Ask This Old House

Find more information on Ask This Old House episodes, or more information on products and services you saw on Ask This Old House.

Ask This Old House does not endorse any product or service mentioned within this Web site.

Season 4 Show Descriptions

Showing results for "Season 4"
Scan the episodes below and select "more" to get information on products or services you saw on that episode.

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


Original Air Date: Week of December 15, 2005

Landscaping contractor Roger Cook and host Kevin O'Connor bundle up and head outside for a few lessons on the different types of snowthrowers and how to use them properly. Back in the barn loft, Roger and Kevin, along with plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey and general contractor Tom Silva ask, "What is it?" Then, Tom makes a housecall to help a homeowner replace an old, drafty exterior door with a new pre-hung, energy-efficient unit.

Snowthrowers
Landscaping contractor Roger Cook and host Kevin O'Connor head outside for some lessons on 1 and 2-stage snowthrowers and their safe use. Roger explains that "single" stage machines use a rubber auger that both scoops and shoots the snow. He says a single-stage machine is good for use on asphalt, but bad on loose gravel because the gravel can get thrown—a potentially dangerous situation. Roger says the "double" stage machine uses an auger with metal blades to scoop the snow and an impeller that throws it. 2-stage machines also have adjustable skids on the bottom so the machine can be used safely on gravel. It also has a joystick for controlling the direction of the discharge chute. Roger also shows "shear pins" used in 2-stage machines that protect the transmission in the event an object gets clogged in the machine's auger. He also recommends never putting one's hand in the chute to remove a clog because it can cause a serious injury. Both the 1 and 2-stage machines have manual and electric start features.

Where to Find It
1-stage snowthrower (model # S295):
Yard-Man
Manufactured by MTD
800-800-7310

2-stage snowthrower: Toro (model # 828 LXE)
Manufactured by: The Toro Company
800-348-2424

Toro snowthrower supplied by:
Granz Turf Depot
800-305-9255

What is it?
The guys try to guess the intended purpose of an unusual-looking product.

Where to Find It
General contractor Tom Silva shows a product for coiling up loose cables.

Cable Disk cable organizer Manufactured by: Cleverline
Available at: The Container Store

Installing a new exterior door
General contractor Tom Silva helped a homeowner replace her old steel door with a new, energy-efficient unit. The homeowner had already purchased the new door, so she and Tom got to work removing the old door by first removing the screws and then prying the old unit out using hammers and pry-bars. With the old door and jam removed, Tom then installed a piece of "Z-flashing" in the top of the rough opening to keep out water. He then slid the new pre-hung door into the opening and found he needed to grind down part of the existing sill in order to make it fit. Once that was done, Tom had the homeowner run a fat bead of caulk all around the rough opening. Then, they slid the new unit into the opening and checked the threshold for level. Tom then shimmed and fastened the hinge-side of the jam to the rough opening, then did the same thing on the other side. He then installed the lockset and recommended the homeowner apply more caulking around the perimeter of the unit and under the threshold. Later, up in the loft, Tom showed some additional tips on shimming a door plumb and level.

Where to Find It
Pre-hung exterior doors are available at your local home center.
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
Building a raised garden bed with landscape timbers, clearing a bathtub drain. … more
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