This Old House - Season : 25

The Carlisle House

Season 25 Episode 1 - The Concord Cottage - 1

Norm welcomes new host Kevin O'Connor abord with a visit to one of the most ambitious TOH jobs to date, the Manchester-by-the-Sea project. Wanting to tackle a big job like this one his first time out, Kevin instead ends up in historic Concord, Massachusetts, with a small (but sweet) 20- by 26-foot garden shed that homeowners Jeff and Janet Bernard want to convert into an in-law cottage for Janet's retired parents. Protected by local zoning laws, the shed can't be torn down and rebuilt, so Tom will reframe the c. 1894 building from the inside out, and Richard will face the challenges of bringing water, sewer, and gas lines into the building for the first time ever. The cottage is the smallest project in This Old House history, but everyone agrees that, although there's not a lot to work with, there's still a lot to do. Janet takes Kevin to see the inspiration for her project, a small garage apartment that's part of an estate currently on the market in Concord for $7.2 million. Air Date : 11th-Oct-2003  Read More

Season 25 Episode 2 - The Concord Cottage - 2

Work can't begin at the jobsite until permits are issued, so Kevin takes Janet to meet the Concord building commissioner, John Minty, to see what potential roadblocks she's facing in trying to turn an accessory building into a full-time residence. Then Kevin meets local architect Holly Cratsley to see a new home she designed to look like an old home, and an accompanying timber frame barn. Meanwhile, with flashlights, ladders, and archival photographs, Norm and preservation architect Leonard Baum reconstruct the architectural history of the project house, learning that the building started out as a one-story chicken coop with a hip roof, and that it is needed older than the zoning law itself - a finding that's essentual to moving forward with the town. Air Date : 18th-Oct-2003  Read More

Season 25 Episode 3 - The Concord Cottage - 3

Kevin arrives to find the newly issued building permit affixed to the building and work finally getting underway. Holly is officially on board, and Kevin pays a visit to her office to see the first pass at floor plans, elevations, and a scale model of the cottage. Zoning laws only allow for a modest increase in overall volume, so the new one-bedroom cottage will be less than 1,000 square feet when it's done. Norm and Tom prepare to brace a bowed wall, but find a badly rotted sill that needs replacing before they can proceed. Putting Kevin to work, they build two temporary walls; once they're in place, they takt the weight off the compromised outside wall. The rotted sill comes out and a new, pressure-treated sill goes in. Then Kevin visits a converted carriage house in Winchester, Massachusetts, that's full of great ideas for the project. Unexpected rain postpones the excavation for the foundation of the new addition. Air Date : 25th-Oct-2003  Read More

Season 25 Episode 4 - The Concord Cottage - 4

Tom shows Kevin the progress of the new utility trench - a time-consuming and expensive undertaking that (with several thousand dollars in permit fees) has already eaten up $30,000 of the budget. Concrete cutting contractor Peter Dami is on site to make way for the final connections, using a diamond-plated coring drill to bore holes through the 10-inch foundation wall. Kevin finally meets the most important person on the job: Janet's mom Jaqueline Buckley, who will actually live in the cottage with her husband, Len. Richard takes Kevin to visit Norm at the New Yankee Workshop to see how the shop is heated and cooled - he's thinking of using some of the same solutions (radiant heat, baseboard, split system A/C) at the Concord cottage. Looking for an interior designer who knows how to work with small spaces, Kevin meets Tricia McDonagh in Boston's South End to see how her design firm made a 600-square-foot apartment feel more spacious and inviting. Inside the cottage, all four walls have Air Date : 1st-Nov-2003  Read More

