Jay Somerset

Canadian Home Workshop contributor Jay Somerset has been writing about home renovations and other DIY projects since 2001.

Each month, he will tackle a home renovation project that can be done in a weekend or less. From insulating your pipes to installing a tankless water heater to tuning your barbecue, Jay will show you how to get it done right, right away.

He lives with his wife and cat in Toronto.

Recent Articles and Blog Posts

Weekend DIY: Organize your garage

North Americans are funny: we pack our garages full of worthless stuff–half-empty paint cans, broken rakes, old bikes–while our pricy cars sit open on the driveway, vulnerable to theft and weather. Save for crawlspaces, the...

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Window shopping

While every window offers a glimpse of the outside world, not all are created equal. Some perform better than others at keeping the outside out and the inside in. And this depends on installation, materials and an extensive list...

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Fixing wooden chairs

My dining-room table, circa 1911, has stood the test of time; solid as ever, it seems to never lose its legs. The chairs, however, have seen better days. The mortise-and-tenon joinery is coming apart and I’m afraid the next...

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A guide to hanging paintings, mirrors or flat TVs

It began as a solid idea: my friend dry-mounted a poster on wood and hung it over his fireplace. Five hours later: bam! It came crashing down off the wall. Had my friend known that choosing a fastener depends on the weight of the...

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What it means to be green

I walk into a hardware store and the word “green” is everywhere. There are green paints, green appliances, green flooring and green windows that scream, “Buy me if you care about the world you live in.” I see...

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Weekend DIY: Set up a horseshoe pit

Ah, summer. You know me well. The sweet waft from the barbecue, a cold drink in one hand and a horseshoe in the other–whether you're at a cottage or in your backyard, the holiday weekend is all about making your own fun. And...

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Weekend DIY: Lay out a garden path

If you’re a gardener, chances are your yard is developing a muddy rut from all that back-and-forth trekking. Garden paths happen whether planned or not. But you can create a rustic walkway–using stone, brick, wood chips;...

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Prepare your deck for patio season

A few days ago the weather took a sudden turn and I was faced with a glorious summer-like day. Not bad after a long snowy winter. I made myself a little dockside drink and walked onto my backyard deck. Unfortunately, things back...

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Soundproof your garage or workshop

A friend of mine once made the mistake of complimenting his neighbour's nightly drum practices. The sound of sticks hitting snares and cymbals rattled the apartment with all the force of a Black Sabbath concert–all the louder...

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Weekend DIY: Install a garage door opener

Visiting my parents the other week, I was faced with a tremendous physical challenge. No, I wasn’t helping them move furniture; I was merely trying to open the garage door. Pushing up the heavy door, I felt like a...

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