This Old House - Season : 29

Newton; New Orleans

Season 29 Episode 1 - Newton: Move or Improve

The 30th anniversary season of This Old House opens with the crew beginning a small but sophisticated addition to a 1915 Dutch Colonial Revival that includes a new kitchen, home office, and family room. Homeowners Bill and Gillian Pierce love their old house but it lacks family space, flow, and a modern kitchen. Architect Paul Rovinelli presents his plan for the addition, while problems are identified in the old house, both in the basement and in the landscape. Host Kevin O'Connor visits a similar house in the neighborhood that has been opened up and expanded, while general contractor Tom Silva and master carpenter Norm Abram arrive to begin the demolition with Bill. By the end of the day, the three-season porch has been removed, and work is well underway. Air Date : 4th-Oct-2007  Read More

Season 29 Episode 2 - Newton: Big Plans

Master carpenter Norm Abram and general contractor Tom Silva remove the old vinyl siding from the exterior of the house, exposing not only the original wood clapboards underneath but also lots of repair work that needs to be done. Inside, architect Paul Rovinelli takes host Kevin O'Connor and homeowner Gillian Pierce through the plan for the new kitchen, which calls for a modest expansion, building as Gillian puts it, "just what we need," and nothing more. One early proponent of that style of thinking was architect and author Sarah Susanka, so Kevin travels to her own "Not So Big" home in Raleigh, North Carolina, to see some smart ideas for restrained remodels that won't break the bank. Back in Newton Centre, landscape contractor Roger Cook breaks up the old porch slab to make way for the foundation for the new addition. Air Date : 11th-Oct-2007  Read More

Season 29 Episode 3 - Newton: Prepwork and Inspiration

Host Kevin O'Connor finds general contractor Tom Silva in the backyard prepping the footings for the new porch columns. Landscape contractor Roger Cook brings in civil engineer Mike Kosmo to do the perk test needed for the new landscape plan. To learn more about the form, architect Treff LaFleche shows Kevin a stunning neighborhood Shingle-style house that he purchased, renovated, and sold 3 years ago. The turn-of-the-century home features a curved wrap-around porch, dramatic entry hall, charming inglenook, and, similar to the renovation plans the team has in store, it has a new open kitchen and family room that connect visually with the rest of the house. Back on site, Roger finds certified arborist Matt Foti removing a rotted red maple from the side yard with a tree crew and crane. Air Date : 18th-Oct-2007  Read More

Season 29 Episode 4 - Newton: Framing, Wiring, and an Unfitted Kitchen

General contractor Tom Silva removes the temporary support beam that has been holding up the back corner of the house. Meanwhile, engineered lumber specialist Craig Smith shows master carpenter Norm Abram the "green" framing materials to be used in the new kitchen. Norm, Tom, and host Kevin O'Connor remove the old kitchen walls and install a new 16' beam to open up the space. Master electrician Allen Gallant shows Norm how the shoddy wiring installed over the years has created unsafe conditions and code violations throughout the house. Kitchen showroom co-owner Yael Peleg presents her vision for an "unfitted kitchen," while kitchen designer Donna Venegas shows Kevin and homeowner Maddy Krauss how the concept is incorporated into the floor plans and design choices. Back in Newton, Tom and Kevin reframe the structure of the floor under the master closet to strengthen, level, and tie it in with the rest of the floor in the new master bath. Air Date : 25th-Oct-2007  Read More

Season 29 Episode 5 - Newton: Retaining Wall, Historic Wallcovering

Landscape contractor Roger Cook installs 200 running feet of pre-cast concrete to create a retaining wall that will define the perimeter of the new backyard. Inside the house, wallpaper historian Richard Nylander helps host Kevin O'Connor date and evaluate the historic wallpaper throughout the house, while general contractor Tom Silva frames for a new window in an old wall. Kevin makes a trip to Cambridge, Massachusetts, to see how three 19th century buildings are being moved as part of a construction project at Harvard Law School. The million-dollar move, which has been planned for five years, requires the buildings to be lifted and rolled down Massachusetts Avenue on hydraulic dollies steered by remote control. Air Date : 1st-Nov-2007  Read More

Season 29 Episode 6 - Newton: Exterior Paint Colors, Stained-Glass Window

After a brief stop at Johnny's Luncheonette for breakfast, host Kevin O'Connor meets paint color specialist Ann Pfaff to learn what colors might be appropriate for the Shingle- style house. Back in Newton, general contractor Tom Silva and master carpenter Norm Abram build the 12-foot wall of the new kitchen bump out that will contain a built-in bench for the kitchen table. In the South End of Boston, Kevin visits stained glass designer Jim Anderson at his workshop to see the restoration and rebuilding of the home's four historic windows. In the home's backyard, under the new porch, landscape contractor Roger Cook uses a pay-as-you-go concrete truck to pour a small buttress wall that will support the exposed rubble stone foundation. Air Date : 8th-Nov-2007  Read More

