This Old House - Season : 32

Bedford; Barrington

Season 32 Episode 1 - Auburndale House, Part 1 of 16

This Old House opens a brand new season by helping the Sharma family renovate their 1940's house on Boston's famous Charles River. Out front, the home's bland exterior will receive a curb-appeal makeover thanks to the creative ideas of architect Chris Chu. On the inside, the house will get a new, larger kitchen, updated baths and loads of new windows to take advantage of the spectacular views out back. General contractor Tom Silva conducts a structural investigation and cites concerns about a new EPA law affecting all contractors dealing with lead paint in 2010. Plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey finds asbestos in the usual spots in the basement, but with the help of asbestos inspector Glenn Potter, it's also discovered hiding in the ceilings, walls, under the kitchen sink and even in the joint compound. Work gets underway as landscape contractor Roger Cook puts erosion control in place to protect the flood plain, while asbestos abatement contractor Brian Fitzsimons begins what will be nearly two solid weeks of asbestos removal. Air Date : 7th-Oct-2010  Read More

Season 32 Episode 2 - Auburndale Project, Part 2 of 16

Landscape contractor Roger Cook preps for the new foundation of the entry hall by removing the old overgrown and badly pruned yews. Out back, host Kevin O'Connor finds general contractor Tom Silva and lead paint specialist Ron Peik demolishing the sun porch within the limits of the new national EPA lead law that now affects all contractors working on houses from 1978 or earlier. Master carpenter Norm Abram and homeowner Allison Sharma learn more about the grand estate that once occupied the neighborhood by visiting its original gatehouse, which is now a private home. Tom shows Kevin the progress on the excavation out front and out back, where Tom has transferred the load from the rear wall of the house, inbound, to a series of three temporary walls so work can begin. A team of concrete cutters arrives to set up and begin the process of cutting through the 10" thick concrete foundation walls. After the final cuts are made, they drop out a 16-foot section of the rear foundation wall to make way for the new family room addition. Air Date : 14th-Oct-2010  Read More

Season 32 Episode 3 - Auburndale House, Part 3 of 16

The morning starts with the arrival of a 17-foot-long steel beam that weighs 900 pounds. It will carry the load of the house over the 16-ft. opening that was made in the rear foundation wall. Because the site is so hard to access, general contractor Tom Silva uses a crane to lift it up and over the house and place it carefully on a temporary wall near the installation site. Then, host Kevin O'Connor and Tom's crew lend a hand installing it. Master carpenter Norm Abram meets with product specialist Bill Gaines to see the insulated concrete forms being used not only for the foundations, but also for the above-grade walls on the new additions. Inside, Kevin welcomes Chris Kimball from America's Test Kitchen, to help us understand the "time capsule" of a kitchen that we have from 1940 and where the new design is headed for our homeowners in 2010. Back outside, the forms are complete and the concrete truck arrives to pour the foundation and walls. At the end of the day, Tom and Kevin discuss how the new lead laws affect interior work and how to properly test for it. Using proper protocol, the kitchen is gutted and the wall to the dining room comes down. Air Date : 21st-Oct-2010  Read More

Season 32 Episode 4 - Auburndale Project, Part 4 of 16

Host Kevin O'Connor arrives to find most of the demolition complete, and the house entirely opened up. General contractor Tom Silva shows him the progress and then they get to work taking the dip out of the old kitchen floor by working from below, down in the basement. Inside, master carpenter Norm Abram frames up the new mudroom and powder room on the first floor using Tom's preferred method of framing up new walls: cutting all of the stock to length; assembling the walls on the floor; and standing them up one at a time. Plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey meets Massachusetts State Director of Flood Control, Bill Gode, to see how the Charles River has been literally formed and shaped by several major engineering projects over the years, including three major dams. Back at the project house, as Tom contends with the termite-damaged sill out front, Kevin welcomes pest control expert Todd McNamara to see his "eco-friendly" plan to address the termites and also the carpenter ants out back. Air Date : 28th-Oct-2010  Read More

Season 32 Episode 17 - Los Angeles Project, Part 1 of 10

For the second project of the season This Old House goes Hollywood with the first ever renovation project in the Los Angeles area. After seeing some of the local sights, master carpenter Norm Abram and host Kevin O'Connor arrive at the 1933 Spanish Colonial Revival project house in the hillside neighborhood of Silver Lake. Homeowners Kurt Albrecht and Mary Blee plan to expand and renovate the 1,500-sq.-ft. house, while keeping and extending the character of the existing house into the small addition. Changes include a major kitchen renovation, a second floor addition and reconfiguration of the back half of the first floor. Norm ventures up into the Hollywood Hills to meet general contractor Steve Pallrand at a job he's been working on that showcases the unique challenges of building in Los Angeles. Back at the house, site supervisor Angel Leon gets to work salvaging finish materials for later reuse. Project manager Joe Luttrell begins preparations to replicate the plaster "cake decorating" details on the walls, and takes some time to show Norm their salvage yard. Angel and Kevin review the plans and outline the scope of work for adding a second floor on the back of the house to gain a full master suite. In order to do that, they need to remove the roof, so roofing contractor John Dybas arrives to harvest the valuable antique clay roof tiles for future use. Air Date : 27th-Jan-2011  Read More

