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Helping Hands-Building Trees Of Hope Project

 

Working Together to Make Our Communities Better!

Colorful  solidarity design tree

Helping Hands-Building Trees of Hope

At Don Of All Trades, we believe it is important to give back to the community so we have created the Helping Hands-Building Trees of Hope Campaign that benefits Herizon House.

By supporting organizations like Herizon House, we acknowledge that in order to end the cycle of violence we must work in partnership with our community.

To find out more about Herizon House website please visit their website at: www.herizonhouse.com.

As a local business member and resident of Durham Region for over 20 years, we are trying to make a positive difference through our actions.

Don Of All Trades Helping Hands Tree Of Hope Photo

We have created our first Tree of Hope that is currently located in our office. Our goal is to fill our tree by December 31, 2015 with business cards from businesses in the General Toronto Area that donate items from the wish list provided below. We are committed to making our communities a better place for women and children.

Contributors to Tree Of Hope

In order to reach our goal, we are asking for brand new, unopened, still in the manufactures packaging items listed in the Donation Suggestion Wish List provided below.

 

H-H Kalina Naturals

We wanted to take this opportunity to thank Marta Raptis Founder of Kalina Naturals for making a contribution to our Tree Of Hope.

H-H Tranqulity Matters

We asked and these two women donated. We want to thank founders Ginette Vachon & Stephanie Atwood Founders of Tranquilty Matters for making a contribution to our Tree Of Hope.

If you are interested in helping us reach our goal, we will keep you informed with regular updates on the progress of our project.

Please get in contact with Don Of All Trades Volunteer Coordinator, Yolanda D’Orazio for the Helping Hands-Building Trees of Hope Campaign via email at: info@donofalltrades.ca if you are able to help.

We look forward to working with you and creating a stronger community in Durham Region.

Donation Suggested Wish List

Linens

 Single bed fitted, flat sheets  Pillows
 Comforters and blankets  Bath mats
 Bath and hand towels  Facecloths
 Window Curtains  Shower curtains

Toiletries

 Shampoo/Conditioner  Antiperspirant
 Hair Brushes/Combs  Body Wash/Lotion

Clothing Items

 Ladies running shoes and seasonal footwear  New undergarments and bras
 Children’s seasonal footwear  Children’s seasonal clothing
 Socks  Totes and handbags

Kitchen Items

 Small Kitchen Appliances (i.e.: toasters, kettles, coffee makers, small microwaves, crockpots, etc.)  Cups, glasses
 Dishes  Cutlery and Serving Utensils
 Dish Detergents  Pots and Pans

Non Perishable Food Items

(All Food Donations Welcome, Including 🙂

 Peanut Butter  Canned soups and vegetables
 Jam  Coffee
 Pancake mix and syrup  Cooking oil and spices
 Pasta Sauce  Pasta, noodles and rice
 Crackers, nut-free granola bars, school snacks  Juice Boxes

Additional Items

Gift Cards and certificates for restaurant’s, etc.

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“We are a dedicated team helping people live better”

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Hot Water Tank Preventative Maintenance Tips

Hot Water Tank Preventative Maintenance

Draining your water heater once a year removes sediment from the tank that can cause it to work harder and cost more to use. Most people have no idea that there water tank requires yearly maintenance up until they start having problems. Following these simple steps will ensure that your water tank will perform at optimum efficiency and give you years of problem free service.

Please note the following Cautions and Warnings listed below:

If you do not feel comfortable doing this work yourself, call a licensed plumber.

  • Be careful, as the water may be very hot.
  • Do not power on without filling with water completely. If you do, the heating element will be damaged.
  • Regular flushing will keep your heater free of debris, but most plumbers caution that if the valve hasn’t been opened in more than five years, it may be best not to attempt turning the handle as the valve may fail.
  • If you do not feel comfortable doing this work yourself, call a licensed plumber.
  • Be careful not to break the drain cock.
  • Note: Read the instructions on the tank for turning off the gas and or electricity. Don’t just do it unless you know what you are doing. 
  • Water in your hot water tank can scald you.
  • If you did not allow the water to cool, it will be extremely hot as it leaves the tank.

Step 1:

First, test the pressure-relief valve located on the top or side of the water heater. This valve opens automatically if the pressure inside the tank gets too high. (Excess pressure can actually cause the tank to explode.)

If the valve doesn’t release water when you lift the lever, replace the valve (sold at home centers and hardware stores). Replacement is simple; turn off the water, drain the tank, unscrew the discharge pipe and then unscrew the old valve.

Wrap the threads of the new valve with sealant tape and screw it in. If your valve is several years old and has never been tested, it might leak after you test it. In that case, replace the valve.

Pressure-Relief Valve

pressure relief valve

 

Step 2:

Then turn off the power and/or gas to the water heater. Unplug your water heater from the power source. With a gas water heater, turn the gas control dial to “off.” If you have an electric heater, turn off the power at the main panel.

