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Renovation & Design Articles

  • Can opener can do more than open cans

    QUESTION -- Whenever I purchase household items that have thick packaging encasing them, it takes me a mountain of time and frustration to remove the plastic. Often my scissors can't cut through the thick plastic. Do you have any ideas to make this easier? Gloria (Grand Pointe)ANSWER -- Run a . . .

    February 28, 2015

  • Switching to energy-efficient bulbs a bright idea

    Switching to energy-efficient bulbs a bright idea

    Renovation time is a good time to save moolah. It's easy. Just ensure any new light fixtures you buy are equipped with Energy Star approved bulbs and, at the same time, replace existing incandescent lamps in your home with energy-efficient ones. Potential power savings can be almost $140 per bulb.To . . .

    February 28, 2015

  • Prevent problems with proper subfloor preparation

    Prevent problems with proper subfloor preparation

    Question: We are building a new home and it's visually important that the five-inch wide engineered hardwood flooring run parallel to the 19.2-inch on centre, spaced wood web-engineered truss floor joists. The builder is installing a 3/4-inch thick OSB subfloor, glued and screwed. Internet research says it's not advisable to . . .

    February 28, 2015

  • Hello Dahlias

    From the gardens of kings to your front yard
    Hello Dahlias

    This time every year my appetite begins to grow for the prospect of bold, audacious colour in the garden. As agreeable as pastel pinks, whites and silvers can be, serving to draw the eye along, illuminating a shady area or acting as a harmonizer, what appeals now is the vision of . . .

    February 28, 2015

  • Get the biggest bang for your buck

    HGTV's Scott McGillivray tells you how to make your reno profitable
    Get the biggest bang for your buck

    If your home is outdated or in dire need of repair, renovation may be necessary to get it ready to sell. But which home improvements will fetch the most money? Scott McGillivray, host of HGTV's hit series Income Property, gives his top five recommendations, "to ensure you get the most . . .

    February 28, 2015

  • Want parents close by? Build a granny suite

    Fifteen years ago, it was frowned upon to apply for a permit to build an addition called a granny suite. In those days, the preferred nomenclature employed by the City of Winnipeg was servants' quarters.Apparently, the city's mandarins believed granny suites would become rental units in parts of the metropolis . . .

    February 21, 2015

  • Photos help you picture that perfect decor

    Photos help you picture  that perfect decor

    So you think you know what you want for your decor but can't quite make the final decisions. If you happen upon a photo of what you want, then you've found the answer to your concerns. Seeing your ideas set out in a room can allay your concerns about whether . . .

    February 21, 2015

  • Avoiding mould grief in basement insulation

    111I am currently developing my basement. My home was built in 1974. The previous owner had already framed the exterior walls and installed pink R12 fibreglass insulation along with a vapour barrier, probably around seven years ago. The vapour barrier was not sealed with acoustic sealant, only stapled. I have . . .

    February 21, 2015

  • Exotic locales inspire gardeners

    European travels can fill mind with numerous new, creative ideas

    "I am out of the country until the snow disappears and will have no access to my emails or phone during that time."It's a message that resonates at this time of year as wanderlust fuels the desire to travel. What exotic locales enticed you to escape, if only for a . . .

    February 21, 2015

  • Be gentle when cleaning marble floors

    Be gentle when cleaning marble floors

    QUESTION -- I have a problem with stains on marble flooring. Most stains are water and the tiles are also dulling with no shine. Is there a cure? Many thanks in advance. Glenda (Niverville)ANSWER -- Regardless of anything else you may have heard, don't ever allow yourself to be tempted . . .

    February 21, 2015