Home repairs "a piece of cake" for DIY fans, thanks to This Old House

Dave Masko's picture

What do you get with an old man who enjoys DIY – This Old House; while this old man explains why the show is still tops for him and other fans of home repair and remodeling.

One of the most visible DIY projects on the Oregon coast is the renovation of the Heceta Head Lighthouse that first shined beams of light out to the Pacific back in 1894; while today This Old House tips are being used to restore it. In turn, fans of “This Old House” on PBS - like George - are watching repeats of this past season’s episodes when the program usually airs on Saturday afternoon’s at 5/4c. In turn, self-proclaimed DIY expert George “the hammer” Tabakin told Huliq during an Aug. 16 interview - outside the Heceta Head Lighthouse on the Oregon coast - that reruns are "alright because with some 800 plus episodes since 1979, who needs new when I can watch This Old House anytime online.” And, as a local Heceta Head Lighthouse volunteer – someone who stands guard outside this 1894 classic – Tabakin’s job is “to give visitors a bit of history, and to also share that the reason we live out here on the Oregon coast is to be able to see the Pacific Ocean." As for his favorite TV show, Tabakin says his DIY jobs are "a piece of cake" because we got This Old House to reply on."

An old man who loves This Old House

Tabakin, 78, has been both a lighthouse volunteer and local handyman since retiring from nearby Eugene as a mill worker back in 1985 when an injury at the mill where he worked forced him to retire early.

In turn, Tabakin points to the “safety side” of This Old House episodes as “something I’ve impressed on my sons and grandsons each time we watch the DIY show at home. I will tell you this, your life or your limb or eye can be taken away in an instant if you don’t know what you’re doing on a house repair job.

I’ve seen it happen many, many times.” Safety aside, Tabakin – who now likes to sit outside Heceta Head Lighthouse with his “buds”; so as to check out the professional repair and remodeling experts “put a fresh face on our lighthouse,” the old timer proclaims as he stood in pleased surprise about how quickly the lighthouse remodeling is “moving right along.”

This Old House spawns a nation-wide network of DIY

From This Old House on PBS to the DIY Network, to local DIY stores that are said to number in the “tens of thousands” nationwide, American home repair and remodeling fans can’t seem to get enough of what’s presented on television as “simply fun,” while others may view repairing as really hard work.

For instance, 78-year-old retired mill worker George “the hammer” Tabakin says he got his nickname “because I know how to use a hammer. That’s all,” he quipped with his long, drooping mustached face revealing an expression that whenever he talks about DIY – “George just seems to get happy,” adds his wife Pearl.

Also, the couple explain that “even at our age, we can’t know everything about DIY. That’s why it’s always a good time when This Old House is on Saturday afternoons. We have a cup of coffee and some cake, and then after the show is over, Pearl suggests I get busy with something. We just installed a wood floor in our entrance area and it looks real fine,” explained the senior while his wise little eyes seemed bright and even bemused that he was able to install a wood floor all by himself."

“I guess it comes down to confidence – doing DIY – because talent is just knowing you can do something well,” Tabakin added.

Do-it-yourself the bottom line on This Old House

From installing glass tiles, to a garage makeover, to how to develop a floor plan, This Old House seems to have an endless list of DIY for fans to take on. But, quips “the hammer” Tabakin, “you got to have money. They don’t talk too much about cost and money on This Old House and I chuckle at that.”

This when Scott Caron recently installed a “transfer switch for a generator” on an episode of This Old House from this past winter, Tabakin explained “that’s why I’d get an electrician. Some of us fully realize that we can’t do all the things they do on that show.”

For instance, This Old House relies on pros Norm Abram, Tom Silva, Richard Trethewey, Roger Cook, and host Kevin O'Connor to first explain and then perform home-improvement tasks; while the show’s experts often bring in other experts to take care of business they are not up on, such as a recent show that pointed to DIY for college kids heading back to school.

Thus, the This Old House crew took time out to consult with home décor experts to pick their brains on how to sort out the almost endless junk that college students bring to school – such as lots of electronics, boxes of clothing, sports equipment and furniture they took from “one of the spare rooms” back home.

Back to college DIY helps re-connect parents with daughter

During recent episodes of "This Old House," the show's experts quickly learned that most college residence dorms have very strict rules.

For example, the University of Oregon in Eugene allows such things as bed supplies, “Duck” posters and various indoor plants, but the “rooms are so small” says a student named Beth who asked her father to “build me some shelves. I had no room for my books, CDs, DVDs and other things.”

Beth said “Dad went to the This Old House website and found some really good things he could build at home for me to bring to school. It sort of made him real happy to get busy with this… I think it made it easier on him and mom that I was leaving for school and at least they could do this for me.”

This Old House continues into its 33rd year as America’s source for DIY both on TV and online with a wealth of remodeling and repair tips that can be accessed for free by simply viewing any of the show’s 800 plus episodes that will surely keep you busy.

Image source of the renovation of the Heceta Head Lighthouse that first shined beams of light out to the Pacific back in 1894; while today This Old House tips are being used to help restore it. Photo by Dave Masko

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