Season 25 Episode 5 - The Concord Cottage - 5

Master electrician Allen Gallant installs PVC conduit two feet below the surface of the driveway to allow the 200-amp service to reach the cottage. Using a ""mouse,"" a string, a pull rope, and a vacuum (known to the trade as a ""fishing system"") his crew hauls the heavy electrical lines underground from the street to the cottage, a span of more than 200 feet. Architect Sarah Susanka shows Kevin a 3,000-foot-square house that illustrates the fundamental design principles outlined in ""The Not So Big House,"" her best-selling book. On the second floor of the cottage, carpenter Jason Wood sisters new 2x8s to the existing 2x4 rafters and cuts a hole in the roof to accommodate the new dormer. Norm and Tom push the old roof section out and let the light in upstairs for the first time in almost 100 years. Air Date : 8th-Nov-2003  Read More

Season 25 Episode 6 - The Concord Cottage - 6

Kevin arrives at the project house fresh from a jog around the track at Emerson Field - several acres of playgrounds, tennis courts, and ball fields - right in the Bernards' backyard. Janet ask Tom to relocate the porch stairs on the main house, which now seem too close to the future parking court, and too imposing. Tom suggests some options, but advises Janet to consult Holly, before they proceed. Roger shows Kevin a 100-year-old Concord grape vine that's growing right in the middle of the work zone. Chances of the vine surviving a transplant are slim, so Roger opts to leave the vine as is, protect it, and propagate it in place. Out back by the future sunroom, Norm shows Kevin how to set two-by-six pressure-treated sills squarely on the new foundation using sill seal foam insulation and fasteners. In nearby Lincoln, Massachusetts, Kevin meets park ranger Lou Sideris for a look at Minuteman National Historical Park and the Hartwell Tavern, a 1733 building that was the typical country i Air Date : 15th-Nov-2003  Read More

Season 25 Episode 7 - The Concord Cottage - 7

Kevin visits the Concord Museum, which houses one of the oldest collections of Americana in the country, including one of the lanterns that hung in the church on the night of Paul Revere's ride and several items relating to the life of local Concord resident Sam Staples, the man who built our project house. Tom and master plumber Ron Coldwell show Kevin the progress on the rough plumbing and how adding a shower at the last minute affected the layout of the first floor powder room. In search of other elegant small pieces, Kevin travels to Nantucket, Massachusetts, to meet homeowner Harvey Jones for a look at his charming North Wharf boathouse as well as two recently renovated guest cottages near the center of town. Back at the cottage, Norm discovers that the stairs to the second floor are too steep for older residents to navigate and that headroom is tight on the landing. Tom suggests eliminating a step to reduce the rise, allowing him to both shorten and lower the landing platform to Air Date : 22nd-Nov-2003  Read More

Season 25 Episode 8 - The Concord Cottage - 8

Norm finds Tom installing exterior trim that looks like wood but is actually cellular PVC and therefore resistant to rot. Inside, Kevin finds Jeff finalizing the lighting plan with master electrician Allen Gallant. In the future sunroom, Kevin lends Norm and Tom a hand installing the new clad windows that look just like Janet's traditional wood windows on the main house. At a Menomonie, Wisconsin, facility that produces more than 550 tons of glass per day, float glass expert Al Slavich shows Kevin how residential window glass is manufactured using state-of-the-art technology. With the rough plumbing complete and inspected, it's time to infill the slab. To cut costs, Tom shows Kevin how to make concrete from scratch - 3 parts gravel, 2 parts sand, 1 part cement - mixing it on site with a portable concrete mixer. Air Date : 29th-Nov-2003  Read More

Season 25 Episode 9 - The Concord Cottage - 9

Tom shows Kevin how the red cedar sidewall shingles are installed in decorative courses, designed by Holly in a classic turn-of-the-century pattern. Tom shows Kevin the most complicated part of the job - braiding the shingles to cover both the outside and inside corners. Norm uses a template and router to cut holes in the old barn door for the new windows. Kevin lends him a hand reinforcing the back of the door and then setting the first window, which gets inserted from the back in order to maintain a low front profile. Richard shows Kevin the compact wall-mounted condensing boiler that will save space and energy and virtually eliminates boiler noise - it's quieter than most refrigerators. In Spring Green, Wisconsin, insulating glass expert Tom Kaiser shows Kevin how residential window glass is coated with silver for energy efficiency, then sandwiched together and injected with argon to form insulating glass panels. Back in Concord, Jeff meets with Roger and landscape architect Stephan Air Date : 6th-Dec-2003  Read More