Season 32 Episode 18 - Los Angeles Project, Part 2 of 10

Master carpenter Norm Abram and host Kevin O'Connor stop by one of LA's major movie studios to find homeowner Kurt Albrecht at work in the animation division where it can take his team up to five years to make a feature film. Back in Silver Lake, things are moving a bit quicker, as Kevin finds the front of the house intact, but the back of the house is opened up wide from demolition—no walls or roof remain. Site supervisor Angel Leon shows Kevin the result of three weeks of work—a massive foundation form for the new addition that will meet LA's strict seismic code and "hillside ordinance" regulations. Two of the biggest challenges are getting five loads of concrete delivered up the narrow winding streets, and the 3000 psi mix that tends to set up quickly in the California sun. Up in Stockton, California, Norm visits a facility where they replicate real earthquakes with the help of a "shake table" to assist them in developing ways to protect buildings—and therefore people—from damage. After a few weeks of framing, structural engineer Jeff Ellis shows Norm how the building science has been applied to the house through shear walls, hold-downs and tying off at every level. In the basement, plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey reviews the rough plumbing progress while the new heating and cooling systems are being installed in the basement. Air Date : 3rd-Feb-2011  Read More

Season 32 Episode 19 - Los Angeles Project, Part 3 of 10

Back in Los Angeles, host Kevin O'Connor arrives to find the new clay roof tiles on site as well as the custom windows and doors, which are made of wood and single-glazed to keep a historic look. They meet the strict California energy codes with a combination of tempered glass and Low-E coatings. Roofing contractor John Dybas returns to show Kevin the plan they've come up with for the new roof: using the roof tiles from the old house for the perimeter of the new roof only where they can be seen from the street. The rest of the field will be new, manufactured two-pan tile to cut down on costs. Down in Corona, California, Kevin sees how piles of clay and sand are mixed with water and fire to produce our roof tiles. Back in Silver Lake, John shows Kevin the polypropylene underlayment he's using, the flashing details, and how his expert crew sets the tiles along the ridges using nails, mortar, and hand tools. Out on the reservoir, the director of operations for the LADWP, Marty Adams, shows plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey how the neighborhood landmark has been providing LA with drinking water, and why it is being taken offline. Up in Griffith Park, they go thirty-five feet below ground to see the new infrastructure going in that will supply the city with water in the future. Back at the house, stucco specialist Alfonso Garcia evaluates the condition of our stucco, which he'll be working on next time. Air Date : 10th-Feb-2011  Read More

Season 32 Episode 20 - Los Angeles Project, Part 4 of 10

Master carpenter Norm Abram arrives to find site supervisor Angel Leon wrestling with the latest challenge of the project: replicating the arch details from the front living room in various openings in the house. Outside, stucco specialist Alfonso Garcia shows Norm how the stucco system starts on the new addition with the scratch coat, and then the brown coat. The top two layers will be placed once the base is dry. On the other side of the lake, host Kevin O'Connor meets resident director Sarah Lorenzen to see architect Richard Neutra's VDL Studio and learn why the house and the architect are so important to the neighborhood and to California modern architecture. Back at the house, insulation contractor Pat McKinley shows Norm the batt insulation he's using in the basement—it's a dusty-colored fiberglass batt made with 30% post-consumer recycled bottle glass and formaldehyde-free binders. Project designer Shelby Roberts takes Kevin to a South Pasadena tile showroom to meet tile specialist Tisa Adamson and see the reproduction tile that's being selected for the project. To cut down on costs, they choose a combination of hand-made and factory-made tile. Back at the house, wallboard goes up around the main arch leading from the kitchen to the new family room. Air Date : 17th-Feb-2011  Read More

Season 32 Episode 21 - Los Angeles Project, Part 5 of 10

At the project house, exterior work has been delayed due to four weeks of record setting rains in Southern California. Inside, Host Kevin O'Connor finds plaster expert Alfonso Garcia installing custom foam forms to create a tray ceiling that replicates the existing detail in the house. Once the forms are in place, they are covered with plaster. Master carpenter Norm Abram visits cabinetmaker Larry Bucklan at his shop in the nearby neighborhood of Frogtown to see how work is progressing on the kitchen cabinets. The boxes and drawers are made off site in Orange County, but Larry's crew carefully makes the doors and the custom end panel for the refrigerator. Back at the house, Larry builds a toe kick to receive the base cabinets. Upstairs, Alfonso shows Kevin the "cat face" plaster technique he is using on the walls to replicate the original plaster style. This technique provides a combination of open and closed finishes—after the finish coat is applied but before it sets up, he goes back over it with his trowel leaving closed and open patches. Some areas of the finished coat are smooth and others are rough which are known as "cat faces." In the original part of the house Kevin finds a new stain on the ceiling of the dining room and a large hole in the ceiling of the front entry. Air Date : 24th-Feb-2011  Read More

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