Season 29 Episode 7 - Newton: Salvage, Progress, and Pink Granite

Host Kevin O'Connor drives up to the house to find general contractor Tom Silva helping load up a truck for the "Building Materials Resource Center," a local non-profit that will be selling the project's surplus materials to needy homeowners at discounted prices. Inside the house, Tom shows Kevin the progress on the porch, kitchen, and master bath, where his crew is installing several new windows. In the basement, plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey gives an update on the mechanical systems. To learn more about the home's Milford Pink granite foundation being a sign of wealth at the time the house was built, architect Treff LaFleche takes Kevin to see how the same stone was used on the Boston Public Library, and also how the granite is quarried and split to best match the home's existing stone. Back on site, Roger installs the new Milford Pink granite, and also matches the old mortar. Air Date : 15th-Nov-2007  Read More

Season 29 Episode 8 - Newton: Fieldstone, Replacement Windows, and Teak

Host Kevin O'Connor and plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey stop to see Echo Bridge, a 500-foot long arched structure built in 1976 to carry water over the Charles River. Back at the project house, landscape contractor Roger Cook digs up a large, established shrub by the front walkway which will be transplanted to the backyard to help with screening. Roger also shows Kevin how work on the new fieldstone sitting wall is progressing. In the first floor parlor, general contractor Tom Silva shows Kevin how to install a replacement window. Meanwhile, Richard adds radiant heat panels under the entry hall, a great solution for warming an area that was not previously heated. PEX water pipe goes into the kitchen, while master carpenter Norm Abram travels to Germansville, Pennsylvania to see how countertop fabricator Paul Grothouse is crafting a beautiful 3-inch teak island top for the house. Air Date : 22nd-Nov-2007  Read More

Season 29 Episode 9 - Newton: Pests, Decking, and AC

Host Kevin O’Connor sees how landscape contractor Roger Cook is building the fieldstone and mortar sitting wall. Meanwhile, master carpenter Norm Abram shows homeowner Paul Friedberg troublesome conditions with the wood-to-ground contact on the side of the house, underneath the front porch, and at the garage. Pest control expert Bill Seigel comes to the rescue with a treatment to stop the termite activity and prevent further damage. General contractor Tom Silva shows Kevin the new stepped dowel fastening system he is using to put down the ipe decking. Architect Treff LaFleche takes Kevin to see a riff on the Shingle-style brand new home he designed that looks traditional on the outside, but features clean, wide open, modern spaces on the inside. Up in the attic, plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey shows Norm the air handlers, and how the high velocity mini-duct system lets him easily feed conditioned air to the second and third floors. Air Date : 29th-Nov-2007  Read More

Season 29 Episode 10 - Newton: Bluestone and a Historic Billiards Room

To replace the stairway he removed from the old kitchen, general contractor Tom Silva builds a brand new stairway to the basement. Then, plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey shows host Kevin O'Connor how to select a good quality faucet—discussing function, finish, construction and valves. Inspired by an existing arched door opening, Tom shows Kevin how he's making a vaulted ceiling in the hallway that connects the front of the house to the new addition out back. At the end of the day, insulation contractor Tony Trigler arrives to install spray foam insulation in the new addition. Air Date : 6th-Dec-2007  Read More

Season 29 Episode 11 - Newton: Bringing Light Throughout

Progress on the home’s exterior painting continues. General contractor Tom Silva shows host Kevin O’Connor how he is wrapping the columns under the back porch in shingles. Preservation plasterer Rory Brennan shows master carpenter Norm Abram how he’s saving the old plaster in the billiards room using a new adhesive system. He also shows Norm how to replicate an authentic corner bead detail from the 1890s. Kevin meets homeowner Madeline Krauss and her interior designer, Abbey Koplovitz, to see their selections for the home’s lighting, paint colors, and furnishings. In nearby Somerville, Massachusetts, Norm visits billiard restorer Steve Kelly’s showroom and workshop to see rare and valuable antique pool tables, and also to see how work on the pool table is progressing. Air Date : 13th-Dec-2007  Read More

