Ask This Old House

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Season 4 Show Descriptions

Showing results for "Season 4"
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Episode #426
Installing a mini-split air conditioning system, what is it?, de-thatching a lawn… more
Episode #425
Cutting ceramic and stone tile, installing a sump pump … more
Episode #424
Replacing an old dishwasher, what is it?, sharpening a wood chisel, using lawn spreaders… more
Episode #423
Replacing an interior "hollow-core" door with a new "solid-core" door, repairing a leaky kitchen faucet… more
Episode #422
Repairing stripped threads on a cast-iron radiator, fixing a grading problem, what is it?, stabilizing a wobbly newel post, refinishing an old cast-iron bathtub… more
Episode #421
Installing an instantaneous water heater, planting trees to save energy, installing cellulose insulation … more
Episode #420
Installing a granite driveway marker, what is it, repairing a hot water radiator system … more
Episode #419
Building a custom radiator cover, installing a steam humidifier in a forced-air heating system … more
Episode #418
Transplanting a white spruce tree, what is it?, extending a staircase handrail … more
Episode #417
Repairing a residential well, repairing a hole in vinyl siding … more
Episode #416
Choosing and using hammers, repairing a pressure-assisted toilet, repairing a plastered wall … more
Episode #415
Installing a low cost in-ground sprinkler system, what is it?, pouring a concrete footing for a deck … more
Episode #414
Installing a radon mitigation system, pruning an apple tree for fruit production… more
Episode #413
Installing a new vinyl floor, what is it?, preventing frozen pipes… more
Episode #412
Washing windows like a pro, what is it?, flushing an electric water heater… more
Episode #411
Snowthrowers, what is it?, where to find it… more
Episode #410
Pruning an overgrown privet hedge, installing a new basement laundry sink … more
Episode #409
Viewer tips, re-shingling a garage roof using asphalt-fiberglass shingles… more
Episode #408
Circular saw 101, what is it?, installing a new outdoor faucet using PEX, cabling an oak tree to prevent splitting… more
Episode #407
Removing and preventing moss, algae and lichen from a roof, what is it?, repairing a leaky water valve, planting shade-tolerant ground cover under a European Beech tree … more
Episode #406


Original Air Date: Week of November 10, 2005

Landscaping contractor Roger Cook helps a young couple build a raised garden bed using composite landscape timbers made from recycled plastic and sawdust. Back in the loft, Roger shows host Kevin O'Connor several other types of landscape timbers, including one that has been pressure-treated with liquid glass. Then, plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey helps a homeowner clear a slow-draining bathtub using a plumbing snake.

Building a raised garden bed with landscape timbers
Landscaping contractor Roger Cook helps a pair of homeowners build a raised garden bed for growing vegetables using landscape timbers made from recycled plastic and sawdust. Roger installed wooden stakes to mark the corners of the bed and ran level string lines to establish the bed's outside edges and its finished height. After removing the top layer of grass and digging down for the base timbers, Roger installed the bottom timbers that would sit below grade. He then laid more timbers on top and secured them with 6" timber screws spaced 18 inches apart. Roger then installed 1/2" rebar through the base courses and into the ground to keep them from moving. Additional timbers were then installed until the finished height of the bed was reached; each timber was fastened using more rebar and screws. Afterward, up in the loft, Roger shows some landscape timbers made from other types of materials, including a wooden timber that has been pressure-treated with liquid glass.

Where to Find It
The landscape timbers made from recycled plastic and sawdust used to build raised garden bed are manufactured by:

Trex Company, Inc.
800-289-8739

Trex landscape timbers are available at:
Friend Lumber & Building Centers
781-273-1335 The timber screws are manufactured by:
FastenMaster
800-518-3569

In the loft, Roger showed several other types of landscape timbers:
Plastic Lumber Company
330-762-8989

SmartTimber from Smartware Products
800-883-1673

TimberSil
901-754-5176

XPotential Products
800-863-6619

Clearing a bathtub drain
Plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey helps a homeowner clear a bathtub drain that has been draining slowly for the past 13 years. Richard begins with an anatomy lesson of how a "bath waste and overflow" system works. He explains that the best place to insert a snake is through the overflow opening. Richard removes the plate along with the linkage inside. He then takes a snake with a steel cable and runs it down through the overflow opening and down through the trap. Before reinstalling the drain assembly, Richard adjusts the "stopper" so that it allows water to pass freely when the drain's trip-lever is in the "open" position. Later, up in the loft, Richard shows a "drum trap" and explains why a plumbing snake might not work if you have one in your house.

Where to Find It
Plumbing snakes are available at your local home center or plumbing supply house.
Episode #405
Caring for a rose bush, how to steady a wobbly toilet, plugging a basement water leak using hydraulic cement.… more
Episode #404
Repairing a flat wheelbarrow tire, repairing an aluminum rain gutter, viewer tips, installing a thermal expansion tank … more
Episode #403
Installing an under-sink water filter, planting a drought-resistant tree.… more
Episode #402
Quieting creaky stairs, static cling solution, and installing an electric shut-off valve for a washing machine … more
Episode #401
Repairing a mortared stone walkway, patching an oak floor… more