Charles Long

Recent Articles and Blog Posts

Replanting concrete pads

Any concrete pad — like a step or deck support — can shift if water sits beneath it through the freeze/thaw cycle. Such pads normally sit on a 15–20 cm base of crushed stone. The stone allows drainage and, unlike soil,...

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How to patch up potholes

Raking gravel back into potholes and road ravines works only until the next big storm washes down the lane. Before you patch, have a good look at erosion's path and use it to map out more enduring solutions. Where water has...

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5 steps to a fixed door jamb

Last spring, you pulled on the handle and the door grabbed its frame, twisting and complaining. It opened with a shudder and a squawk and got better by itself when the air turned hot and dry. Now, it's sticking again. Here's the...

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How to earn cottage tax rebates

Describing his cottage on Lake of Bays, Peter Goering lists the mink amongst other vital features, like the dock and the sleeping cabin. His parents bought the property in 1951 and began a journal of everyday observations on...

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Guide: Repairing the cottage roof

When it comes to the cottage roof, early signs of aging may be hard to spot. Invisible leaks can start rotting rafters long before the first drip hits your head; and an all-too-visible spring dribble from the ceiling may...

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How to build a stone barbecue

When Prometheus stole fire from the gods and gave it to man, Zeus had him chained to a rock – not to some black metal box with tiny wheels and a propane tank. It was and remains a matter of fitting elements to the occasion. At...

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Cleaning your chimney

A chimney inspection is de rigueur before the first spring fire. Even if you cleaned it last fall, birds and other critters were waiting to move in as soon as you were out of sight. If your chimney has a clean-out door or a...

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