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This Old HouseThis Old House

This Old House

September/October 2019

This Old House gives you the inspiration, information and instruction you need to take on home improvement projects of all sizes and succeed. In every issue, find fresh design ideas for every room, creative DIY solutions, step-by-step projects, and tips from the pros. For annual or monthly subscriptions (on all platforms except iOS), your subscription will automatically renew and be charged to your provided payment method at the end of the term unless you choose to cancel. You may cancel at any time during your subscription in your account settings. If your provided payment method cannot be charged, we may terminate your subscription.

Country:
United States
Language:
English
Publisher:
This Old House Ventures, LLC
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12 Issues

IN THIS ISSUE

access_time2 min.
look who’s 40!

Forty years is a long time for anything to last—a marriage, a restaurant, a business. It is almost unheard-of for a television show. And there’s a good chance that no one expected that to happen for a little show called This Old House that sprang to life in Boston on the local PBS station, WGBH, in 1979. In 14 weeks, a crew of talented tradesmen rehabbed a rambling wreck in Dorchester, MA—and viewers gobbled it up. The show went national on PBS the following year, and ever since, there’s been no looking back. This year, This Old House is celebrating its 40th anniversary, and the magazine that you are holding is a celebration of that milestone. The show is the foundation for everything that came later—the magazine, Ask This Old House, the…

access_time1 min.
the tartans of norm

Leslie Dress Modern Norm sports the bold colors that make this the updated version of a traditional tartan as he fixes a window’s sash lock in 2012. Black Stewart Back in 2001, this black-field variation on Royal Stewart—it’s tied to the Scottish and English monarchy—was among Norm’s go-tos. Brodie Norm uses a level to check a post for plumb in this 2007 shot. Like the others here, this classic tartan dates to the early 19th century. Colquhoun Modern In 2005, Norm applies wood stain wearing a tartan whose name only looks tricky (pronounced ca-hoon). The clan goes back to the 1300s. MacPherson Ancient Sure, flannel is work wear, but the notably neat Norm keeps his tidy; in this 2008 photo he vacuums sawdust while clad in a cheery red plaid.…

access_time2 min.
mischief-makers

Spinning her wheels Filming ground to a halt as then production coordinator Sara Ferguson’s car was blocking the sand-and-gravel driveway at Billerica. Try as she might, she couldn’t budge it, so host Steve Thomas offered to help. Sara hopped out, he got in and hit the gas… that’s when she noticed her wheels were just spinning. The crew had dug a hole, jacked up the car frame just above grade, and set it on blocks, shoveling sand around the tires. As the guys yelled “Gotcha!” Sara flushed scarlet and shared in a good laugh. Something fishy At the Concord Barn, Tom and Charlie Silva decided to prank the coffee-making PA. They rigged a 5-gallon water jug with 6 inches of water and bought “the ugliest fish of the right size” at…

access_time3 min.
hosts with the most

Bob Vila (Seasons 1–10) This Old House’s first on-air host actually started out as its first homeowner. In the never-aired pilot for what eventually became This Old House, Bob and his wife showed a Boston Globe reporter around the circa-1840 Newton, MA, house the couple had restored. One year later, Bob got a call that a totally revamped version of that pilot had been green-lighted. “I was restoring brownstones, and thought it would be good publicity for my company,” he says. “Plus, I thought it would be fun.” The show’s first season, with the Dorchester House, debuted on Boston’s PBS station, WGBH, in February 1979. A degree in journalism, as well as his experience as a contractor, came in handy for the hosting gig. “I wasn’t intimidated by a camera; I’d been trained…

access_time3 min.
workshop wonders

Carpentry> 1> Though they replicate the real windows they replaced, these LED-backlit panes only date to 2016. Not having to rely on the sun is a big help when projects take longer than expected. 2> It appears to be a standard workbench, but this surface is enviably versatile: The height’s adjustable, it’s got built-in vises and holes for bench dogs, and, of course, it’s easy to roll to wherever it’s needed. 3> As Norm Abram likes to say, you can never have too many clamps! This cascading display is twice as extensive as what you see here. 4> This pegboard-o’-tools is meant to be set dressing—tools for each project are laid out elsewhere—but the guys often grab (and use) these. 5> Mini license plates playfully recall a Las Vegas house call in Season 5 where…

access_time3 min.
it’s what’s inside that counts

If plumbing is a mystery to you, you’re not alone. “Many people have no idea how water gets to their building, how wastewater leaves, or how their house is heated or cooled,” says This Old House plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey. “So my role in the past forty years has been to demystify that technical world. And it is almost impossible without a cutaway. I am the great bisector.” Wielding band saws, rotary tools, hacksaws, and more, Richard has cut up at least 60 items—from garbage disposers and water heaters to dozens of valves and pipes. Here, he explains some of his favorite teaching tools. 1 > Garbage Disposer “This was my very first cutaway for Ask This Old House, so it is my first love. It made me realize how valuable…

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