This Old House Hour

Continuing Thursday / 8:00am PBS US 60 min.
The first half hour of the series continues This Old House. The second half hour, Ask This Old House, features host Kevin O'Connor, general contractor Tom Silva, plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey, and landscape contractor Roger Cook as they address home maintenance and repair questions. Also featured are in-studio demonstrations, new product reviews, "house call" visits, and guest specialists, including master carpenter Norm Abram.

Season 18

11 Episodes

The Westerly project is almost wrapped. Chris Stump is installing the televisions. In the playroom, he mounts a 55” tv on standard wall brackets. He and Kevin install the network connection and hang the tv on the bracket. In the basement, the new electric hybrid water heater has arrived. Richard checks it out with Jeff who likes it because it dehumidifies the basement. This type of water heater is more efficient than the standard ones. Outside, while the sod is being rolled out, Jenn shows Kevin the new perennials and understory trees that stabilize the hillside. She puts in low voltage LED landscape lighting that highlights selected trees in the front of the yard. Other path lights will cast light down on the new walkway and steps. Upstairs, Scott is installing blackout shades in his daughter’s bedroom because the room will get a lot of early morning light. Downstairs in the dining room, Scott introduces Kevin to Sue, where her team is hanging cotton drape panels that flank the new slider doorways to the deck. Out back, the exposed wooden flagpole could use a little love. The heavy pole is in a bolted structure so Jeff’s team can slowly pivot it down using a lift. They begin to scrape and sand it to get ready for a fresh coat of paint. Next week it goes back up and the project will be complete. Kevin O’Connor builds a hexagon planter with maker Jenn Largesse, who demonstrates how to take advantage of the bevel cut feature on a miter saw; Jenn Nawada travels to Brooklyn to revive a stoop that has been taken over by weeds; the team shares more Home Inspection Nightmares; Mark explains what to understand when buying a home with a wood burning fireplace; Heath installs an electric fireplace insert into an unconventional opening with zero clearance.
Jan 16 2020
Kevin is on the Westerly jobsite and takes a look at the final touches happening on the first floor. It’s about time to think about furniture. Homeowners Scott and Shayla asked Jeff’s team to design a special two-tiered oval coffee table using some old boards they pulled from a nearby family sawmill. Jeff invites Norm to his workshop where they plane the boards and join them with mortises and tenons. They cut out an oval with a jigsaw and route the edges. After Jeff makes the legs and stretchers, Scott joins in to help with the final assembly. At the house, Jeff finds Mauro and Kathryn in the playroom where they’re getting ready to whitewash the original knotty pine with an oil-based stain. This treatment will brighten up the entire room and give the old pine a new look. Outside, Jeff joins Tommy and Garrett at the new pergola. The posts have already been fastened down to the deck structure. They put in tapered columns over the post and set the PVC beams on top and finally the PVC lattice. The new pergola will provide shade in the summertime. Over at the 1840s Idea House, Kevin learns about historically accurate and operable shutters that are also made of PVC material. Project foreman Gordan Jacobsen shows him how they’re assembled, louver by louver, and then they are painted and installed. Back at the house, electrician Ben Giles is putting linear LED strips into the newly built pergola. Apprentice De’Shaun is there to observe and help. Mark explains the history and function of colonial-era beehive ovens and then restores one in a house built in 1750; Richard explains the failure points in toilet tanks and how to repair them; maker Jimmy DiResta invites Tom to his shop for a welding lesson and to build a metal coat rack.
Jan 09 2020
Installing a floating oak mantel; paneling the playroom using knotty pine boards; timber framing school; using Westerly granite for the steps. Tom travels to Utah to help a homeowner replace his traditional stair railing with more modern cable railing; Richard explains why standard PVC should not be used to vent gas appliances and what should be used instead; Nathan upgrades a standard, flat panel hollow core door to look more modern; Mauro helps a homeowner properly clean and paint her vinyl shutters.
Jan 02 2020
Kevin O'Connor opens the show in the new basement, formally the garage, where the homeowners want to make a modest home gym and use the rest for utilities and storage. A new furnace is already in place. Upstairs the finish woodworking has started, and in the living area there are two new sets of slider doors that lead out to what will soon be a deck. In the backyard, a trench has been dug for a new pipeline. Richard Trethewey is with propane supplier Peter Sherman who has brought a 1,000-gallon steel propane tank that will be buried. The tank is filled 85% with liquid and the rest is vapor. It has to stay under constant pressure to maintain a steady flow of vapor into the house. Even though it’s not required for this particular project, Richard demonstrates how in-ground tanks in high water table locations need to be anchored down. Norm Abram shows apprentice Kathryn the durable composite decking that will be used for the new deck. They begin with setting the perimeter boards, and then they start to work on the field pieces using the special slots to space each board and screw it down to the joists. Inside, Kevin finds Tom Silva and Jeff Sweenor working on the coffered ceiling. Mineral wool was put above for sound dampening, then 1x6 inch v-groove poplar was nailed into the field. Now they’re building the crown molding in a picture frame on the table and lifting it up to be installed in one unit to create a coffered ceiling in a grid pattern. Down the hall the old bedrooms have been converted to a laundry room, playroom and home office. Courtney Cavanagh is a local designer who worked with Scott and Shayla on creating cabinets and book storage in the office. Courtney shows Kevin the design on the computer and they look at the system of partitions and shelves being installed. Outside Mark McCullough is at the new chimney with Buck Sharpe. The gas fireplace vent has been boxed in with plywood and covered with a weather barrier and cement board. Now B
Nov 21 2019
Kevin O'Connor begins by looking at the new exterior details of the house—which has turned from a one story ranch into a two story Dutch Colonial. He points out the white cedar shingled bell curved shape between the two stories. Inside, the first floor ceilings are pushed up a foot taller and the living space is opened up by an 18-inch beam that supports the second floor. Because the massive beam hangs down 4 inches below the new ceiling height, Tom Silva and Jeff Sweenor are turning the beam into a coffer and working to lay out other coffers to disguise the beam and define the space. They use premade coffer profiles to lay out on the floor in order to divide the space equally for the three divided coffers. Then they start cutting and transferring the boards up to the ceiling. Shayla and Scott want to incorporate Westerly granite into their landscape. Jenn visits a 4th generation granite cutting shop in Westerly. Rick Comolli shows her how he cuts the granite slabs that will be used for outdoor steps and then he teaches her to do a live edge detail on the front side. It’s time for the sophisticated septic system to be installed. With the 1500 gallon primary and secondary tank buried in the ground, installer Rick Pezza shows Richard the biologic cycle where oxygenated water returns to the main tank, nitrogen gas gets released into the atmosphere, and the remaining treated fluid goes through a sand filter. Kevin goes to Canfield, Ohio to see how the wooden four-paneled interior doors are made. He first meets Terry Baird, whose family has owned the business for over fifty years making custom and standard hardwood accent products. Manager Steve Stack shows Kevin the process—from grading the lumber and drying it—to the manufacturing and assembly stages. Back at the house Jeff shows his techniques for hanging the doors to make sure they swing effortlessly. Heath replaces a standard toggle switch with a reproduction antique push button switch to match the re
Nov 14 2019
