamic tool for interactive inspections, remote on-site consultations, and remote on-site teaching.    In 2016 I tried to start a Zoom interactive webinar but back then, not many people were comfortable with video c...
  • Zoom Consultation - Detailing an in-floor heater

    Video conferencing, like Zoom, is known for head-to-head talks, but it is also a dynamic tool for interactive inspections, remote on-site consultations, and remote on-site teaching.    In 2016 I tried to start a Zoom interactive webinar but back then, not many people were comfortable with video c...
  • Zoom Consultation - Transition between floors at slightly different levels

    Video conferencing, like Zoom, is known for head-to-head talks, but it is also a dynamic tool for interactive inspections, remote on-site consultations, and remote on-site teaching.    In 2016 I tried to start a Zoom interactive webinar but back then, not many people were comfortable with video c...
  • Zoom Consultation - Drilling straight without a guide

    Video conferencing, like Zoom, is known for head-to-head talks, but it is also a dynamic tool for interactive inspections, remote on-site consultations, and remote on-site teaching.    In 2016 I tried to start a Zoom interactive webinar but back then, not many people were comfortable with video c...
  • Stirring the Paint.

    Stir sticks are more effective if you cut holes in the stick. Always scrape down to the bottom of the bucket. Power stirrers, like the one shown in the photo, should push the paint down to avoid it splashing up. Some common kitchen tools can be modified into manual or power paint stirrers. Mi...
  • Tips on how brushes apply paint

    The shape of the tip of the bristles is critical for a good job.     Cheap brushes are cut off square as in the second photo, which makes them easier to manufacturer.       But they don't do nearly as good a job of carrying paint or laying it down as a brush with a tapered end and spl...
  • Round trim paint brushes.

      Round brushes, with tapered and split end bristles, are the standard trim brushes in Europe. You actually rotate the brush as you move to keep a wet brush on the work. They are beginning to show up in Canadain paint stores.
  • Ventilation Strategies for Covid-19 and other air borne health problems

    Because of the seriousness of the issue, I want to take a moment to present my credentials other than that guy that has been on TV and radio for 42 years.  In the 1980’s I was one of the primary instructors for the R-2000 energy efficiency program teaching contractors across Québec through the AP...
  • Stopping Plumbing Floods & Flood Alarms

    I like to look at history and tell stories, but if you are not the type that likes to read a lot and all you want is to control your water flow – jump down to the best plumbing flow control systems to date:  my experience with AquaTrip (from Australia and no longer available in Canada) and the ne...
  • What are the best replacement windows?

    I am often asked "what are the best replacement windows?". There is no simple answer. For a through discussion check out the National Resources Canada publication Energy-Efficient Residential Windows, Doors and Skylights, which can be found with many other energy efficiency publications by search...
  • Surviving a Fire -- Special Report

    On the TV show we had a special report on the subject of getting your house and your family ready to survive a fire. Here are a couple of the important details. Most important is to have operational smoke alarm outside of each sleeping area. On an average you only have 90 seconds from the time t...
  • Odours in paint

    Eleminating ordinary paint odours Are you tired of the smell of paints and finishes? There are now several products on the market that you add to your paint and when it starts to dry on the wall, this chemically reacts with those molecules that cause the odour and stop those odours. It works wi...
  • The basics of water purification and limitations of water filters.

    The microbiologist Dr. Phillip Stuart joined me to talk about residential water filtration systems. A couple of very important things came out.   Carbon filters, like the Brita and other counter-top or end of spout filters are only designed to use with treated water systems to remove bad tas...
  • What is an Outdoor Adhesive?

    What is the difference between a glue and an adhesive? Only vocabulary. We tend to call domestic stick-um stuff 'glue' and professional stick-um stuff 'adhesive'. Often people consider thin stick-um that has no gap filling capacity to be 'glue' and thick stuff that can fill gaps to be 'adhesive'....
  • Rotting Wood on a Window

    Wooden window sashes tend to rot. There are special hardening and filler materials that can do a good job of restoring this wood without having to replace it -- also good for the bottom of door frames. A wood hardener is the starting point, to solidify existing soft wood and prepare the area for...
  • Kitchen Doors: Polyester or Polymer

    Although it is possible to purchase real wood doors or have them custom made, more and more kitchens have one form or another of plasticized doors, generally made of MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard, compressed wood fibres) and covered with various plastics, acrylics or polymers.  Plastics were fi...
  • Replacing a rotting door sill.

    Jack wants to know just how a door frame is made, so that he can take his apart. The sill is rotten. Usually, but not always, the sill goes right under the vertical framing. Sometimes the vertical piece is notched into the sill. In either case, you have to either cut out all the rotten wood, or ...
  • 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...