Season 25 Episode 10 - The Concord Cottage - 10

On one of the first cool days of autumn, Kevin arrives to find Roger excavating the jobsite in preparation for the hardscape install. Roofing contractor Alex Alpert shows Kevin how his crew is installing a standing seam copper roof on the new addition. Tom gives Kevin a progress tour of the interior spaces, showing how the first floor can be transformed to accommodate one-floor living should it become necessary for the homeowners Jackie and Len Buckley. On the second floor, Richard shows Kevin the new 5-foot cast iron whirlpool tub, a European towel warmer that will also serve as the room's main source of heat, and a split-type air conditioner that will keep the entire second floor cool during the summer. With the new window already set in the center of the old hayloft door, Norm shows Kevin how he's making a false exterior door out of medium density overlay. On the island of Martha's Vineyard, Kevin visits another small cottage, designed by architect Jeremiah Eck, for an active couple Air Date : 13th-Dec-2003  Read More

Season 25 Episode 11 - The Concord Cottage - 11

Kevin finds Roger inspecting a new shipment of select bluestone from Pennsylvania and cobblestones imported from India. Out back, Roger shows Kevin the right way to lay a bluestone patio using stone dust and cement over three feet of pack for drainage. Inside the cottage, Tom shows Kevin how wallboard contractor Paul Landry is hanging wallboard - it's a new product that's non-combustible, moisture resistant, and mold resistant - an important innovation as mold problems continue to plague the building industry. Richard shows Kevin the air-to-air heat exchanger (which will bring fresh air into the building) and a new radiant heat system that's installed in the outside walls going up the stairs. Kevin meets up with Janet and interior designer Tricia McDonagh for a preview of her design choices for the cottage. Holly takes Kevin to Acton, Massachusetts to see the in-law suite that she created for homeowner Sylvia Arrom's 90-year old parents. In the kitchen of the main house, family friends Air Date : 20th-Dec-2003  Read More

Season 25 Episode 12 - The Concord Cottage - 12

Kevin and Norm arrive at the jobsite to find the base coat of the driveway down, and the new fancy cut shingles finally up on the gable end of the cottage. Roger shows Kevin how he's laid out the new brick walkway and raised the grade by the front door to allow for a comfortable 6-inch stair rise. The homeowners have already secured permission to add a ramp for added accessibility should it become necessary in the future. In the kitchen, Kevin's surprised to find there's no outside cabinet company on this job - the kitchen's so small that Tom's crew is building everything on site. Tom and Norm build the base cabinet for the pantry out of veneer plywood, while Roger takes Kevin to see a recently renovated garden center that's currently growing plants on more than 650 acres. They meet owner Wayne Mezitt to select, tag, and dig some of the plants for the Concord project, including Japanese tree lilacs, stewardia, and several spectacular pink diamond hydrangea. In the first floor bathroom, Air Date : 27th-Dec-2003  Read More

Season 25 Episode 13 - The Concord Cottage - 13

Norm at the Concord Cottage during the first snow of the season and finds the bad weather slowing down both the landscaping and the exterior painting. In the future dining room, Norm and Tom show Kevin how they're creating decorative wall panels by applying chair rail, baseboard, and surface applied moldings directly to the plaster. In Walpole, Massachusetts, fencing specialist Mark Bushway helps Janet pick the right size shed in a style that will complement the cottage; back in Concord, Kevin helps Mark put the shed together on site. With the base cabinets complete in the kitchen, Norm and Tom show Kevin a simple way to fabricate the face frames using a pocket hole cutter. In the parking court, Roger shows Kevin how to lay out and set regulation size cobblestones in a setting bed of stone dust and cement to achieve a flush finish and minimize cuts. Air Date : 3rd-Jan-2004  Read More