Kevin O'Connor arrives to find the house is just about weather tight on the exterior. Inside, the main living space has been opened up, and upstairs are three newly framed bedrooms. Now it’s time to replace the temporary stairs with a new staircase that has been prefabricated in Jeff Sweenor’s millshop. There, Kevin finds Tom Silva and Jeff adding the final oak treads on the stringerless stairway. They take it to the project house to be installed. Always on the lookout for new technology, Kevin travels to the Greek Revival This Old House Idea House in Connecticut where the builder is using a new clapboard siding made with an engineered wood strand technology. There he meets project foreman Gordon Jacobsen, who is installing the siding on the front porch. Back at the project house, the plan is to replace the old furnace with two new efficient furnaces—one in the basement and one in the attic. Richard Trethewey travels to the factory in Indianapolis to see the latest manufacturing techniques. The new furnaces arrive back at the project house in Westerly where Richard meets HVAC installer Michael Gamache who unboxes the units and starts to set one up in the attic. One year ago, the California town of Paradise experienced the worst wildfire in the US in a century. Almost 25,000 people were left homeless and 85 did not survive. Despite the devastation, the people of Paradise are determined to rebuild. On the one-year anniversary of the disaster, This Old House pays tribute to the courageous people who survived and those who have chosen to rebuild. Tom checks out a women’s only DIY class on building a footstool and discusses some of the unique challenges faced by women learning DIY skills; Jenn helps a homeowner select, place, and install plants for her terraced garden; the team discusses the ways homeowners and contractors should communicate to set appropriate expectations for home improvement projects.
Nov 07 2019
Kevin arrives to the house to find Tommy outside teaching the apprentices how to set posts and beams to frame for a new deck. On the exterior, where the first floor meets the second floor, is a flared edge detail that runs all the way around the house. Jeff shows Kevin how his crew will use 150 precut rafter tails made of laminated finger-jointed lumber to frame the flare or “sweep”. The homeowners meet with Jenn to talk about hardscape around the property. Steps and walkways will be needed to access the home. Jenn discovers that Westerly was at one point an important supplier of granite to the entire country. These days Westerly granite is harder to come by, as few quarries and stone cutters remain. There is a day in every This Old House apprentices’ life when they learn to install a window. Kevin finds Jeff at the head of the class with Kathryn, De’Shaun, and Ryan soaking up the knowledge. Once the window is in, Jeff shows them how to make sure it’s square. With stud walls in, rough plumbing has begun. Richard works with plumber Josh as well as Jeff to find a solution for a drain from an upstairs toilet that’s located right above a structural double joist. Tom repairs an old dining room built-in with hand tools and a bar of soap; the team shares more home inspection nightmares; electrician Heath Eastman makes his first house call to install a chandelier in a homeowner’s dining room.
Oct 31 2019
With the gables installed on both sides of the addition, Kevin O'Connor finds Tom Silva and Jeff Sweenor building and raising the narrow gambrel roof profiles on either end. The next step is to stand the two second floor dormer walls on the long sides of the house. With the windows framed out, Tom and Kevin throw in with Jeff and his crew to finish sheathing before they raise the walls. As part of the Generation Next initiative, each season apprentices are invited to join the building team so they can learn on the job. Kevin introduces the three newest apprentices, Kathryn Fulton, Ryan Dolan, and De’Shaun Burnett. Each come to the jobsite with a different background story and are ready to dive in with the crew. The original house had the most basic of waste water systems, a cesspool. The new construction means the homeowners must upgrade their system. Richard Trethewey meets with engineer Jeff Balch to find out the modern plan for waste water—including a biological system that significantly reduces the amount of nitrogen that’s released to a leaching field. Meanwhile, heavy lifting continues as Jeff’s team wraps up framing the second story and attic of the house. Kevin assists Jeff with installing the LVL ridge. Tom shows the three new apprentices how to measure and cut the roof rafters while the rest of the crew starts to install them. Tom explains the uses and purposes of different types of screws; Richard travels to Park City, Utah to install a whole house ductless humidifier; Ross and Richard discuss changes to electric bill payment structures; Jenn installs a front entry planter for a homeowner that will last through the winter.
Oct 24 2019
The old ranch house will soon gain a second level. The open concept living space requires extra planning for support of the second story. Now that the first floor walls are framed, Jeff is ready to place the main support beam. Kevin finds the crew maneuvering the 1200 pound PSL beam. The new deck off the back of the house will block the existing basement windows. The homeowners want some light in the basement incase they decide to later improve the space. Kevin watches as a hole is cut in the old foundation for a basement window. Jeff and his team are big fans of the laminated strand lumber used for framing on this project. Kevin travels to Kenora, Canada to find out how and where it comes from. Plant manager Bill Candline gives him a tour. Back at the project, framing continues on the new upper level of the house. Tommy, Jeff and Jeff’s crew are ready to raise the new gable ends. Jenn teaches Kevin how to plant a small herb garden with a cocktail theme; a homeowner’s radiator sprung away from the pipe when he tried to replace the valve, so Richard heads to his house to help him reconnect it; Mark replaces a homeowner’s sloppy fireplace surround with a clean, thin brick veneer.
Oct 17 2019
At the old Westerly Ranch House, the roof was disassembled to add a new level, but the original chimney is going to be in the way of the open floor plan concept on the first floor. Jeff works with mason Mark McCullough to take down the center chimney brick by brick. A major addition also means new windows and that’s a big investment. Scott and Shayla meet with architectural designer Lori Foley for a window-shopping spree at a local showroom where they consider price, material, color, grill pattern, and door hardware. Back at the house, the original exterior walls were made of 2x4 framing material and were only 8 feet high. Instead, Jeff wants to use 2x6 manufactured framing lumber for strength and added insulation and raise the new ceiling to 9 feet. The old walls get sliced into sections and pushed out. As demolition continues at the house, Jeff is thinking about purchasing building materials. Richard joins him at a convention in Las Vegas to check out the latest plumbing fixtures. Meanwhile, at the house, the foundation is squared off and ready for framing. Kevin finds Jeff’s crew as they start to frame the main part of the house. Jeff uses manufactured framing stock, but the original rafters were in such good shape they decided to rip them to a desired dimension to repurpose for interior wall framing. Mauro paints a baby’s nursery using zero VOC paint; Richard tests out a new dryer that uses a heat pump to dry the clothes; Tom and Kevin build a record player stand out of oak plywood.
Oct 10 2019
The crew arrives at the new project in Westerly, Rhode Island – a sturdy 1940’s ranch that was built and occupied by the same family since the new homeowners, Scott and Shayla, acquired it. They give Kevin and Tommy a tour of the knotty pine paneled interior. Builder Jeff Sweenor and his architectural design team have been working with Scott and Shayla on a transformation to take advantage of the distant view of the water and they show it to Kevin on the computer. Norm travels to California to see where the quintessential ranch house evolved. Jeff takes a tour with Richard to see the existing garage and basement. A renovation as big as this will call for a new and efficient heating and air system as well as an updated septic system. Outside Jenn and Roger walk the property and discuss what can be done with the varying landscape. Jeff invites a local Habitat for Humanity crew to come and salvage a host of building materials, including the knotty pine paneling, before the demo begins. Nathan travels to Birmingham, Alabama to install a sliding barn door in an open-concept loft apartment; Tom compares the qualities of different types of roofing materials; Ross explains the culprit behind damaged solar panels and how to prevent future damage; Mark installs a dry well for a homeowner with drainage issues in his backyard.
Oct 03 2019