Gas Control Dial

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Step 3:

Next, turn the cold water supply valve off that allows water to flow into the heater. This valve will be located on the top of the water tank. Then turn on the hot water at any faucet to release the pressure inside the heater’s tank. Leave the faucet on until you finish your work.

Cold Water Shut-Off Valve

coldwater shut off valve

Step 4:

Hook up a garden hose to the drain valve at the bottom of the heater and run it to a floor drain or you can use a bucket. Then open the drain valve where the hose is attached. Don’t worry about any gurgling or groaning noises coming from the heater, it’s just air entering the system as water drains out.

 

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Allow the water in the heater to drain out. This should take around 20 to 40 minutes depending on how small or large the hot water heater is. When the heater is empty, open the cold water valve for a few minutes to flush out the remaining sediment. Always let the water flow until you no longer see particles in the bucket.

Step 5:

Now that the tank is drained and cleaned of sediments disconnect your garden hose and close the drain valve. Close the pressure relief valve and open cold water valve. Allow the tank to fill back up. You will know when your tank is full when hot water starts to run at the faucet that was left open to purge air from the system. Don’t worry about any gurgling or groaning noises coming from the heater or the faucet it’s just air exiting the system as water tank becomes full. Once full shut the faucet.

Relight the pilot to the water heater if gas, and turn on. If electric, turn the breaker on to restore power to the water heater.

 

Do you have a question or need some assistance regarding your home improvements? Give us a call at 905-259-5249 or send us an email at: info@donofalltrades.ca. We’d love to hear from you!

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“Helping families get back to the important things in life!”        

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Glass & Stone Mosiac Kitchen Backsplash Tile Install By: Don Of All Trades

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Photos courtesy  Don Of All Trades

There’s nothing more exciting than adding  upgrades to your home like this Glass and Stone Mosaic Kitchen Backslash install our team at Don Of All Trades Professional Home Maintenance Services recently completed for our client.  These home owners picked their own choice of colour and style of tile. I have to say, the end result is SPECTACULAR!

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Product:  Glass and Stone Mosaic Wall Tiles

Up for a DIY challenge? Here’s some important steps to remember BEFORE you start the installation process.

Important Information To Remember

  • Make sure the surface is level and clean prior to installation.
  • If applying mosaic tile on gypsum, it is important to apply a coat of primer prior to beginning your mosaic wall tile installation.
  • Always check all the purchased boxes of tiles before starting. I have been in situations where clients thought what they purchased was all the same tile when in fact what they brought home was 3 different types of tile.  This step saves everyone involved  a lot of time and aggravation.
  • Inspect each tile prior to installation.
  • When installing tiles, mix and match tiles from different cartons for a natural look.
  • If you are installing mosaic wall tiles in a shower, it is necessary to install a waterproof membrane.
  • Install any trim or profile strips before installing the mosaic wall tile.
  • Modified thin-sets are generally appropriate for mosaic wall tile installations. Pre-mixed thin-sets are not appropriate for bathroom installations, and should not be used for mosaics featuring glass wall tiles.
  • Follow all manufacturer’s instructions when applying modified thin-set and grout.

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Photos courtesy  Don Of All Trades

So Here’s What We Did

  1. First step was to come up with a plan of where these tiles were going to be placed on the walls.

With the plan in place, we began our kitchen back-splash install by adding the first tile in the closest centre point of the wall, keeping in mind that the last tiles in each row would be wider than half a tile.

Tip: Always stop and check to make sure your tiles are level.

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Photos courtesy  Don Of All Trades

There were some moments in this installation process where we had to cut a mosaic tile sheet from the back with a utility knife. With this type of tile, a wet saw with a  diamond blade was used to cut through the tiles.

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Photos courtesy  Don Of All Trades

Setting material was  applied to substrate while using the notched side of a V-Notched trowel. Using the flat side of trowel, we smoothed out all ridges to achieve a consistent, even (1/8 inch) coverage.

Now comes the fun part!

We applied glass  mosaic sheets, mesh-side down, firmly into the freshly spread setting material while mixing and matching from assorted sell units to achieve a consistent variation. Using a rubber float to gently press the tile into the adhesive to ensure  a complete contact. Spacers where also used to maintain a set distance between the mosaic tile sheets.

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Photos courtesy  Don Of All Trades

We marked measurement marks on the back of the sheets of tile in order to install the mosaic tile around  the light fixtures and electrical sockets.  Once the tiles where in place, we then measured the gaps around the sockets and used leftover pieces to fill in the gaps.

Spacers were removed once the adhesive had set.  Tiles were wiped with a clean sponge to remove any residual adhesive.

A premium penetrating sealer is recommended for a natural look referred by the manufacturers instructions  and was applied onto the stone only.

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Photos courtesy  Don Of All Trades

After 24 hours, a mix of non-sanded tile grout was applied with a rubber float. Afterwards, the grout was evened out by wiping the tile with a wet sponge in a circular motion. Residual grout was cleaned with a clean sponge within 5-10 minutes of grout application.

After 12 hours, any remaining haze was polished off using a dry cloth.