Season 25 Episode 14 - The Concord Cottage - 14

Kevin arrives just in time to see the installation of the new fence, trellis, and gate. Then, Stephanie gives Kevin an update on the site plan, explaining how new plantings will help conceal the utility shed in the back corner of the Cottage. Kevin surveys the progress on the first floor and finds a new custom front door in place, as well as a built-in hutch in the dining room made off-site by local cabinetmaker Jon Sammis. Tom shows Kevin coping techniques - traditional and new-fangled - as he works to build and fit a cap for the crown molding in the dining room. Kevin stops off at the historic Noah Brooks Tavern in Lincoln, Massachusetts, to see the Junior League of Boston's Show House - an annual event that brings more than 30,000 visitors to see the work of some of the best interior designers in Boston. Then, Kevin makes a trip to The New Yankee Workshop to see Norm's progress on the frame for the interior sliding window unit. Air Date : 10th-Jan-2004  Read More

Season 25 Episode 15 - The Concord Cottage - 15

It is wall-to-wall subs today! Everyone from the tile guy to the fireplace guy to the painter to the granite-pillar guy - that would be Roger - are at the Concord Cottage. Kevin checks out Roger's latest project: installing granite bollards in front of the barn door to prevent vehicles from accidentally backing into the barn, while also adding lots of old-time character. In the front hall, tile contractor Joe Ferrante is prepping the radiant deck for tile, first with thinset, then with cement board. In the living room, chimney specialist Mark Schaub shows Kevin the new remote-controlled gas fireplace that can be vented up or straight out, via an exterior wall, and installs in about a hour. At Boston's Design Center, Kevin meets interior designers Tricia McDonagh and Charles Spada to see the antiques they've selected, and are still considering, for the cottage. Back at the site, Kevin lends Norm a hand installing the sliding windows over the kitchen sink. Air Date : 17th-Jan-2004  Read More

Season 25 Episode 16 - The Concord Cottage - 16

Despite a cold winter chill, today's the day for sod - 12,000 square feet of it, to be exact. Roger shows Kevin the unloading and installation of the 48 62-foot-long rolls of sod. Then Kevin meets Stephanie and Janet to learn how the new plants will grow in over the years to create a lush cottage garden. Inside, Kevin finds tile contractor Joe Ferrante laying out and laying down 16x24-inch distressed Irish limestone tiles, and finds that Tom is relying on a team from a local home center to install the engineered maple floor. Meanwhile, Norm meets plant manager John Tappan at a factory in Danville, Virginia, to see how engineered flooring is manufactured. Upstairs in the master suite, screen fabricator and installer Steve Primack shows Kevin how he can create a custom retractable screen for the balcony door on site in about one hour. In the living room, Kevin gets an ""Interior Painting 101"" lesson from painting contractor Jim Clark. Air Date : 24th-Jan-2004  Read More

Season 25 Episode 17 - The Concord Cottage - 17

Kevin meets Holly for a look at the exterior details of the cottage, including a pressure-treated southern yellow pine roof shingle that carries a 30-year warranty. In the kitchen, Kevin meets countertop installer Dimitri Kampouris to see the new honed 'Black Zimbabwe' granite countertops going in. Upstairs, Kevin finds a crew from a local home center installing a stain-resistant carpet that is both durable and soft - a combination that's tough to create. Downstairs in the living room, lead carpenter Jason Wood shows Kevin a few tricks to installing hardware on a rail-and-stile closet door. Then Kevin meets stained glass artist Jim Anderson to see the custom windows he's created for the cottage, including one small design that bears an important date - that of the original barn - 1894. Upstairs, Kevin meets John Jawarski, owner of an online custom closet company that lets homeowners design and install their own closet systems. As the day winds down, Tom clears the decks and puts Kevin Air Date : 31st-Jan-2004  Read More

