for Cold Climate Housing and much more

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...
  • At what speed should my saw blades spin?

    Tools Vary Woodworking tools, from table saws to portable saws right down to tiny routers vary in rotational speeds from around 3,000 RPM (Revolutions Per Minute) up to 50,000 RPM.  If it is a direct drive motor, the arbor RPM and the blade RMP are the same, which is true of routers and many, bu...
  • How to install a flashing at the bottom of an existing brick wall

    Homeowners hear a lot of strange suggestions when it comes to repairing a flashing at the bottom of a brick wall, or installing one where it had not been installed.  Actually it is a bit difficult to find reliable guidance in this endeavour as most industry brick information is intended for indus...
  • OVERVIEW: Roof Ice Dams & Icicles

    "Why do some houses have ice dams on the roof and others do not?" The overview is below -- for details go to Ice Dams -- for contractors who will really solve this problem, scroll to the bottom of this article.   What causes ice dams and ice cicles? Ice dams develop when snow is on the roof, ...
  • Tooth Breakage & Wear

    All blades wear and the Japanese teeth can break off, but with certain techniques you can make them last longer than usual.  At times you need to make the cut despite the knowledge that it will scrap your blade, like using the nail cutting bi-metal blades to cut a hardened screw or an ancient squ...
  • Digging out Material

    Whether you are removing grout from between tiles, or removing caulking between two deck boards, usually boat deck boards, the oscillating tool has special blades for each task.   The grout removal tool has carbide grit on three sides and the blades come in various thicknesses, both full round a...
  • 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...
  • Applying Rain Screen Principles to Window and Door Installations

      THE CHALLANGE FOR INSTALLERS AND MANUFACTURERS jump to - RAIN SCREEN RESEARCH -   There are many variations on how to install a window into a wall, largely differing between new construction and renovation, but there is one almost universal principle presently in practice: Stop both the wat...
  • Double walls and buried vapour barriers.

    June is building a new home in Kenora and they have decided to make what is often called a double wall structure to have room for lots of insulation. They are intending to build with 2x6 walls and then add another 2x4 on the inside to hold more insulation. They have been told that they could do s...
  • Does your soldering job leak? Why is lead-free solder hard to work with? And new products to make life easier.

    They took the lead out... Several years ago, throughout North America lead was removed from the solder used for making joints in copper pipes intended for carrying drinking water, just as before that we had removed lead from paint. Lead based solder is still available in stores for other tasks, ...
  • How do you solder copper pipes?

    There are three key steps to making leak proof copper pipe joints.     Clean off both the inside of the elbow and the outside of the pipe with steel wool or a special cleaner tool.     Apply a soldering flux to both cleaned surfaces. The cleaning gets rid of contaminates and oxidation o...
  • OVERVIEW: About cleaning up Mould.

    The whole question of mould started as a simple nuisance in home maintenance but with experience and research has become a major element of creating and maintaining a healthy house. Of course, whenever research develops over time, recommendations change and things can get quite confusing.   IT...
  • Crawl Space Moisture Barriers

    Hi Jon and Crew... I am in the process of putting down vapour barrier in my crawl space (what a chore). Two questions: 1) Should I bring in sand or similar material to level out the dirt floor? It has heaves due to natural pitch of the land of up to three feet in various areas. I am thinking that...
  • Table Saw Basics

    Welcome to Table Saw Basics -- a one hour course on using a table saw accurately and safely -- a good starting point for table saw beginners, some interesting jigs for experienced woodworkers. The series of videos that are listed on the left were deemed by Popular Woodworking to be the most comp...
  • Blade to miter slot Adjustment

    The miter slot, grooved right into the table, is the only thing on a table saw that is not adjustable. Since we cannot change this slot, we should line up the whole rest of the saw to this one important, but fixed part of this machine.  Many woodworkers were never aware that the entire motor hou...
  • The low flush toilet controversy & MaP toilet testing

    (This is a real good example of a living history. I wrote the first part of this entry in 2001. With a book you would have to wait for the next edition for developments. With a bulletin board you would have to read a lot of old entries. What I love about my web site is that I can change, adapt an...
  • 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 - 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...
  • 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...
  • 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...