Season 17

26 Episodes

The lackluster mid-century box is a modern marvel once again. Kevin and Tommy arrive to assess the transformation of the exterior of the house. After using the new front entry and walking through the mudroom, they take in the heart of the home, opened up to allow for a spacious working kitchen and eating area with clear sightlines into the living room. Homeowners Sunil and Neha celebrate the high ceilings, abundance of glass, balconies and hanging gas fireplace. Sunil takes Tommy upstairs to the bedroom level, where they now have a master suite with ample clothes storage and a bathroom with sleek, modern accents. In their daughter Nisa’s room, installer Zak is finishing up his work on the motorized window shades. In the basement, Richard shows Kevin the multiple mechanical and electrical closets, laundry room, gym area and garage. Charlie joins the discussion to discuss the heated driveway to help melt snow and prevent flooding. On the lower living level, Sunil and Tommy tour the guest suite, complete with a kitchenette, bathroom and private entrance. Outside, Jenn shows Kevin the new patio with sitting wall, and explains their plans to develop proper drainage for rain. Back inside, Sunil and Neha show Kevin around their dining area, pantry and kitchen, where panels hide appliances and a custom hood adorns the gas and induction cooktops. Everyone joins to celebrate the completion of the project. Jenn helps a homeowner add some curb appeal using Victorian plants to match the design of his house; the team shares more home inspection nightmares; Mauro demonstrates how to accurately match a paint color; Tom and Kevin hand carve wooden serving utensils using leftover pine from a previous Build It project.
Jun 29 2019
Doors are hung, floors are going down; it’s time for finishing touches. Kevin finds Shawn McEvoy and his team installing a closet organization system in the master bedroom. Our apprentice Carly’s next lesson is installing a modern baseboard. Her teacher: the master Tom Silva. The master bath has a unique drain in the wall. Kevin gets Mark Ferrante and Kevin Bilo to show him how magnets create the illusion of a hidden drain. The flooring chosen by our homeowners comes pre-finished, but not the stair treads, and there are a lot of stairs in this house. Tommy helps our restoration expert Wayne Towle stain the treads to match the floors. More last-minute details include hardware for the interior doors. Kevin finds Sunil at a local hardware store where Daniel Heyligers helps sort through the options. A challenge for any cabinet installer is to make the bathroom cabinets appear to float on the wall. Kevin finds our former apprentice, Nathan, working with his father in the master bath. Tom demonstrates how to sharpen a knife; Mauro teaches a homeowner how to re-stain her deck; Mark demonstrates the best way to build a fire in order to prevent smoke from filling up the room; in Future House, Ross travels to Los Angeles to learn about innovations being made to automatic water shutoff valves.
Jun 22 2019
Door jambs in a mid-century modern home have no trim. For our crew, it’s a style they don’t often see. Today Kevin finds Tommy installing interior doors with no trim. Our homeowners have decided to use large-format tile on the floors of three levels of the house. Kevin finds Mark Ferrante handling 80-pound tiles as he lays them in the living room. Kevin and Richard revisit a project we did in Key West in 1999, for our 20th season. Back in Brookline, the homeowners want a gas fireplace in the living room, so of course it has a sleek, modern look. Kevin finds Chris Weiner and his crew doing the installation. The cabinets for the kitchen are modern but it takes old-fashioned skills to install them properly. One of our original apprentices, Nathan Gilbert, is back as the lead carpenter on this kitchen project. Tommy is working with Nathan and his father, Bill, on the install. Tom discusses the conversations a homeowner and a contractor should have before starting a renovation project; Richard travels to Orlando to diagnose and repair an HVAC system that is creating way too much humidity; Mauro demonstrates the technique for using a paint sprayer; Mark travels to Denver to patch a hole in a brick wall.
May 25 2019
Windows are a defining feature of a Mid-Century Modern house. Kevin travels to a glass factory in Wisconsin to see how plate glass is manufactured and to Minnesota to see our windows come together. Back at the house, a massive window goes in above the sliding balcony doors. Our project has taken us into the cold New England winter. But there’s still much work to be done, including exterior painting. Kevin finds Mauro deciding what to do on a 30-degree day. The driveway runs downhill into the garage. A drain at the bottom handles rain, but what about snow? Richard helps Kevin Bilo install a radiant heating system that will make short work of removing snow. The patio installation is an integral part of our project’s drainage system. Kevin finds Jenn and Roger installing permeable pavers. Ross tests out a new, smart stud finder; Nathan travels to Portland, Oregon to repair an original wood floor that was burned from a face-down hot iron; Tom gives a general overview of a table saw and the best techniques to use it safely and effectively; Jenn helps a homeowner replace and improve foundation plantings that have been crushed by snow piles.
May 18 2019
Our Mid-century Modern house mixes stained and painted siding, typical of this style of architecture. Kevin finds Tommy using two methods for the corner edge detail. The stone wall on the front of our house was in rough shape and the sewer work took it over the edge. It’s Mark McCullough’s job to put it back together. But first he has to find a source for puddingstone. Thirteen years ago we tackled our first mid-century modern, a rundown house in Cambridge, MA. Tommy and Kevin go back to the house to compare that project to our Brookline mid-century modern. Back at the house, rough electric is well underway. Kevin finds our electrician, Heath Eastman, installing modern LED downlights in the kitchen. Our old house handled rain water by sending it to the town sewer. That’s no longer allowed. Jenn and Kevin find Roger’s crew installing two large tanks under the new driveway. They will filter and store the runoff. Roger and Jenn share some tips for killing weeds without hurting the lawn; Mark delicately restores a damaged historic fireplace that is built with custom, nearly irreplaceable bricks; Richard and Ross discuss improvements to thermostats and how they contribute to comfort in a home; Tom adds structure to a porch in order to safely hang a swing.
May 11 2019
The final roof section of the house is over the new living room addition. It’s unique because it cantilevers out over a balcony. But as Kevin finds out from Tommy, that means installing the rafters takes more care. In the kitchen, the main counter is up against a wall of windows and that causes a problem for venting the drain for the sink. Richard shows Kevin how to install a bow vent to send the pipe down through the basement. Outside, Kevin finds Tommy giving our apprentice Erick a lesson in letting siding breathe. The HVAC crew has been busy with ductwork and today Richard is helping install an air handler for the bedroom wing. A flat roof in New England can turn into a wintery mess if ice and snow slide onto a doorway. Kevin finds Tommy installing cleats on the roof over an entrance. Tom teaches a homeowner how to replace split-level stair treads in his mid-century modern home; Jenn shares some tips about pruners; Richard shortens a gas pipe for a homeowner whose new stove does not fit against the wall because it is getting stuck on the pipe.
May 04 2019
With seven different levels, mid-century modern homes have no shortage of stairs. Kevin finds Tommy figuring out how many risers are needed for stairs going from the new living room to a loft. In the basement, demo has exposed the old concrete foundation walls on the ground floor. Kevin finds Tommy starting to insulate those walls. He uses a lightweight foam system with studs and channels for electric wires built into foam. Our homeowners are big fans of radiant heat, and there are several varieties of radiant going into our project. Richard and Kevin Bilo install a radiant system under a wood floor in the new loft. In the kitchen, the stove is against a huge bank of windows, so Tommy explains the plan for getting the exhaust gasses out of the building. Norm and Richard spent months working on a project in Santa Fe, New Mexico. To celebrate our 40th season on air, they’re heading back 30 years later to see how everything has held up. Mark repoints a crumbling fieldstone foundation and shares an important lesson about water management on the outside of the house; Tom discusses the proper disposal techniques for oily rags to prevent spontaneous combustion; instead of scraping, Mauro smooths over a textured ceiling using joint compound.
Apr 27 2019
There are four hardscapes in the yard that require stone. Today Jenn travels with our homeowners, Sunil and Neha, and Blair, the landscape architect, to a stone design center to pick out material. Back at the house, Tommy installs the skylight that Norm framed out. A completely new sewer line and water main to the street goes in outside. Kevin finds Richard working with Jimmy McLaughlin’s crew as they make a mess of the street. A good sub-floor is key to a solid, quiet floor. Tommy shows Kevin some sub-flooring skills he learned years ago. Downstairs, the original foundation of our project has a bad crack that could be a problem in the future. Tommy and Kevin watch Hugo Provetti repair the fissure with a foundation epoxy. Richard travels to Los Angeles to update a water filter on a retro faucet; Mark explains the uses for different types of masonry jointers; Nathan explains when and how to use a Japanese pull saw; Tom demonstrates the correct materials and techniques required for re-caulking a bathtub.
Apr 20 2019
The homeowners want living space in the basement. To clear the space of lally columns, Tommy, Charlie, Kevin and the apprentices install a steel beam. A sleek, modern kitchen with lots of glass means limited options for electrical wall outlets. Kevin finds Sunil working with electrician Heath Eastman to decide where receptacles can and must go. The flat Mid-Century Modern roof lends itself to a rubber surface. Kevin finds Tommy working with the roofing company to install one on the addition. One of the first apprentices from the Generation NEXT initiative was Nathan Gilbert, who has continued his career as a carpenter. Tommy pitches in with Nathan on a small project in order to find out what he’s been up to since he graduated from the program. Forty years ago, one of Norm’s first projects for This Old House was to install a skylight on our first renovation in Dorchester, MA. Today Norm teaches the next generation of tradespeople how to master that skill. Our apprentice, Carly, is the student. Jenn travels to Orlando to upgrade an irrigation system; the team looks at more Home Inspection Nightmares; Tom discusses kitchen renovations; Kevin returns to upstate New York to build an Adirondack-style outdoor chair with maker Jimmy DiResta.
Apr 13 2019
The foundation on our Mid-Century Modern house has no footings. Kevin finds Mark McCullough fixing the problem by pouring a buttress along the foundation. As part of our 40-year anniversary, we are revisiting some of our most memorable projects. Kevin travels to Manchester by the Sea in Massachusetts to check out one of our largest restorations. Back in Brookline, Richard shows how a Mid-Century Modern open floor plan with high ceilings means there is very little space for HVAC ductwork. New technology will help solve that problem. Like most Mid-Century Moderns, ours has deep soffits. Kevin finds Tommy and Charlie fashioning them out of PVC. Tommy explains the need to compensate for expansion and contraction based on the weather. Inside, our homeowners want an open kitchen so Tommy, Norm and Charlie show our apprentices how it’s done. Jenn partners with an ecologist in Cheyenne, Wyoming to learn about different types of prairie grasses and how to care for them; Kevin learns about ways to make a home more resistant to wildfires; in Future House, Ross sees a robotic, ground-mounted solar array that mimics a sunflower.
Apr 06 2019
The existing basement has a very low ceiling. The homeowners want to turn the area into more usable space, so Mark McCullough takes a jackhammer to the concrete floor so he can dig it out and create more headroom. Outside, the foundation has been poured and framing has begun. Norm teaches Erick and Carly how to lay the sill. Our Generation Next program highlights a program at Ft. Stewart in Georgia that is turning grunts into soldiers of the building trades. The town of Brookline requires our builder to inspect the old sewer line from the inside. Richard works with a plumbing company in the basement with a tool designed to record the pipe from the house to the street. The architect for our project has refreshed the modern box design of the exterior, made popular in the 50s. Now our homeowners are focused on the interior space, where they want to ramp up that modern feel. Kevin finds Sunil meeting with interior designers who are starting the process. Mauro helps a homeowner clean up and repaint a rusty metal railing; Richard discusses some innovations that can make clearing a clogged sink easier; Tom and Kevin build a wine rack out of a reclaimed beam.
Mar 30 2019
Feb 23 2019
Feb 16 2019
Feb 09 2019
Feb 02 2019
Jan 26 2019
The difference between blueboard and drywall; properly sizing the solar array; installing a wood ceiling; replacing a concrete walkway with brick; building a table
Jan 17 2019
Heat pump; applying stone veneer; installing a wall-hung toilet; building a vanity; building a swing set; automated construction
Jan 10 2019
Sealing the home against air leaks; fabricating porch columns and rails; completing the exterior wall system; repairing and updating a fireplace surround.
Jan 03 2019
Changing the swing of a door; designing a tropical landscape; putting up cedar roof shingles; raising the barn; insulating the basement
Nov 15 2018
Building a storage bench; replacing a cartridge in an old shower valve; roof insulation begins; installing windows; Rep. Donald Norcross (D-N.J.) Visits.
Nov 08 2018
Installing crown molding; stripping wallpaper; insulation rafter tails; shopping for lighting.
Nov 01 2018
New apprentices join the team in Rhode Island as the roof goes up; Kevin and Tom take a tour of Judith's finished house in Charleston; Richard installs a garage heater; Tom teaches sanding; Ross installs a security system
Oct 25 2018
Jeff shows Kevin how he's framing the net zero house; Richard demonstrates heat loss and gain to design a balanced HVAC system; Mark installs a stone walkway; Mauro breaks down painter's tape; Tom builds a headboard
Oct 18 2018
Old shingles with asbestos are removed and new foundation is formed in a factory. Kevin tours Jamestown. In the second half: Tom repairs a basement window; and Ross visits NASA to learn about the International Space Station.
Oct 11 2018
Oct 04 2018