Season 25 Episode 18 - The Concord Cottage - 18

It's the big day, and Kevin arrives at the completed cottage in style (circa 1894) on a horse named ""Daisy."" Roger and Norm help him tie up at the new hitching post. Then Kevin catches up with Janet for a brief reflection on why the end of the project is bittersweet for her family, and is now more important than ever. Upstairs in the laundry area, home economist Lucinda Ottusch shows Kevin the latest in laundry technology: a washer that can sense how dirty the clothes are while handling 16-pair of jeans at once. Kevin meets lighting designer Susan Arnold to see her interior and exterior lighting choices and to get a demo of a new high-tech radio frequency lighting control system. Richard shows Norm the finished bathrooms and mechanical room, including a central vacuum system that will help the air clean inside the house. Window treatment specialist Kara Roberts shows Kevin the simple whit linen panels selected for the cottage windows, and an alternative way to dress them up. Next door Air Date : 7th-Feb-2004  Read More

Season 25 Episode 19 - The Bermuda House - 1

With their course set for historic and sunny Bermuda, host Kevin O' Connor and master carpenter Norm Abram set sail aboard the Island Raider in search of a winter project house. Once on shore, they zip through the narrow cobblestone streets of St. George on mopeds and arrive at Aunt Nea's Inn where they meet potential This Old House homeowners Andrea Dismont and Delaey Robinson - local innkeepers who want to fix up "Harbour View," a vacant and dilapidated circa 1805 Georgian-style home on their property. The house needs a lot of work, so Kevin meets up with local architect Colin Campbell at a recently renovated home in Pembroke to see if he thinks the project is viable. Meanwhile, Norm tracks down general contractor Alan Burland at a commercial job he's running in Hamilton, and Alan, an eleventh-generation Bermudian, assures Norm that he can handle the job. Air Date : 12th-Feb-2004  Read More

Season 25 Episode 20 - The Bermuda House - 2

Host Kevin O'Connor and master carpenter Norm Abram open the show in Southampton at Gibbs Hill Lighthouse, the highest point in Bermuda. Back in St. George, Kevin meets architect Colin Campbell to review his design plans for the renovation and expansion of Harbour View. Norm meets fourth generation quarry man Jonathan Cumberbatch in Smith's parish to see how native limestone is quarried and cut into roofing tiles known as "slate." At the project house, lead mason Dilton Cann shows Norm how he's using the slate, mortar, and cement wash to repair the extensive roof damage caused by hurricane Fabian. General contractor Alan Burland and job foreman John Richardson give Norm a progress tour: the former kitchen and second floor bath have been removed, the cedar roof rafters have been exposed and reinforced, excavation for the new addition is complete, and the window frames are being replaced. Air Date : 19th-Feb-2004  Read More

Season 25 Episode 21 - The Bermuda House - 3

Host Kevin O'Connor and master carpenter Norm Abram welcome plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey to Bermuda in front of St. Peter's Church in St. George. Next door at Aunt Nea's Inn, Norm and Kevin meet homeowner Delaey Robinson to talk about the building permit and the budget. Across the street at Harbour View, general contractor Alan Burland shows Norm how he's using a steel beam to pick up the second floor load, while lead mason Dilton Cann shows Kevin how he's building new walls of the addition out of concrete block. To see how charming an old renovated Bermuda home can be, Alan shows Norm his carefully restored circa 1750 farmhouse in Somerset. Back at the project house, master plumber Gerald Smith shows Richard how two existing cisterns or "tanks" will collect rainwater from the roof to supply the house with drinking water. Air Date : 26th-Feb-2004  Read More

Season 25 Episode 22 - The Bermuda House - 4

Master carpenter Norm Abram and host Kevin O'Connor open the show 120 feet below ground exploring the Crystal Caves of Bermuda. Back at Harbour View, Kevin finds project manager Alex DeCouto overseeing the prep and pour of the second floor deck on the addition. Plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey meets civil engineer Keith Claridge on a neighborhood roof to see how 95% of Bermudians obtain drinking water - by collecting rainwater in roof catchments and cisterns known as "tanks." They visit a massive military fort turned catchment, as well as a modern reverse osmosis plant to see how the government supplements the water supply. Two weeks of rain might be good for the tank levels, but it's bad for the construction schedule, so foreman John Richardson shows Norm and Kevin how work has progressed on the interior of the house, despite the rain. Air Date : 4th-Mar-2004  Read More