Season 29 Episode 12 - Newton: Garage Nightmare and Garbage Disposers

A local nursery brings plants to the house. General contractor Tom Silva addresses some unforeseen rotting problems with the garage. Inside, the kitchen is plastered, the new white oak flooring is down, and the cabinets have just arrived from Kitchener, Canada. Flooring contractor Steve Dubuque shows master carpenter Norm Abram how he is layering aniline dye, stain, and polyurethane to achieve the floor color the homeowners are seeking. Plumbing and heating contractor Richard Trethewey travels to Racine, Wisconsin, to see how one manufacturer is making a new generation of kitchen garbage disposers. Tom installs a new standing seam copper roof over the back porch. In the master bath, Kevin finds tile contractor Joe Ferrante setting up for a major tile job – the first step is waterproofing the shower by using a paint-on, flexible, seamless, waterproofing membrane. Air Date : 20th-Dec-2007  Read More

Season 29 Episode 13 - Newton: Getting the Details Right

Host Kevin O’Connor talks with homeowner Paul Friedberg to learn more about Paul’s past as an Olympic fencer. Master carpenter Norm Abram checks on the installation of the new custom garage doors. Cabinet installer Patrick Malone finishes the job by scribing his base moulding the floor. General contractor Tom Silva shows Kevin how he is giving a stock masonite door a face lift by adding an oak veneer and new oak mouldings. In the master bath, tile contractor Joe Ferrante shows Kevin how he is laying the mosaic “rug” tiles in front of the new vanity. Kitchen designer Donna Venegas shows Norm the countertop and tile choices for the kitchen, while template maker Kent Whitten creates the templates using digital technology. Landscape contractor Roger Cook works with an irrigation contractor to add both sprinkler heads and drip irrigation to the landscape before the cold weather sets in. Air Date : 27th-Dec-2007  Read More

Season 29 Episode 14 - Newton: In Memory of Joe Ferrante

Landscape contractor Roger Cook installs sod in the backyard, while host Kevin O’Connor meets engineered stone distributor Chelsie Arnold to learn more about the quartz and resin countertops being installed in the kitchen. Plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey shows Kevin the new high-efficiency air conditioning system. Kevin then helps general contractor Tom Silva fabricate new wainscoting for the kitchen. In the front hall, painting contractor Jim Clark shows Kevin how the oak woodwork is cleaned using TSP and a little elbow grease. In the upstairs hall, the damaged wood requires stripping and re-staining. The day ends with the sad news that our beloved tile contractor, Joe Ferrante, has unexpectedly passed away. Air Date : 3rd-Jan-2008  Read More

Season 29 Episode 15 - Newton: Grout, Closets, and a Clawfoot Tub

Host Kevin O’Connor checks out general contractor Tom Silva’s makeshift workshop on the front porch of the house. Inside, countertop fabricator Paul Grothouse arrives from Pennsylvania to install the end grain teak island top and deliver its companion piece “a custom teak farmhouse table” for the breakfast area. Plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey displays the progress on the second floor bath and meets tub refinisher Jack Donaruma on the third floor to see him strip and refinish the old clawfoot tub. In the master closet, Kevin finds the room painted and closet designer Brian McSharry is installing a custom closet system. Back in the kitchen, tile contractor Mark Ferrante shows Kevin how he uses wedges to create even grout lines on the uneven handmade tile backsplash. Tom shows master carpenter Norm Abram how he uses portable lathe to turn a new newel post finial out of walnut. Air Date : 10th-Jan-2008  Read More

Season 29 Episode 16 - Newton: Winter Wrap Party

In the final episode of the Newton project, host Kevin O’Connor meets lighting designer Susan Arnold to see how she is using new light sources and more modern fixtures to update the formerly dark areas of the house. Greg Smizer, Larry Schulman, and Eric Reinhardt install the security system, plasma televisions, and audio systems while Meghan Hodge installs window treatments. Landscape contractor Roger Cook inspects the finished garage and meets landscape architect Stephanie Hubbard to see the finished back porch and terrace. Homeowner Paul Friedberg and his sons break in their new backyard with a game of Home Run Derby. Architect Treff LaFleche hangs a historical marker out front. Designer Abbey Koplovitz and homeowner Madeline Krauss display how they have pulled together the interior with paint colors, custom furniture, window treatments, rugs, and family antiques. Air Date : 17th-Jan-2008  Read More

