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...
  • Plunging a Clogged Sink: It's the UP stroke that counts!

      Disloving the problem If your sink is just suffering from a lot of face cream and shaving cream, the least expensive and most ecological solution is simply 1/2 cup of baking soda (try using a funnel to get it into the drain), followed immediately by a cup of vinegar.  Let it sit a few minutes...
  • Chalk line technique & eraseability.

      Chalk lines are used to draw straight lines across large surfaces from about 2 feet to over 20 feet.  But it is not always easy to see the line, especially if you are working in the sun, or your saw has a dusting action that blows the chalk away. Phil from Ottawa sent in the chalkline tip t...
  • Working with bamboo

      BAMBOO FLOORING -- LOOSING FAVOUR Bamboo flooring is beautiful and reasonably durable -- but it is falling out of favour.  Ecologically bamboo is a sustainable resource as it is a very fast growing grass, so bamboo production on a piece of land is far more profitable than growing trees on th...
  • What is the best material to use to re-roof my house?

    Our camera caught Burns at the hardware store -- he is going to redo his roof and wanted to know what is the best material to use to re-roof. That that's a wide open question. And of course, there are a lot of "good" materials. Start by deciding on the "look" you want, then check that against y...
  • Cleaning up pet odours

    Many odours can be eliminated by soaking the troublesome area with baking soda. One of the tricks to make the baking soda the most effective, such as to remove pet urine from a rug, is to add water to the baking soda to make a paste. Work the paste into the fibres of the rug.     Then cover it...
  • Pro: Water As a Tool - Sometimes a Damn Tool

    Adding water to concrete or masonry will definitely make it flow better and make it easier to work with, which is why just about everybody does it. At the same time you have all heard that this will weaken the final product and increase shrinkage, but just about everybody does it anyway. If the d...
  • Tips to help you sell your home quickly

      When it comes time to sell your home, listen carefully to your real estate agent. You may not like their tastes or what they ask you to do, but they do know what helps to sell a home. I invited real estate agent, Richard Silver from Bosley Real Estate, in Toronto, to gives us some tips.Accord...
  • Plastic repair and replacement -- Three good products

      MOLDABLE PLASTIC -- RESUABLE Utile Plast is a great British product that I stumbled upon -- plastic granules that you put into very hot water - they soften - then you mold them into anything you want. You can shove the soft plastic into a nut and when cool you have a plastic bolt -- or form t...
  • Hidden Dangers in your Home: Canada-AM special series

      Welcome to JonEakes.com. I hope you found the special series on Hidden Dangers in your home interesting. Unfortunately in a few short minutes on TV I cannot say much, so here are links to more detailed information on each of these topics that you saw on TV. A thanks to CarsonDunlop, home inspe...
  • Deck Span Tables

    Decks need to be built strong enough to not fall down or have deck boards break for lack of support. In addition, although they do not need to be as solid as a floor in the house, they should not bounce like a trampoline. The structures of most decks in Canada are built with pressure treated wood...
  • History of the Robertson Screw

    If any one thing distinguishes Canadian home improvement from American home improvement, it is the Robertson (square socket) screw. In this segment, we took a look at the history of this famous Canadian invention and visited their head office and warehousing operation in Milton, Ontario. Wikipedi...
  • BP Roof Shingles -- Class Action Law Suit

    BP and IKO have had problems with some organic base (felt) asphalt impregnated shingles. There are class action suits against them in both the US and Canada. The advice from my roofing specialist: "Whoever claims they have a legitimate complaint against BP or IKO should go at it alone and not j...
  • Manufacturing Robertson Screws

    We went to the Robertson screw factory in Montreal to see in detail how a reel of wire steel gets cut and formed into many different types of screws, including the famous Robertson square socket head. They cut the wire to the length of two screws, often very different screws but the same wire si...
  • What are BUILDING CODES and why do I care?

      For the first time in history most Canadian National Codes are free. As of April 2019, the NRC is offering free access to the downloadable and electronic formats of the National Building Code, the National Fire Code, the National Plumbing Code, and the National Energy Code for Buildings, as w...
  • 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...
  • The river is rising – preparing for a flood: OVERVIEW

    This article is about stopping water outside the house, then if necessary, controlling the situation as your basement floods.  For some very interesting water alarms, covering both plumbing and overland water,see Stopping Plumbing Floods.   SANDBAGGING The first line of defense is sandbaggin...
  • Should I change to All Electric heat?

      If you are thinking of removing your Oil or Gas furnace and replacing it with an all-electric furnace, often recommended by heating contractors, you may want to look closer at the options rather than just having a knee jerk reaction to getting rid of a fuel fired appliance.  When you have "all...
  • Transfer switch for emergency power generators.

      During the infamous Eastern ice storm of 1998, people went running out and bought every generator available and set them up to power something in the house during the extended black-out. Many of those efforts created great problems for the utility because homeowners were often feeding electric...
  • Epoxy wrap for a leaking pipe - Pow-R-Wrap!

    A viewer from Aurora, Ontario has a small pin hole leak in a copper pipe in the wall and wants to know if there is any way to fix it without having to tear the whole wall open and replace the pipe. There exists an epoxy wrap called "Pow-R-Wrap". You simply turn off the water to relieve the press...
  • My 20 x 20 ceiling is dipping down dangeriously.

    One viewer who caught my camera in a renovation store asked what to do about the 20 x 20 ceiling in his condo that was dipping down in the centre. A serious visible dip must be caused by someone having removed a support wall from the original construction. Each floor is designed to remain flat a...