Season 25 Episode 23 - The Bermuda House - 5

Master carpenter Norm Abram welcomes general contractor Tom Silva to the island by getting him properly outfitted in the "full Bermuda." Host Kevin O'Connor meets homeowners Delaey Robinson and Andrea Dismont at Aunt Nea's Inn to see how they are managing the renovation while operating the circa 1780 guest house and raising two young boys. They show Kevin the historic mantel they'd like Norm to replicate for their new home. Across the street at the jobsite, Kevin finds foreman John Richardson and lead mason Dilton Cann pouring the bond beam that will unify the structure of the new addition and bear the load of the new stone roof. While measuring for the job, Norm and Tom decide that the firebox needs to be rebuilt to accommodate the new mantle. Worried about time and resources, project manager Alex DeCouto reluctantly agrees to add the masonry work to his list. Air Date : 11th-Mar-2004  Read More

Season 25 Episode 24 - The Bermuda House - 6

There are only three weeks left on the job, and any materials and products not already aboard a ship to Bermuda are not going to make it in time. So master carpenter Norm Abram and host Kevin O'Connor head down to the docks of Hamilton to greet the "Bermuda Islander" container ship, just in from New Jersey. Back at Harbour View, Kevin meets project manager Alex DeCouto for an update: landscaping has begun in the south court, the verandah is framed in, and the second floor walls are up. In the basement, Norm finds HVAC contractor Steven Cardoza installing a new high-efficiency heating and cooling system that uses an environmentally responsible refrigerant that won' t deplete the ozone layer. Up in the kitchen, Kevin meets interior designer Michele Smith for a preview of the kitchen elevations. Then, homeowner Andrea Dismont and job foreman John Richardson show Kevin their recently discovered treasure - an 1884 gold sovereign found beneath the dining room floor. Kevin meets Dr. Air Date : 18th-Mar-2004  Read More

Season 25 Episode 25 - The Bermuda House - 7

After welcoming landscape contractor Roger Cook to Bermuda, host Kevin O'Connor and master carpenter Norm Abram meet with project manager Alex DeCouto in the North court to see the scaffolding down, the old building painted and the landscaping well underway. Inside, Alex shows Norm the new cedar French doors and oiled bronze hardware - an ideal combination for this seaside location. Kevin finds kitchen contractor Mark Henneberger finishing up the countertop install - it' s a new quartz material that is non-porous, two times stronger than granite, maintenance free, and carries a 10-year warranty. In the upstairs hall, Kevin finds interiors specialist Jennifra Gray installing a faux Bermuda stone - it's closed cell polymer that gives the look of natural limestone without the maintenance issues or cost. Air Date : 25th-Mar-2004  Read More

Season 25 Episode 26 - The Bermuda House - 8

It's the day before the wrap, and host Kevin O'Connor finds homeowner Delaey Robinson believing in miracles, standing in his new state-of-the-art kitchen, which was a water-damaged storage room only four short months ago. He shows Kevin a stainless steel task sink, professional style range, and 48" refrigerator, as well as a snap-together indoor/outdoor hardwood floor for the entryway. Upstairs, Kevin finds homeowner Andrea Dismont setting up a custom closet system in the master suite. Then, she shows Kevin another space saver - a stackable front-loading washer and dryer in the new laundry closet. Master carpenter Norm Abram meets exterior shutter expert Fritz Brenner to see the new pulltruded fiberglass Bermuda shutters -they're custom made, factory-finished, and resistant to rot. Window treatment installer JC Lehren shows Kevin the interior plantation shutters going up in the master bedroom. Air Date : 1st-Apr-2004  Read More

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