Season 16

26 Episodes

Charleston single house wraps up
May 31 2018
May 24 2018
May 17 2018
May 10 2018
Rough plumbing kitchen design front porch issues; a new floor looks old; electricity in exposed bricks; installing a gutter alternative; re-creating the desert in a landscape design
May 03 2018
Disguising pipes in a house with no stud walls; seeking out places for HVAC equipment; single houses; painting a door; matching mortar; different joints
Apr 26 2018
Pouring a new foundation; connecting an old kitchen to the main house; fixing a shower; chainsaw safety; designer Ben Uyeda
Apr 19 2018
An old fireplace houses a new stove; touring hidden gardens; flooring options; fixing a loose stair railing; touring a smart house
Apr 13 2018
Demolition begins on the projects; sub-tropical plants; trade school; building a planter out of a feeding trough; building a sign with Jimmy DiResta
Apr 06 2018
Two Projects begin-- a brick 1840's single house and a multigenerational 1890's home; installing a metal railing; steam heat; replacing broken tile
Mar 29 2018
Touring the renovated house, and rebuilding efforts in Texas following Hurricane Harvey.
Feb 22 2018
Installing a fireback on a kitchen wall; repairing a water system with air in it; painting a room
Feb 16 2018
Laying composite decking; installing a quartz countertop; paving the walk and installing dry wells; a computer based workshop in San Francisco
Feb 09 2018
Preventative tree work; tiling; apprentices graduate; installing a downspout alternative; paintbrushes; installing a vanity
Jan 13 2018
Installing an old door; putting in a corner cabinet; installing a stone wall; converting a regular door into a dutch door; updating a landscape without adding new plants
Jan 24 2018
Making a stained glass window; touring a flooring factory; installing stairs; installing a tankless water heater; rebuilding a retaining wall
Jan 17 2018
Pine Trim,, mechanical wall design; repairing holes in old plaster; testing dust collection tools; shimming a toilet; building a table with Jimmy DiResta
Jan 10 2018
Connecting steel piping, flared shingle detail, the apprentices learn how to install replacement windows, repairing a walkway and a chipped floor
Jan 04 2018
The apprentices get a lesson in roofing; an elaborate Chippendale railing is put together; a new slab of concrete goes in the basement; and ductwork is put together. In the second half: fixing a window; and a solar panel that can generate drinking water.
Dec 28 2017
An old floor becomes a new door; the garage floor gets radiant heat; and new columns are added to the front porch. In the second half: a toy box is built; and holiday fire prevention is discsused.
Nov 16 2017
Apprentices frame a wall in the bedroom, build a drain stack in the bath and lay porch decking. Homeowners visit a cabinet designer. In the second half: removing a tree; finding studs in a wall; and installing a garage door opener.
Nov 09 2017
The apprentices frame a deck while the chimney comes down. Homeowners pick a custom pattern for the floor. A flue for the wood-burning stove is installed. In the second half: replacing a radiator; and repointing bricks.
Nov 02 2017
A new floor is built and the apprentices learn how to level the front porch and build a hip roof. In the second half: Roger reseeds a dead lawn; Richard changes a toilet; and Ross visits an off-grid home.
Oct 26 2017
The crew installs a beam to support a new opening to the kitchen and the apprentices work on the front porch. In the second half: Tom installs a backsplash and Jenn installs a rainwater feature.
Oct 19 2017
New foundation is poured; plants are saved from being trampled by construction; and mold is found in the basement. In the second half: Scott updates smoke detectors and Richard diagnoses a leaking safety valve.
Oct 12 2017
In the Season 16 premiere, a woman inherits her childhood home but it needs changes for her children and in-laws. Mike Rowe discusses the need for skilled tradespeople. In the second half: Richard installs a new type of water softener and Tom builds a shadow box.
Oct 05 2017