 

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Glass and Stone  mosaics have been used to beautify buildings and homes for centuries. They can be incorporated into many designs to produce a stunning result.

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Front Walkway Rebuild

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Previously this week I had a client hire our services to redo a slab front walkway. My client decided to incorporate some of the original slabs along with the new. Items on the list to purchase in order to complete this project just to name a few was screening product, new slabs to replace broke ones. Gaiters edge, and landscaping spikes.

 

I basically tore out everything and started from scratch. My client was addressing major water damage issues. We corrected the problem by putting 1/4 inch slope going away from the house with the screening and the new slabs.

 

Using gaiter edging, will keep all slabs in place even after the frost gets to it. New grading should correct the water situation. Doesn’t look like a big job, bit don’t kid yourself!!!  30 feet of new walkway is more time consuming work that you may think.  Don’t forget the front steps were moved and replaced back due to the fact they were sinking.  All in all, the front walkway looks so much better, is safer and adds more curb appeal.

I have included some of the before and after photos.

 

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Gardens By: Don Of All Trades Tips-Part 2

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Woodchips are basically a medium sized material made up of cut or chipped larger pieces of wood.  A machine called a wood chipper is used for transforming large pieces of wood into smaller pieces. Wood chipping has a variety of uses. This product can be used in landscaping and garden mulch. It’s used for playground surfaces, mulch and in some places even fuel.  Woodchips is a great way to keep weeds under control, water conservation, prevention of soil erosion and supporting the germination of seeds.

 

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Wood Chips  as shown in the figure above come in a multitude of colour, shapes and sizes.  Depending on what your next project requires, you can certainly bring any garden to life just by using this simple product. If you’re thinking of taking on the challenge of Dying Wood Chips yourself, here’s a great link that will take you step by step through the process. http://www.ehow.com/how_7726828_color-wood-chips.html

Personally, I like to purchase my woodchips from a local company called Durham Top Soil & Garden Supplies http://www.durhamtopsoil.com/ right here in the Durham  Region.

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I choose shades of black in wood chips. I like the way it brings out the colour and beauty  of my plants.

 

 

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You can save  some money by purchasing wood  chips and picking them up yourself from a garden centre  but I prefer to have them delivered due the large amounts my gardens require.

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If the weather isn’t cooperating. You can protect your woodchips by covering them with a large tarp until you are ready to begin working on transferring them into your gardens.

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I usually stick to the rule of putting a 3 inch layer of woodchips in my gardens.  This ensures that water will be retained, weeding will be kept to a minimum and a decent layer for plant protection is there to keep the plants warm in case of frost.  If you have a concern about  perennials below that haven’t come up or sprouted  yet, don’t. They should be fine. I haven’t had  any issues with my perennials.

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I love the way woodchips give off a character and curb appeal to any garden. It’s just another way to add a finish touch to your home or office. To me, wood chips are like a  base canvass for a multitude of colour and beauty that can be enjoyed and admired all summer long!


 

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Tips On Caulking Your Bathtub

caulking

Caulk is used to create a seal in a tub where the tile and the tub join. Caulk prevents water from seeping up into the tiles and causing the tiles to separate from the wall and mildew to form. Caulking a tub will take a couple of days if you need to remove old caulk because the area will have to completely dry before you can apply new caulk. It can be accomplished in an hour or two if you’re starting with clean surfaces.

Remove any old caulk. Silicone caulk can be removed with a razor knife and a scraper. Be careful not to damage the tub or the tile. Water-based caulk are harder to remove where as silicone caulk is more flexible. Use a hair dryer to soften the caulk and then scrape it out.

Use silicone caulk on fiberglass. Water-based caulk can be used on ceramic tubs and tiles. Exterior or oil based caulk is not recommended for this type of project.

1)  Thoroughly  Remove all old caulking and clean tub ledge and wall

2) Place masking tape on tub edge, approximately 3/16 of an inch away from the wall.

3) Place masking tape about 3/16 of an inch up the wall around the tub.

4) Fill tub with water to the overflow height. (NOTE: DO NOT LEAVE CHILDREN OR PETS UNATTENED AT ANYTIME AND TO PROPERLY SECURE THE AREA SO NO ONE CAN HAVE ACCESS TO IT)

5) Place caulking between tub and wall joint around tub.

6) Get some liquid dish soap and stick your finger into soap and smooth off caulking. Allow extra caulking to go onto masking tape.

7) Remove masking tape while still wet.

8) Leave water in tub till caulking is dry and empty water from tub.

By caulking a full tub the space between tub surface and wall is at a weighted  dimension

WARNING : Clean up any spills or drips immediately. Silicone caulk are very difficult to clean once they’re dried and leave a film on your hands.

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Can I Use Your Bathroom Please?

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Personally, I don’t have a problem letting someone I’ve hired to do work in or outside of our home to  use our facilities but I ‘ve often wondered how my clients  would feel. Curious from a professional view on how a customer would feel.

I would love to read your comments!

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