Do it yourself still king on This Old House on PBS TV

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With no football on TV during summer Sunday’s, you will probably find the man or woman of the house watching the latest episode of “This Old House” on PBS TV, and then getting busy around the house trying those tips from the show’s building experts.

With roughly 100 percent of the country’s 347 PBS stations carrying weekly episodes of “This Old House,” it’s become a staple in the enjoyment of “do-it-yourself” home projects; with Sunday’s July 8 episode titled “Barrington: Cherry Kitchen,” with a focus on how to build a new driveway, create cherry veneers in the kitchen, setting the new bathtub and what a full-spectrum of colors brings to home remodeling jobs. Fans of “This Old House” can find the know on most PBS stations on Sunday afternoon (check local listings) with Kevin O’Connor as the show’s host; while such pros as Norm Abram serves as the “master carpenter,” Tom Silvia as the general contractor, Richard Trethewey as the show’s plumbing and heating expert and Roger Cook doing the landscaping. Also, for those new to this classic Public Broadcasting Service TV show, “This Old House usually follows remodeling projects of houses over a number of weeks.

Also, long before today’s do-it-yourself businesses opened to help home owners with their fix-it chores; this hit PBS TV show “This Old House” was sharing the secrets of home repairs as far back as 1979. Today, many fans of home remodeling credit This Old House with this massive business that’s grown out of the need to make your home repairs yourself.

This Old House is fun and educational

In general, a local Florence, Oregon, do-it-yourselfer named Kevin says “This Old House” is really “an educational program” that teaches the basics of home improvement.

Kevin also points to classic “This Old House” episodes – that are available for “free” viewing online at the PBS website – as “a great reference for anyone wanting to tackle fixing things around the house. I often go back and watch a program again and again to get it right. I fixed our garage door by simply watching an episode of This Old House.”

Also, during Sunday’s episode of “This Old House,” fans will be treated to the varying colors, textures and shapes of “paver landscaping;” while kitchen cabinets will be detailed for more than just storage but for more “cook space;” while it’s always interesting to watch experts “hang kitchen cabinets,” and don’t miss how to refinish your cast iron bathtub.

In addition, the show has been broadcast in a high-definition format since 2009; with fans saying “it really makes a difference to see all the remodeling materials in their true color.”

This Old House most fun when it tackles big homes

Take a drive to the “Old Town” district of Eureka, California, and treat your eyes to a super example of what “This Old House” is really all about with the famed Eureka Mansion explained for visitors as a massive do-it-yourself project that’s worthy of “This Old House” on PBS.

For instance, one of the most popular episodes of “This Old House” took place a few years ago with the renovation of a “Renaissance Revival” row hose in Brooklyn, New York.

In turn, fans can go to the This Old House website at to view classic episodes including the “This Old House” team overseeing a complete overhaul - from new wiring and pipes to a redone backyard - that resulted in the complete renovation of this old row house in an historic area of Brooklyn.

Thus, The New York Times covered this renovation project and noted how “the mood on ‘This Old House’ is relentlessly chipper, but that disassembled spiral staircase is lurking, a big ‘I told you so’ waiting to happen. It’s something for depressed renters and studio-apartment owners to grasp onto as Mr. Streaman walks through the construction site and tells Mr. Abram of the wonders to come: the walk-in closets, the wraparound counters, and the new bathrooms.”

This Old House has been “classic” TV since 1979

A short history of “This Old House” on the PBS website explains how the show first started back in 1979 as a “one-time, 13-part series on the Boston PBS station WGBH.”
Since that time, it’s has grown into one of the most popular programs on the network, states a PBS history of the TV show. In turn, “This Old House” has won a record 17 Emmy Awards and received 82 nominations.

However, all was not good on This Old House when former host Bob Vila let in 1989 “following a dispute about doing commercials and then created a similar show called ‘Bob Vila’s Home Again.’”

According to the history of This Old House, PBS fired Vila for doing this competing TV show and for making TV commercials with a competing PBS sponsor. Still, during Vila’s tenure, PBS reported how this small Sunday afternoon TV show “drew 11 million viewers and had won five Emmy’s with Vila as its host.

Today, “This Old House” continues in 2012 with its record 33rd season on PBS; with fans of the show still viewing those do-it-yourself tips that have made generations of Americans much handier around the house.

Image source of the Eureka Mansion in Eureka, California, that claims its structure and grounds beauty thanks to local do-it-yourself efforts by pointing to the classic PBS TV show “This Old House” as its muse when owners decided to save the property as exhibited by This Old House during more than 33 years of saving “old houses” in America. Photo by Dave Masko

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