Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Fall Home Design Workshop Series: Get the Answers to Your Home Renovation and Design Dilemmas

Flyer: 2009 Wo-Built wobuilt Home Design Workshop Wise Daughters West Toronto JunctionFlyer: Update for our Fall 2009 Home Design Workshop Series
at Wise Daughters in the West Toronto Junction

October 8, 2009 update:
Unfortunately, our workshop sessions have been temporarily postponed as we are in the process of locating another venue.
For More Information: Please check our Design Workshop Sessions Page for further updates or
call 416-354-2555.

Hope everyone had a good summer! Because September is back-to-school month for most parents in the Junction, we will be resuming our Home Design Workshop Series again in October.

Our fall schedule will be as follows:

Wednesday, October 7, 7 – 9 pm
Designing with colours, materials and fabrics

Wednesday, October 21, 7 – 9 pm
How to go green

Wednesday, November 4, 7 – 9 pm
Planning a large renovation – what you need to know

Wednesday, November 25, 7 – 9 pm
Conservatories, additions and more

Wednesday, December 16, 7 – 9 pm
Solving problem spaces – bring photos of your home and get great design ideas

Series continues every 3rd Wednesday.
Fee for each session is $10, or all $40 for 5 sessions.

Want to take a workshop? Please pre-register:

Wise Daughters Craft Market
Local handicrafts and do-it-yourself workshops

3079B Dundas Street West
, Toronto, ON M5P 1Z9
(facing Quebec Avenue, just south Dundas, behind Crema Coffee)
There is ample street parking on Dundas and Quebec.
Via TTC: Junction bus # 40 from Dundas West Station,
Lambton bus # 30 (or 15 min. walk) from High Park Station.
Tel: 416-761-1555

Come join us and get the answers to your home renovation and design dilemmas in a friendly and informal session!

Wo-Built Is Launching a New Home Design Series Covering All Your Home Improvement Questions
Wo-Built's First Session of the Home Design Workshop Series
How to Improve Your Home Spaces: Wo-Built Design Workshop
Get Your Smart Kitchen & Bathroom Design Ideas: Wo-Built's Home Design Workshop at Wise Daughters

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Our Green and Eco Tweets to Follow

Collage: Wo-built Green and Eco Tweets

Collage: Our Green and Eco Tweets to Follow
Credits: MS Office ClipArt - j0437294 + Twitter

Here is review of our tweets exploring the latest green materials and green building technologies:

May 27
Renovation tip: eco-friendly flooring materials: Cork (very popular now) and for upmarket look: recycled Leather.

If you own a commercial, industrial or institutional building in Toronto and would like to explore the use of an Eco roof, contact us.

The Toronto Eco-Roof Incentive program:
Eco-Roof Incentive Program

Jun 11
@zerofootprint - Your link to Ron Dembo's article is very interesting and thought provocing.
How Governments Should Fund Retrofits
by Ron Dembo
Posted: June 10, 2009

Jun 14
@styrohome Forget AC! Cool Your Home Naturally - Good article about natural ventilation - well worth reading
Forget AC! Cool Your Home Naturally
Slash (or eliminate) your air conditioning bills with these simple tips and remodeling recommendations.
August/September 2007
By Carol Venolia and Kelly Lerner

Jul 15
@styrohome Interesting article about the first living building:
Live From New York
The First Living Building Sets the Bar
By Campbell Wood

Energy Harvesting - article from Reuters: Will this be used in the future?
Is Energy Harvesting Moving Into the Smart Home?
By MC O'Connor - Earth2Tech

@zerofootprint:Thank you for bringing article on Why We Need a Globally-Recognized Unit of "Green" to our attention
Why We Need a Globally-Recognized Unit of "Green"
BY Ken Musgrave
Mon Jul 13, 2009

Interesting word: greenwashing - Cute description of the sins of greenwashing:

Jul 17
Definition of 'green' building materials: California Integrated Waste Management Board:

Very informative website about 'green' building materials:

Jul 21
What would a house look like with as many "green" building measures as possible? We at Wo-Built would like to hear of examples and ideas.

