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“ABOUT THE HOUSE” with Joe Adams

Dear Joe, Recently I dropped a glass on the back of my toilet and broke the lid. Do you know of a place where I could by a new lid for it? I don’t really want to replace the whole thing. Thank you, we love to reading your column, Pat and Jim. Hi Folks, Thank you for reading and for the great question. The short answer is no. There is no place you can just go and buy a replacement lid for a toilet. The reason being lids are made for specific tanks and toilets and tanks are made as cohesive units. The parts are not generally interchangeable between toilets. You can buy tanks separate from bowls, but since styles and models come and go every few years, the chances of being able to even replace a tank/lid are smaller if your fixture is more than five years old. Now if you’ve got a popular model made by a large company like Kohler or Crane, your odds of locating a lid at a reclaimed building materials store or on the side of the street on garbage night are much greater. Failing that, you can get a new toilet for around one hundred dollars, and the new models are much more efficient than the old ones. if you’re on metered water or well water, it will save you some money and offset the cost of the toilet. Best of luck , Joe Dear Joe, With the upcoming cold weather, what should I be doing to save energy this winter? I put plastic on my windows, recaulked all my windows, added weather stripping on my outside doors, and had my furnace cleaned and tuned up. We have an old house and it seems no matter what we do its still draughty and we inevitably end up turning up the heat. Any advice is most welcome. Regards, David.


Thank you for the great question David. Now is the time we start turning our attention inside to get ready for the cold. Once you’ve done all the stuff you’ve already done, my best advice is to look at the attic. The attic is where you lose the majority of your heat energy. There are two types of old houses: those with unusable attics, and those with attics that are accessible as additional rooms. Unusable attics are easy. You want to insure you have a minimum r50 up there and a well-sealed attic access hatch. Usable attics are a different animal. You will have to make a choice: Do nothing and continue to spend a fortune on lost heat energy, Sacrifice the attic space and install 18 inches of a cost effective blown in insulation or, hire an insulation contractor to retrofit the roof with r50 in a urethane spray foam. Whichever you choose it will be money well spent. You will typically recoup your investment within two or three years. Another thing you might need to consider is if you have a fireplace(s) in your vintage home, if you don’t use them, then you’ll have to create a thermal break between the inside of your house and the chimney which is simply a corridor to the outdoors funnelling cold air into the house. You can do this by installing a plug within the chimney that is semi-permanent or a removable insulated fireplace screen that is removable if you regularly use the fireplace. Either way the goal is to eliminate two things. Draughts, and heat loss; the chimney is both: you lose heat up the chimney and in turn in allow cold air to fall down into the house. My rule is this: Tackle heat loss first. Heat loss propagates draughts but draughts do not cause heat loss to any appreciable extent. If you try to fight draughts alone without dealing with the heat loss, the massive loss of heat will always create more draughts than you can ever hope to seal. Happy winterizing, all the best, Joe

What a Star Wars Filled Weekend! Got the opportunity to visit the Star Wars Identities exhibit at the Aviation Museum in Ottawa twice this weekend and it was truly amazing. Great collection of props, costumes, images and clips from the first 6 films. I was very pleased, as I had the chance to check out a Jawa blaster and I am in the process of making one for my son for his Jawa costume.

Keep watching here each week for more household tips and renovation advice. It's FREE to submit a question and you can email them to: or, Text them to 613-551-5932. For additional information about me and what’s going on in your community, please visit our website: Don’t forget to Like us on Facebook and read past letters on our blog: And remember, whatever you do, do it well, because a job well done stays well done forever.

I am super excited to see the LEGO movie that comes out in 2014, and of course has an all-star cast voicing the characters, like Chris Pratt, Will Ferrell, Liam Neeson, Morgan Freeman, Elizabeth Banks and more. As for movies that are for people over the age of 14, I am very much looking forward to the Aultsville Film Series next movie “The Hunt”. It’s on Wednesday October 23rd at 7:30 and will be sold out! So go and get tickets early and get their early for a good seat. Well I have to stop writing now and get back to re-watching the Star Wars movies. Until next time flimsies keep your popcorn buttered and your root beer icy!

I also got the chance to see “Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs 2” recently in the theater. One of the great things about having kids is I can now go see cartoons in the theater and I don’t get strange looks from parents of other kids wondering where mine are. This is another case of a great sequel that picks up right where the last film left off. We find out what happens to inhabitants of Swallow Falls, and are reconnected with our hero Flint Lockwood (Bill Hader), his new friend weather-girl Sam Sparks (Anna Faris). This time Flint is realizing his dream of becoming a great inventor and meeting his lifetime idol Chester V (Will Forte). Flint is headed back to the small island to find and shut down his food creation machine, the FLDSMDFR, which is now creating foodimals like tacodiles, bacon cheese spiders, and shrimpanzees. Our hero has to go on both an internal and external journey and find his place and save his friends and new friends from the diabolical wrath of the EVIL Corporation and its leader. This movie has some great friend moments and some awesome father and son bits as well. My kids loved it and ironically we were all hungry at the end of the film.

THE SEEKER Vol. 4 Issue 40 - October 18 - pg. 8 BUSINESS ADS 613-935-3763 ext 1

Vol 4 issue 40 web2  
Vol 4 issue 40 web2