Season 15

26 Episodes

A tour of the completed house, citing both interior and exterior improvements.
Jun 01 2017
Interior painting; repairing decorative molding with a putty knife; installing interior doors; revitalizing a fireplace.
May 25 2017
Installing leaded glass bay windows; laying down modern wood-grain tile; urban farming in Detroit; installing a drywell; installing kitchen cabinets.
May 18 2017
May 11 2017
At the Grandmont Rosedale project, a new exterior wall goes up, from the inside. In Russell Woods, Scott Caron and local electrician Shane Masters rough-in new kitchen wiring. Richard finds Joe Burke installing a brand new HVAC system.
May 04 2017
Apr 27 2017
At the Grandmont Rosedale project, Kevin tours the demo on the house, and then meets electrician Lenny Rodriguez to learn about his electrical plan. Back in Russell Woods, Tommy teaches Tamiko, Monet and Christian techniques to remove all the peeling paint in the living room. Richard and Frank begin rough plumbing repairs in the basement using PEX tubing.
Apr 20 2017
At the Russell Woods project, Richard snakes a camera down the main plumbing stack to rule out any major blockages to the street. Frank asks Tommy for help with the leaky parapet at the front of the house. They find the parapet is filled with dirt. After removing it all, they use a rubber roofing material to properly seal the roof and prevent further leaks.
Apr 13 2017
Kevin meets Detroit’s Mayor, Mike Duggan, to learn about the city’s efforts to eliminate blight and revitalize the neighborhoods. Kevin meets Land Bank Executive Craig Fahle, who shows him around an abandoned home in the Grandmont Rosedale neighborhood. Through a program called Rehabbed & Ready, the city plans to renovate the property and sell it to a family who plans to stay.
Apr 06 2017
Kevin introduces the city of Detroit and describes some of its history. He meets journalist Stephen Henderson in front of his childhood home, and learns about how the city and its neighborhoods came upon hard times.
Mar 30 2017
A tour of the competed project house, including the new addition in the back; updated front hall, dining room and pantry; expanded master suite; new bathroom; and new front porch.
Feb 23 2017
The kitchen island countertop is installed; work commences on a fieldstone wall in the front yard; wallpaper covers a new secret door in the upstairs foyer; and the finished heating, cooling and ventilation system is examined.
Feb 16 2017
The homeowners have chosen ship lap, the hottest wall covering right now, for the third floor. Reclaimed granite is used for steps, and a marble slab is cut for the kitchen island. A cast stone mantel is built around the fireplace in the family room.
Feb 09 2017
Exterior features include roof detail over a bank of windows, a refinished front door and evergreen trees along the edges of the property; lazure painting in a bedroom.
Feb 02 2017
New shingles are installed; radiant tubing is installed on the first floor; the fireplace is given a makeover; and the side decks and rails are built.
Jan 26 2017
Electrical cables are buried; porch base columns are built; kitchen cabinets are installed; and the front gable is trimmed. In the second half: A rundown walkway is revitalized with bluestone; and wire connections are discussed. Also: creating mead.
Jan 19 2017
A new shed is built; copper is installed on the front porch; the windows are trimmed with a PVC product; and the new boiler is installed. Also: An energy-efficient home built by This Old House Magazine is spotlighted. In the second half: A woodworking shop is created in a garage; and a wireless light switch is installed. Also: plumbing's memory lane
Jan 12 2017
A new front porch is framed using custom cut pieces; a marble quarry is visited; and new color combinations for the exterior are considered. Also: fixing the original stucco panels. In the second half: A home elevator is assembled for a young man injured in the Afghanistan War. Also: growing edible vegetable and herb seedlings.
Jan 05 2017
The new foundation is parged to match the old stucco; the new master bath-shower is drained; the electrician starts work in the new powder room; and the living room windows are replaced. In the second half: picking an efficient washer and dryer; and fixing a three-way switch. Also: tips on table saw safety.
Nov 17 2016
A custom range hood is fabricated; and, on the roof, the chimney is built. Also: options for the first floor, including the living room panels. In the second half: A robotic wall is used in a micro-apartment; and reclaimed pine is turned into a bench.
Nov 10 2016
Work on the fireplace; and designing the kitchen. In the second half: An HVAC innovator demonstrates a new technology that could change the way homes are heated and cooled. Also: using plaster to patch drywall.
Nov 03 2016
The fabrication and installation of the steel beams are detailed. Also: working on the HVAC plan for the second and third floors; removing the front porch and placing new footings; and sizing a new firebox. In the second half: replacing a water heater with a more efficient model; and starting a backyard orchard. Also: tips for circular saws.
Oct 27 2016
A new foundation is built using insulated concrete forms and precast stairs; and the old foundation is reinforced and waterproofed. Also: shopping for specimen trees. In the second half: replacing a cracked deck board on a front porch; and using crown molding to conceal wires during an outlet install. Also: A question about blue stains in the bathtub is answered.
Oct 20 2016
Installing a steel beam; removing an oil tank; digging a new foundation; creating a bookshelf using stair treads; designing a front garden.
Oct 13 2016
Color and wallpaper ideas for the living room are contemplated; the old plaster walls are demolished; the landscape architect presents her plan; and an arborist begins removing the old silver maple. In the second half: examining fire dangers in homes; and replacing a rusty kitchen sink strainer.
Oct 06 2016
In the Season 15 premiere, homeowners share their plan to restore and expand their early English-style Arts and Crafts home, which was built in 1909. In the second half: repairing an old window; and using a robotic lawnmower. Also: lead in drinking water is discussed.
Sep 29 2016

Season 14

26 Episodes

In the Season 14 finale, the exterior transformation is assessed; a custom closet is built; and the home's interior is toured. In the second half: a home gym is built for a wounded Navy SEAL; and a faulty doorbell is repaired. Also: the important roles that 22 and 45 play under the sink.
May 26 2016
The staircase is finished with a maple newel post; and a reproduction antique light fixture is connected to a granite lamppost. Also: how water is water drawn from the well; and how the backup generator is installed. In the second half: turning a bookshelf into a secret door; and installing an outdoor house hydrant. Also: the two tools used for most electrical work.
May 19 2016
Landscaping begins with a backyard patio; the den receives some formal wainscoting; the interior paint colors are selected; and the factory-made staircase is installed. In the second half: Nick Offerman visits. Also: creating a steel pipe shelf; and building a pond-less waterfall.
May 12 2016
Work begins on the geothermal system; First Period homes are toured; the stairs and wall panels are built at the factory; and new technology to seal ductwork is spotlighted. In the second half: repairing an antique door; growing edible herbs indoors; and determining the cause of disappearing toilet water.
Apr 28 2016
Work begins on the geothermal system; First Period homes are toured; the stairs and wall panels are built at the factory; and new technology to seal ductwork is spotlighted. In the second half: repairing an antique door; growing edible herbs indoors; and determining the cause of disappearing toilet water.
Apr 28 2016
Red cedar shingles are installed on the roof; window installation begins; and the pre-built cupola is lifted to the top of the garage. Also: a trip to Vermont to see reproduction light fixtures. In the second half: installing a washer and dryer; adding a chandelier to a dining room; and using a power driver.
Apr 21 2016
The plan for the living-dining room is explained; the exterior trim arrives; and a look at how the roof is being raised. In the second half: an Idaho potato farm; home weather stations; and track lighting.
Apr 14 2016
A perimeter drain is installed; the new foundation is inspected; the first shipment of pre-cut framing lumber arrives; the landscape plan is explained; and framing begins. In the second half: creating a wildlife oasis; making a wood floor patch look seamless; and unclogging a sink.
Apr 07 2016
A tour of the factory where the house will be built. In the second half: an overflow drain is installed.
Mar 31 2016
A new project commences on the North Shore of Massachusetts. Also: a chimney overhaul; the installation of an exhaust fan in a kitchen and a tutorial on roof shingles.
Mar 24 2016
Historical texture is added to the master suite; and the end of the project reveals a new Victorian front porch, restored windows, relaxing master suite, functional living space and open kitchen. In the second half: maple syrup is made; a backyard chicken coop is built; and the value of USB outlets is discussed.
Feb 18 2016
The kitchen counters are installed; a divider between the eating area and mudroom is built; mechanical improvements in the basement are detailed; and a special magnetic paint is applied in the kitchen. In the second half: a closet is upgraded with a coat rack, shelving and new door; the cause of a leaky toilet is ascertained; and a wobbly sconce is replaced at a home that was once a church
Feb 11 2016
Plants removed prior to construction are returned; a craftsman carves two newel posts; the refurbished clawfoot tub and marble countertop are installed; and the treehouse is revealed to the kids. In the second half: a front door deadbolt is replaced with a smart lock controlled by Bluetooth; and a weather-resistant TV is installed on a patio.
Feb 04 2016
Work continues on the tree house; the refurbished windows are installed; wainscoting is installed in the front entryway; and the parquet flooring is restored. In the second half: installing a new attic staircase; and updating an old kitchen. Also: the best blowtorches.
Jan 28 2016
An arched shingle design is created for the front porch gable; the process of making a custom floor cloth for the kitchen is examined; porch railings are built; and work on a tree house commences. In the second half: a pedestal sink is replaced; a troublesome outdoor switch and wobbly post light are replaced; and popular plants are turned into a work of art.
Jan 21 2016
A storm door is converted into a window for the mudroom porch; interior paint colors are selected; the porch piers are shingled; and tile is installed in the master bath. In the second half: a coffee table is built from old oak; and a patch of grass is turned into a driveway lawn. Also: avoiding frozen pipes.
Jan 14 2016
The flooring for the front porch is installed; light fixtures are selected; the new fireplaces on the first floor are discussed; and the porch roof shingles are installed. In the second half: an electrical solution for ice dams; snow blower maintenance; and tips for furnace tune-ups. Also: a conversation about winter with Weather Channel meteorologist Jim Cantore.
Jan 07 2016
The mudroom is framed; the homeowners consider colors for the exterior of their house; the process of refinishing the clawfoot bathtub is explained; and the 120 Victorian molding is replicated. In the second half: childproofing a new mom's home; and fixing a falling sink. Also: a tutorial on voltage testers.
Dec 31 2015
Framing begins on the front porch; ductwork is snaked through the house; and an outdoor antique show is visited. In the second half: Home brewing is discussed with Bridget Lancaster ("America's Test Kitchen"). Also: a $40 DIY project to conserve water; and tips for avoiding holiday disposal disasters.
Nov 19 2015
The HVAC plan is explained; the old steel main water line is replaced; and the bathroom tile is selected. In the second half: a butterfly garden is created; an under-lit closet is brightened; and must-have woodworking tools are discussed.
Nov 12 2015
The blocks for the mudroom foundation are placed; a bay window is built in the kitchen; and the front entryway is opened up. Also: visiting the shop where the original windows are being restored. In the second half: a trendy bathroom mistake is corrected; and light is cast on a dark driveway. Also: an unusual find in an old attic.
Nov 05 2015
Work on the mudroom foundation begins; the insulation in the attic is removed; and a door is resized to fit a smaller opening. Also: dream-kitchen cabinets. In the second half: creating soil from organic garbage; and determining why a steam boiler is losing water.
Oct 29 2015
Flitch beams are installed in the kitchen; a rear-mounted toilet is discovered on the third floor; and a plan for the shade-covered backyard is developed. Also: how laminated veneer lumber is made. In the second half: investigating energy efficiency in Germany; and installing a residential wind turbine in Texas.
Oct 22 2015
Rotten lally columns in the basement are replaced; the marble sink and claw-foot tub are removed from the guest bath so that they can be restored; and a historic house with 19th-century air conditioning and plumbing is discovered. In the second half: repairing a driveway pothole; giving new life to an old railroad lantern; and building a Shaker-styled nightstand.
Oct 15 2015
Plants are removed to make way for the porch; the demolition to open up the kitchen begins; a determination is made on how the weight of the house will be supported; and the window pulley systems are repaired. In the second half: chainsaw safety is discussed; a garage's electrical connection is improved; and squeaky floors are silenced in a baby's room.
Oct 08 2015
A new project kicks off Season 14: the restoration of an 1895 Victorian in Belmont, Mass. In the second half: sprucing up a school garden; and installing a whole house fan.
Oct 01 2015