Season 29 Episode 17 - New Orleans | Return to New Orleans, Post Katrina

For the second project of the season, This Old House travels to New Orleans, Louisiana, to help a fourth-generation resident of the Lower 9th Ward return home, while following stories of rebuilding and recovery throughout the city. Host Kevin O'Connor visits Musicians' Village with founder Harry Connick, Jr. to see how he, along with childhood friend Branford Marsalis, are providing new housing for the city's musicians through Habitat for Humanity. In historic Holy Cross, along the banks of the Mississippi River, homeowner Rashida Ferdinand shows Kevin why she loves her c. 1892 flood-damaged shotgun single and artist's studio, and how she plans to restore and expand them after a two-year vacancy. Master carpenter Norm Abram meets up with her builder to assess the challenges of building in post-Katrina New Orleans, while homeowner Marna David shows Kevin how she managed to renovate her own shotgun single in Holy Cross, twice, once before the storm, and once after. Air Date : 24th-Jan-2008  Read More

Season 29 Episode 18 - New Orleans | Camelbacks, Bargeboard, and Toxic Mold

Back in New Orleans, Kevin meets homeowner Rashida Ferdinand and her architect Rick Fifield for a look at the plans and model of the proposed work to her shotgun single. The plan calls for a camelback addition that will house a master suite, and also a new family room with back and side porches to take advantage of the cool river breezes. As demolition begins inside, builder Carl Hithe shows master carpenter Norm Abram how the house was originally constructed from dismantled bargeboards taken from vessels that once traveled down the Mississippi. At Musicians Village, Kevin meets Executive Director Jim Pate to see how Habitat for Humanity's houses are constructed post-Katrina, starting with an extensive foundation system that includes 35-foot deep pilings tied into a robust footing system. Air Date : 31st-Jan-2008  Read More

Season 29 Episode 19 - New Orleans | French Quarter, Shotgun Colors

Host Kevin O'Connor visits the French Quarter with Vieux Carre Commission Director Lary Hesdorffer to see how one of the most important neighborhoods in America faired during the storm. At the project house in Holy Cross, master carpenter Norm Abram finds work on the side porch underway, with homeowner Rashida Ferdinand at work stripping paint from the historic windows that will be reused on her project. Paint color consultant Louis Aubert shows Kevin how he's bringing color back to our house, along with other houses in the neighborhood, by providing bright color schemes applied in a historically accurate manner. At Musicians' Village, Norm and Kevin lend a hand to some of the volunteers who are rebuilding New Orleans, by raising walls, laying decking, and installing windows, one house at a time. Air Date : 7th-Feb-2008  Read More

Season 29 Episode 20 - New Orleans | Saints in the City

Master carpenter Norm Abram takes host Kevin O'Connor across the Mississippi River by ferry to Algiers Point, home of the first This Old House New Orleans project back in 1990, to see how it fared during Hurricane Katrina. Back at the 2008 project in Holy Cross, plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey shows Norm the plumbing layout, and how HVAC contractor Raul Mena is planning on heating and cooling the house. Across town in Broadmoor, Norm and Kevin lend a hand installing windows with the non-profit group Rebuilding Together, who are renovating a house for wheelchair-bound homeowner, Sonia St. Cyr, at no cost to her. At Musicians' Village, Branford Marsalis shows Kevin around and introduces him to the youngest resident in the village, saxophonist Calvin Johnson, who joins Branford in a duet of "When The Saints Go Marching In." Despite the wreckage at our jobsite, landscape architect Brian Sublette starts working with Rashida to draw up a plan for her yard and gardens. Air Date : 14th-Feb-2008  Read More

Season 29 Episode 21 - New Orleans | First Builder Falls Through

Host Kevin O'Connor and master carpenter Norm Abram open the show with a quick visit to the local's alternative to Bourbon Street, the neighborhood jazz clubs of Frenchmen Street, where the New Orleans music scene is still alive and well. At the project in Holy Cross, homeowner Rashida Ferdinand has some surprising news: Her old contractor couldn't complete the job, so she's hiring someone new, while filling in herself to bridge the gap between builders. On her brief watch, she's managed to obtain her rough inspections, so spray foam insulation gets underway in the new addition. For progress on the French doors, Norm visits carpenter Matt Thompson to see his renovated house and shop in Bywater, and also how he's milling our historically accurate doors out of Spanish cedar. At Musicians' Village, founder Branford Marsalis gives Norm a look at the plans for the music education and performance center that will be built in honor of his father, Ellis Marsalis. Air Date : 21st-Feb-2008  Read More