Another interesting "green" site:

Another interesting "green" site:

Jul 22
Fusion Landscaping? The Peel Region's (Ontario) ideas on how to have a great garden:

Jul 26
Interesting:RT@toolgirldotcom Hey charities, this is big - RT @unmarketing: How to Raise Money on Twitter – Tweetathon 101

With the City strike
still on I am definitely thinking of getting a "worm hotel" (Vermicomposter)

It's amazing how much kitchen waste does accumulate in a short time - not good during a garbage strike - Vermiculture is looking attractive

Jul 27
The future of building? RT @mrochte: FT article: Natural Buildings - learning from Termites #biomimicry #greenbuilding

Ideas should work in colder climates as well. RT @buildaroo: First Projected LEED Platinum Restaurant. #greenbuilding

Jul 29
Great usage of space! We need more of this - RT @skemsley Green roof on Eglinton West (Toronto) subway station -- nice!

Green material: Bamboo -

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Tales from the Renovation Track: Tricks of the Trade That Make Home Repairs/Renos Much Easier and Complete

Collage: tools, construction, tools, women
Credits: MS Office ClipArt - j0285894

There are even more tricks of the trade that help a homeowner to improve DYI renovations.

Part 11c - Tidbits of Wisdom
During my work day I often run across a whole plethora of renovations completed by homeowners - some of which are done well or adequately. At the same time there are certain tricks of the trades that can make some of the repairs/renos much easier and complete.

Here are some of these tips:

5. Drywall mud. In the larger sizes, drywall mud comes in plastic buckets with lids or in a plastic bag in a cardboard box. It’s better to purchase the bucket because it is more reusable. When you use a bit of the drywall mud out of the plastic bag from the cardboard box and then reseal it for use for the next time round, the bits of mud dry at the top of the bag and then fall into the wet mud at the bottom of the bag when you open it. When you go to trowel this on, what you get are frustrating grooves where the dried mud drags through the wet stuff.

I had the chance to talk with a drywall contractor about this, and he told me he gets the plastic pails. When he has enough of them he will buy the mud in plastic bags and then put the mud into the cleaned pails. How he does this is by getting a grout sponge, wetting it and cleaning all the mud off the top of the newly opened bag. He then puts three wet spongefulls of water into the bag after the top is cleaned, rolls the bag of mud around and then drops it into a clean, reused drywall plastic pail. When you use the pails with the plastic lids make sure you scoop around the inside perimeter of the pail and remove any mud before storing so this mud won't dry and contaminate the wet stuff. Then for storage purposes, one can pour a skim coat of water on top of the wet mud, of, say 1/8 of an inch deep so the mud at the top won't dry out before you use it again. You should always put a little water in the mud at the start of using a fresh batch, as it smooths out better. Or, if using stored mud, just mix in the skim coat of water and you're in I am parging a wall business!

6. Admixtures. You can use white glue as an additive for concrete or drywall mud. I use it in concrete when I am doing smaller repairs as it assists the concrete to adhere to the old stuff. Or if, you can mix the white glue into the concrete, or conversely paint it on the wall first before applying the concrete.

I will put it in drywall mud particularly in repairs on cracked corners, where the building is moving continually, for instance in a trailer with drywall that heaves slightly in the springtime. Just use it in the mud used to put the tape on and use it carefully because it doesn't sand very well, so don't leave globs around to deal with later. As a matter of fact if you detest trying to get a smooth butt joint on drywall when dealing with the joints on the ends of the drywall that are not tapered you can take white glue only, spread it on the back of the paper tape and glue it down to the drywall without using any mud. This gives you less of a feathering out process to do and you don't get the bubbles forming from improperly applying the paper tape with mud.

A second admixture that a homeowner can add to concrete is dish detergent. Adding a small amount, like say a tablespoon to a batch of concrete creates an inexpensive air entrainment admixture. Air entrainment is adding microscopic air bubbles to concrete which creates voids in the concrete when it dries. In wintertime, when water freezes, it expands in volume and can crack concrete, but the microscopic bubbles leave spaces in the concrete where the water can expand into and prevents the concrete from cracking.

Happy Renovating!

Janice Bell
Bell Renovating
2009 © Janice Bell

Tales from the Renovation Track: One Woman’s Experiences of Being a Renovator
Part 1: All in All
Part 2: Weld on Fire
Part 3: They Were Nailed
Part 4: It Pays to Be Honest
Part 5: Rural Renos
Part 6: Messy Is Costly
Part 7: Door Hell
Part 8: Just Where Do I Stop?
Part 9: Dressing for the Trades

Part 10: Very Painterly
Part 11a: Tricks of the Trade: Recaulking bathtubs / Placing peel and stick tiles
Part 11b: Tricks of the Trade: Wheelbarrows / Cutting a plastic pipe
Part 11c: Tricks of the Trade: Drywall mud / Admixtures

links: How to Tape and Mud Drywall Drywall