Season 13

26 Episodes

Work on the HFOT house wraps up; and the family moves into its new home. Also: the importance of community involvement, which in this case finds more than 150 volunteers laying down sod, mulching the beds and planting; and the designs for the master closet and dining-room table. In the second half: mowing a lawn; installing a thermostat that interfaces with a smartphone; and installing a photovoltaic solar array on a barn.
May 28 2015
Work on the HFOT home continues. Included: the requirements for ADA-approved and Energy Star-rated homes; the technology behind touchless faucets and toilets; and the technology behind the automatic-door opener that's being used on many of the doors. Also: using a beveled piece of marble to create an ADA-compliant threshold in the shower. In the second half: installing an electric vehicle charger next to a house; and installing a new kitchen sink.
The team helps with a Home for Our Troops project. In the second half: planting an indoor tropical garden with plants from Jamaica; changing the temperature on water heaters; and building an American flag out of reclaimed wood.
The transformation of the 1966 Garrison Colonial is reviewed. Included: the technology built into the new kitchen; the customization of the spaces over the garage; and the updates made to the older parts of the house. In the second half: quieting a noisy baseboard heating system; and adding light to a kitchen by installing three new recessed cans. Also: kitchen island dimensions.
Installing tall fescue, which needs less water and fertilizer than other varieties; and designing the great room's entertainment center. Also: the finished mechanical room; and the final heating and cooling decisions. In the second half: replacing a mailbox damaged by a snowplow; and reusing an old door in a new opening. Also: window anatomy.
New plants are added to the landscaping plan; and a wrought-iron chandelier with 52 bulbs is installed. Also: the radiators being used in the garage and upstairs sitting room; the upstairs laundry room; and the insulated steel garage doors that should help keep the heat inside the garage. In the second half: installing landscape lighting; and replacing a water main shutoff valve.
A look at the LED ribbon strip lights being used under the cabinets in the kitchen and butler's pantry. Also: the mudroom storage system is built; the ventilation system is reviewed; wallpaper is applied to the ceiling in one bedroom; and decorative stripes are painted on an accent wall in another bedroom. In the second half: Lightning is discussed with meteorologist Jim Cantore; and a visit to Orlando shows a lightning-protection system being installed.
The bluestone front walk is started despite significant grade challenges; porcelain tile made to look like slate is installed in the screen porch; and the vanity project is recapped. Also: selecting and fabricating antique granite for the front walk and custom house marker. In the second half: replacing a ceiling fan; and visiting a bonsai nursery to learn how to sculpt trees.
With the second floor sanded, stained and sealed, the crew commences work on the first floor; the custom refrigerator panels are spotlighted; and a chest of drawers is re-purposed as the sink base in the powder room. Also: local designer Robin Gannon shows how she decorated 22 rooms of an historic inn. In the second half: building a basic entry shelf from poplar and plywood; and wiring a room for outlets and lighting.
The progress on the mudroom and kitchen is recapped; porcelain plank floor tile is installed on treads and risers of the garage stairs; the holes for the recessed lights in the great room are patched; shutters are painted; and how the arched doorway was squared off is explained. Also: abandoning an old electrical box and fishing wires to a new one. In the second half: repairing broken sash cords; and planting bulbs. Also: historian Doris Kearns Goodwin guests in the "What Is It?" segment.
A covered gutter is installed; the infiltration system to disperse water from the gutters into the ground is detailed; native plants that will return part of the lawn back to nature are discussed; and how existing aluminum wiring is being worked with while updating recessed light fixtures and installing sconces over the mantel. Also: the making and testing of two types of windows for the project. In the second half: transforming an old backsplash; and installing a new kitchen faucet.
Rough mechanical and rough framing inspections are discussed; reinforced fiberglass columns to support the farmer's porch are installed; and the storm window system for the screen porch is spotlighted. Also: electric radiant floor heat. In the second half: installing a whole-house ductless heating and cooling system; and repairing a sagging plaster ceiling. Also: tips on hearing protection.
A look at the mudroom door; the work required to patch in new clapboard; the back deck's hybrid railing system; and the layout and design choices for the kitchen. Also: what goes into a rough electrical inspection; and what's trending in kitchens. In the second half: replacing overgrown shrubs with an edible landscape; snaking drains; and replacing damaged pieces of vinyl siding.
How a small stream in the backyard affects the entire yard. Also: trees are removed; shade plants are relocated to a new bed in the side yard; a five-foot section of wall is cut away to connect the kitchen to the great room; and the kitchen's plumbing conditions are discussed. In the second half: installing interior window trim; and wiring an above-ground pool. Also: plumbing tips.
How the roofers applied new architectural shingles to the house to coordinate it and the new addition; and a look at the progress on the back deck. Also: preventing the P-trap from the second-floor bathtub from interfering with the decorative ceiling of the kitchen; and finishing up the trim and decking on the corner deck stair. In the second half: building a cover for a fire pit; and upgrading a bathroom sink.
The second floor's front gable wall is in place; the roof framing is underway; and the framing of the new farmer's porch is spotlighted. Also: a tour of Lexington's historic district with architect Frank Shirley highlights the front porches on colonial-style homes; and a look at how the homeowners are getting by without a kitchen. In the second half: replacing a broken window with a safer option; and rotating a toilet.
How the home will be renovated in stages so that the owners won't have to move out. The work begins with the back porch. Also: the framing of the first floor platform is outlined; and the building permit process is explained. In the second half: connecting a basement lighting system to one switch; and rejuvenating a crabapple tree.
Work on a 1966 colonial in historic Lexington, Mass., commences. The project includes adding a farmer's porch; relocating the playroom; gutting and redesigning the kitchen; and adding a mudroom. Also: adding two more bedrooms, a laundry room and a sitting area to the second floor. In the second half: building a hydroponic garden; and installing a hot- and cold-water outdoor faucet.
The Charlestown project wraps up. Included: restoring the exterior with a new dormer, windows, shutters and front entry; testing the security system; visiting the mechanical room in the basement; spotlighting the completed master suite; and touring the second floor, which features a guest room, guest bath and new living room. In the second half: harvesting honey; and adding outlets to a home.
A basement door is concealed; the new Cararra marble island top is spotlighted; a PVC fence is installed on top of the retaining wall; the front steps are given new life with a grinder, a router, epoxy and non-slip exterior paint; and the salvaged marble mantel and surround are installed in the sitting room. Also: the transformation of a Boston lighthouses into a summer home. In the second half: setting up a beehive; and adding lighting to a dark kitchen without running new wiring.
A major upgrade begins: adding a Greek Revival-style front door. On the second floor, new wood wainscoting is installed; a feature wall insert for the master shower is created with marble basket weave tile; and small section of copper roof is added to the roof. In the second half: installing a natural gas line for a new grill; and hanging a heavy mirror on a masonry chimney. Also: what grows best in the shade.
The ductwork for the new direct vent gas fireplace units is worked on; subtle Greek Revival details are added to the interior window trim; and the exterior window trim is painted. Also: repairing structural problems in a home; and running wiring for a new ceiling fixture and switch.
The progress on the now-approved dormer is spotlighted. Elsewhere, Insulation and wallboard are put into place; and a reclaimed brick veneer is installed on the kitchen bump out. Also: the world's last wooden whaling ship is observed arriving at the Charlestown Navy Yard. In the second half: practical solutions for drought, including replacing a water-guzzling lawn with a desert-appropriate alternative; and replacing an old-fashioned toilet with a "water sense" solution.
How the old chimney will be modified for gas fireplace units. The framing progress is also spotlighted, including in the breakfast area and the third-floor master suite; and rebuilding the backyard retaining walls commences. Also: a chat with a structural engineer about one of Charlestown's most iconic structures, the Zakim Bridge. In the second half: beneficial insects are discussed; a front door is resized; and an outdoor garden faucet is repaired.
A fix for a major problem: exterior walls that are bowing outward. Two weeks of work in the basement, meanwhile, has lowered the floor by several inches; the radiant heat-insulation system is installed; and it's shown how the roof is under-structured. Norm also revisits a Charlestown townhouse featured on the show 14 years ago. In the second half: citrus greening, a disease killing citrus trees in Florida, is discussed. Also: replacing a vinyl peel-and-stick floor with ceramic tile.
Season 13 opens in Boston, where an 1850s-era Greek Revival house is to be upgraded. The homeowner would like to improve the kitchen and the third floor, where the master suite is located. The retaining walls also need work. In the second half: rust staining; the installation of a pass-through in a load-bearing wall; and the replacement of a poorly built fence gate. Also: NASA astronaut Rick Mastracchio joins the fun when the guys play "What is it?"