Season 29 Episode 22 - New Orleans | Back on Track

Host Kevin O'Connor and master carpenter Norm Abram take a ride through the city of New Orleans with streetcar driver Sue Daniel, who is known locally as "Streetcar Sue." At the project house in Holy Cross, Norm catches up with homeowner Rashida Ferdinand's new general contractor Larry Schneider to see the amazing progress he has made in just two short weeks on the job. At Musicians' Village, saxophonist Calvin Johnson shows Norm how he is investing sweat equity toward the 350 hours required to become a homeowner in the neighborhood. Back at the project house, lead carpenter Mike Gettle shows Kevin how he is trimming the side porch. In Central City, Kevin meets Mercy Corps program director Rick Denhart to learn how the non-profit organization helps homeowners in New Orleans desconstruct their ruined properties at no cost. The salvaged materials are given to local depots where they are sold at a reduced price. Air Date : 28th-Feb-2008  Read More

Season 29 Episode 23 - New Orleans | Recovery Continues

Host Kevin O'Connor visits the architectural marvel next door, the Dollut Steamboat house, with its owner, Don Gagnon. Back at our house, master carpenter Norm Abram meets homeowner Rashida Ferdinand and general contractor Larry Schneider for a progress tour. In addition to painting and flooring, the cabinets are mostly up in the new kitchen. Installer Oliver Earl shows Norm both the architectural details and the finish details of the cabinetry. Right behind him is countertop contractor John Finney, who's making templates for the new quartz countertops using laser technology. At the Musicians' Village, general contractor Tom Silva is on hand for the morning meeting and then gives construction assistant Danielle Draper a lesson in making a window stool and apron. In Central City, Kevin meets Craig Cuccia to see how his non-profit group rebuilds the lives of at-risk youth through a unique hospitality and construction program. Air Date : 6th-Mar-2008  Read More

Season 29 Episode 24 - New Orleans | Landscapes and NBA Legends

Host Kevin O'Connor and landscape contractor Roger Cook visit a 70-year old tradition on Poydras Street, Mother's Restaurant, to sample some of the local cuisine. In Holy Cross, Roger meets landscape architect Brian Sublette to see how he's creating both public and private space on our sizable lot. Fencing specialist Mark Bushway is on hand to install the green privacy fence, arbor, and gates going up in the side yard, while Deryl Boudreau is installs a standby generator on the other side of the house. Two blocks away, master carpenter Norm Abram meets executive director Beth Galante to see how her non-profit, Global Green, is building a sustainable and affordable housing development in the neighborhood with the participation of actor Brad Pitt. Back at our house, countertop contractor John Finney arrives with the countertops for the kitchen, while upstairs in the master bath, tile contractor Fred Foltmer shows Kevin the travertine floor and the glass tile going up in the shower area. Air Date : 13th-Mar-2008  Read More

Season 29 Episode 25 - New Orleans | Only In New Orleans

Host Kevin O'Connor meets District Fire Chief Tim McConnell to see how his own firemen are rebuilding 22 damaged firehouse on their own time, with the help of volunteers and the Denis Leary Foundation in NYC. In Holy Cross, master carpenter Norm Abram drives up to find plants arriving, and master mason Teddy Pierre, Jr. laying local St. Joe brick at the front walk. Lead carpenter Mike Gettle installs new custom composite shutters, which are functional for privacy and security, while also meeting Historic District guidelines. The mechanicals, including a new continuous flow tankless water heater, are also in place. In the French Quarter, Kevin stops into Bevolo Lighting to see how Drew Bevolo, a third generation lighting fixture manufacturer, is carrying on the family tradition, while also building lights for our project. Over at Musicians' Village, Roger helps the volunteers establish grade and plant some screening shrubs and grasses in homeowner Calvin Johnson's front yard. Air Date : 20th-Mar-2008  Read More

Season 29 Episode 26 - New Orleans | One Small Corner Restored

Host Kevin O'Connor opens the show as the Krewe of Zulu prepares for Mardi Gras. In Holy Cross, landscape contractor Roger Cook arrives to find metal worker Joe Strain finishing the installation of the "hoop and scroll" iron fence in the front yard. General contractor Tom Silva meets pest control contractor Wayne Zimmerman to see the work going on under (and around) the house to protect it from termites. Plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey looks at the final paint color scheme with colorist Louis Aubert, then checks inside, on the new laundry area and first floor bath. Master carpenter Norm Abram reviews the punch list with lead carpenter Mike Gettle, as furniture maker Bill Taber arrives with two custom tables that he made out of the old bargeboard walls that came down in the renovation. Over at Musicians' Village, we wrap up our five months of following the progress with the dedication ceremony at Calvin Johnson's house. Air Date : 27th-Mar-2008  Read More

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