Season 12

26 Episodes


Season 11

26 Episodes

The Season 11 finale tours the cottage after the installation of interior screens and a Dutch door. In the second half: servicing subway trains; painting kitchen cabinets; estimating landscape material by the cubic yard; installing a smart thermostat.
The geothermal system's installation is recapped; reclaimed marble tile is used in the foyer; and custom-ordered, hand-painted border tile is used in the kitchen. Also: a tour of the Seattle home of architect Emory Baldwin. In the second half: making and installing custom concrete countertops; making watertight connections without soldering; demonstrated cordless landscape tools.
Exterior details help bring the outside into the sunroom; the look of the original cottage is revived with parged plaster, salvaged hearth tile and stained quarter-sawn oak floors. Also: visiting Daryl Hall at his antique home and studio. In the second half: installing surge protectors; cutting and shaping rocks for hardscaping projects.
The last shipyard in Essex, Mass., is visited; a home with accessible retrofits is toured. Also: building shiplap barn-board walls and a mantel; examining the finished yard; laying out the reclaimed tile hearth. In the second half: safely using ladders; replacing a three-handle shower valve with a single-handle anti-scald valve.
The Old World look of the walls is completed with rustic plaster and old beams; a self-contained membrane bioreactor septic system is installed in the basement; the driveway is adorned with a granite and cobble border. In the second half: solving a mystery of melted vinyl siding; conducting a whole-house energy audit.
Granite and bluestone are used to finish the barrier-free walk that leads to the house; the standing-seam metal roof is installed, with creative ducting and plumbing minimizing the number of holes that need to go through it. In the second half: installing a ductless heat pump; discussing LED lighting; selecting houseplants for different situations; driving eye screws.
Geothermal bore holes are filled and grouted; shingles are woven around a corner for a cottage look; custom PVC window trim is milled and installed. In the second half: harvesting corn; insulating ductwork; and maintaining clothes washers and dryers.
Reviving a neglected water feature; drilling for a new water well and geothermal wells; bending a PVC conduit to run the new electrical service underground. In the second half: caring for orchids as houseplants; installing a kitchen wall cabinet.
Keeping water out of the house through flashing and water-table techniques; designing the grade for a barrier-free entry. In the second half: building a storage bench for an entryway; soldering copper pipes; maintaining an overgrown perennial garden.
The Institute for Human Centered Design in Boston and one of architect Sally DeGan's accessibly designed projects are visited. On the project site, a bad shed dormer is removed and work starts on a barrier-free entry. In the second half: maintaining kitchen appliances; installing a rain gutter, downspout and rain barrel.
The conversion of a 1935 Essex, Mass., cottage into a residence for aging parents commences. Included: architect Sally DeGan previews the plan. In the second half: hanging a flat panel TV on the wall and concealing all the wiring; controling insect pests without using pesticides.
The Cambridge project finale highlights the landscape and a vintage doorbell in the foyer. Also: color additions accent the white Scandinavian modern interior. In the second half: installing a toilet; driving eye screws; patching a lawn with grass seed.
The driveway, walk-in closets, home automation and powder-room wallpaper are highlighted; a workbench is built. Also: local glass artist Carrie Gustafson shows how she's making the foyer light. In the second half: restoring terrazzo floors; repairing a cracked floor joist.
Plants are brought inside despite rain; the hearth and wood box are lined with rustic sandstone; wall-mounted lavatory faucets are installed. Also: fabricating the huge butcher block countertop. In the second half: temporarily moving a mature rose bush; replacing old outdoor lighting with new fixtures.
Plastic dry wells are installed to prevent the yard from flooding during heavy rains; the new cabinets are examined. Also: thermostats that program themselves; deck tiles that go over the previous tiles. In the second half: adding a ceiling fan to a cathedral ceiling; installing a water softener.
Granite steps are installed; a window seat is built; MDF doors are disguised as wainscoting; the treads and newel cap on the stairs are worked on; the pine ceiling accents are whitewashed and lacquered. In the second half: using hand planes; repairing a cracked stone walkway.
The house is spray-painted yellow; the windows are trimmed with a custom detail; custom copper half-round gutters and a Danish wood-burning fireplace are installed. Also: commercial-grade cooking appliances. In the second half: mulching a garden bed; installing a natural gas line for a barbecue grill.
Hot Stuff 11x09
Tinted primer is applied with airless sprayers; the second-floor windows are trimmed; the custom copper half-round gutters are installed; the zero-clearance fireplace insert is examined. In the second half: adding interior window trim; installing a device that will heat a swimming pool using the excess heat produced by a central air conditioner.
A visit to Japan Town in Cambridge, Mass.; a look at the exterior trim; how the clapboards are being placed in a way that will let them dry out. Also: creating a staggered shingle pattern; adding floor-warming radiant heat to the first floor; installing a condensing boiler. In the second half: installing a vinyl privacy fence; replacing a clogged shower valve.
The concrete front walk is replaced with a bluestone design; the modifications to the replacement windows are explained; paint prep begins. In the second half: installing a new kitchen sink and faucet; adding insulated sidelights to a front door.
Repointing the foundation; repairing the front porch; rebuilding a porch railing; detailing the fire blocking and fire caulking. Also: the Community Rowing organization of Massachusetts, which makes rowing on the Charles River available to everyone. In the second half: a visit to New York highlights a scale model of the city in Queens; and shows how to install task lighting in a dark kitchen and add a cable-railing system to a deck.
Nov 08 2012
Kevin O'Connor bikes to work on a vintage bicycle; how the steps to the roof deck were removed. Also: tackling the stump left from the old maple; keeping the ducts out of the roof rafter bays in order to save space for insulation; hiding the air handler in a hall closet. In the second half: planting palm trees; replacing an old heating system-hot water heater with a single, more efficient unit.
Nov 01 2012
The crew begins work on the first-floor ceiling; a skylight is added to the master suite. In the second half: laying sod in a yard; measuring without doing math; installing a wireless thermostat to control a heating system.
Oct 25 2012
A load-bearing partition wall is relocated; a dip is removed from the floor; appropriate colors for outside the house are discussed. In the second half: building a custom fireplace mantel; garden edging; repairing a leaky kitchen faucet.
Oct 18 2012
A chimney is removed brick-by-brick so that the bricks can be used on another job; a sick Norway maple is removed; an eco-resale store in Springfield, Mass., is visited. Also: installing a bluestone patio in a backyard; adding a bike rack to a garage.
Oct 11 2012
Season 11 opens in Cambridge, Mass., where the conversion of an 1887 Victorian-era two-family house into a single-family home commences. A look at the yard turns up a few surprises; an energy audit reveals the need for efficiency upgrades; and a deconstruction expert is brought in to help with the removal of old and unneeded house parts. Also: how to customize stock shelving; and install a new washing-machine valve.
Oct 04 2012

Season 10

26 Episodes

The Barrington, R.I., project wraps up in the Season 10 finale. Included: a look at programmable thermostat; a tour of the home, including the master suite, daughter's bedroom and guest room. Also: refinishing worn-out items with spray paint; removing wall-to-wall carpeting and installing a prefinished wood floor.
Mar 29 2012
Glass tile is added to the kitchen; a garage storage system is installed; the cable railing system is completed; a gas stove is installed in the living room. Also: how the lighting creates distinct spaces within the open floor plan. In the second half: installing a manual transfer switch for a portable generator; unclogging a sewer line.
Mar 22 2012
A retractable awning is installed over the deck; the countertops are sealed with wax instead of oil in order to provide a more durable finish; the half-walls are accented with oak caps and a scotia molding. Also: restoring old windows; installing a water filter at a kitchen sink.
Mar 15 2012
How the cracked asphalt in the driveway has been replaced with new concrete pavers; and why high-end cherry veneers are being used for the custom cabinets. Also: hanging the last of the wall cabinets; setting a soaking tub in freshly mixed plaster. In the second half: financing and installing solar photovoltaic panels; framing the walls for a basement remodeling project.
Mar 08 2012
A hidden fastening system is used for the new deck, which features a Brazilian hardwood called garapa; red cedar shingles that were cut into a wave pattern are installed at the top of the side gable. Also: tiling a bathroom floor; weatherstripping a front door.
Mar 01 2012
The Barrington, R.I., project continues with work on the landscape and master bedroom porch, including the installation of a custom copper gutter and scupper. Also: how the home's solar hot-water system is being installed to withstand the area's high winds. In the second half: planting drought-tolerant species in a garden; replacing a door with a window.
Feb 23 2012
The Barrington, R.I., project continues with a look at the house's hydronic system, which features a solar hot-water system on the roof; and the installation of spray-foam insulation. Also: why red shingles are being used instead of white. In the second half: adding vinyl trim to a window; installing a new dishwasher.
Feb 16 2012
The Barrington, R.I., project continues with the installation of windows and architectural shingles. Also: a visit to the Hurricane Research Lab at the University of Florida. In the second half: installing a recirculation pump; fixing the handle on a casement window; lining a chimney.
Feb 09 2012
The Barrington, R.I., project continues with structural steel being bolted and welded into place. The work is put on hold, however, as Hurricane Irene threatens the region. Also: the challenges of living on the coast are explored. In the second half: upgrading a neglected porch; hanging a heavy mirror.
Feb 02 2012
A new project commences with a modified cape on Barrington Beach, R.I., that is in need of internal remodeling, an upgrade to the electrical system and weather-proofing to withstand the marine environment, as well as hurricanes. In the second half: water conservation is discussed, including saving water when irrigating and reusing water from a washing machine. Also: how to maintain small gasoline engines.
Jan 26 2012
The Bedford project concludes. Included: adding plant material; installing the ceramic backsplash tile; hanging the handwoven Japanese wallpaper in the dining room. Also: the design choices for the parlor and dining room are unveiled; and a tour of the entry, mudroom, powder room, kitchen and family room. In the second half: staining a cedar fence; installing window boxes.
Jan 19 2012
A thin layer of liquid asphalt is applied to the driveway; LED strip lighting is installed at the old fireplace. Also: a look at the single garage door, which mimics the appearance of two carriage doors; a discussion of the strategy for lighting the family room and kitchen. In the second half: upgrading a home's electrical system from 100 to 200 amps; designing a garden to attract butterflies.
Jan 12 2012
How the circa 1720 front door is being restored with flexible epoxy and a paint job; and the HVAC system is being upgraded from one zone to three with a plug-and-play zone damper system. Also: the 1300-pound marble island top is brought into the kitchen; sliding entry doors are created from two old doors; a raised brick hearth is installed around the gas fireplace; and rotted railings are replaced on the back deck. In the second half: installing a front door; driving rebar into the ground.
Jan 05 2012
Old-style bricks are used to create a path to the entry door; cabinets are installed; a zero-clearance gas fireplace is demonstrated and installed; wainscoting for the powder room is made from old sheathing boards; exterior painting begins. Also: preventing ice dams; applying closed-cell spray-foam insulation to an attic; connecting gutter downspouts; planting two trees on a busy Philadelphia street.
Dec 29 2011
Decorative timbers are installed in the new family room; the mahogany deck boards are fastened to the front entry deck; a garden shed is installed in the backyard; closed-cell spray-foam insulation is added to the addition. Also: a visit to a largely unaltered 1863 home that's similar to the Bedford house. In the second half: installing a battery-powered back-up sump pump; repairing a rusty metal railing; storing a wheelbarrow.
Dec 22 2011
A front step is created from a reclaimed granite slab; new wood windows are installed in the addition; the old ductwork is sealed and insulated; the backyard is prepped for a rye grass mix. Also: installing a front-porch light; repairing a cold-water faucet; splitting firewood.
Dec 15 2011
The front door surround is rebuilt to eliminate rot and create a more historically accurate entranceway; the ailing American beech tree is inspected; the home's new interior design is previewed. Also: completing a backyard pizza oven; applying Teflon tape, pipe dope and wicking to threaded pipe connections.
Dec 08 2011
Red cedar clapboards are added to the oldest part of the house; existing plumbing that's in the way of the new kitchen is removed; a horseshoe-shaped asphalt driveway is installed; a rough plumbing problem is solved with a wet vent in the downstairs powder room. Also: a porch railing is built; a stone yard is visited.
Dec 01 2011
The last of the structural work is completed; the restored historic window sashes are reinstalled; the electrical service in the garage is upgraded. Also: how the study's modern narrow strip flooring is being removed in order to show the more historic wide pine boards underneath. In the second half: fixing a kitchen sink drain; quieting squeaky hardwood floors.
Nov 24 2011
The existing cellulose insulation in the walls of the oldest part of the house is topped off; raised beds are built from the fieldstone of the old foundation; the new addition's roof is waterproofed with self-sealing membrane. Also: repairing a cracked asphalt walkway; removing mold from an attic.
Nov 17 2011
The family-room addition is framed up and sheathed with a coated OSB product; the historic window sash is stripped, repaired and repainted; the old wall of the ell is removed, opening up the kitchen. In the second half: removing overgrown shrubs; planting perennials; quieting a noisy baseboard heater.
Nov 10 2011
The backyard is reclaimed from invasive vines and brambles; the new family room's gable wall is assembled and raised; a historic windowsill is repaired. Also: insulating a wall with fiberglass batts; repointing a fieldstone foundation.
Nov 03 2011
The new roof that will overlay the existing roof is framed; the exterior chimney is repaired; the fireplace and chimney in the kitchen are removed. Also: a look at the show's 1994 rehabilatation of a 1710 Colonial farmhouse. In the second half, an overgrown evergreen hedge is trimmed; and a tile backsplash is installed in a kitchen.
Oct 27 2011
Old clapboards are removed; a hole to connect the old and new basement space is made in the old fieldstone foundation; historic sashes are removed from the windows so that they can be restored; a plan to patch a rotted sill is explained; the foundation for the addition is formed out of ICFs. Also: replacing a corroded fitting on a water heater; installing a vented range hood in a kitchen.
Oct 20 2011
The shrubs and plants in front of the project house are moved for safe keeping; small trees and overgrowth are cleared in order to make space for the family room addition; the front entry porch and accessibility ramp are removed; peeling and rotted clapboards are removed; a drain and sump pump system is set up. Also: repairing a faulty shower valve; rebuilding a wobbly stair banister.
Oct 13 2011
Season 10 opens with a look at a 300-year-old farmstead, targeted by its owners for two small additions and modern amenities while retaining the house's historic part. Included: inspecting the structure and antique water-pump system. Also: transplanting two trees; hooking up a washing machine.
Oct 06 2011