Ask This Old House

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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


Original Air Date: Week of January 12, 2006

Landscaping contractor Roger Cook heads to Dallas, Texas to help a homeowner install a low cost in-ground sprinkler system. Then Roger, along with plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey, general contractor Tom Silva, and host Kevin O'Connor ask, "What is it?" Then, Tom helps a homeowner pour new concrete footings for a backyard deck.

Installing a low cost in-ground sprinkler system
Roger visits a homeowner in Dallas, Texas who complained about the difficulty of watering her lawn every day using a garden hose and sprinkler. Roger determined that she was over-watering her lawn and also that she could benefit from new type of "in-ground" sprinkler system. A traditional in-ground sprinkler system can cost $2000 or more, so Roger recommended a low-cost version that takes its water supply from a regular garden hose. Roger first determined how many sprinklers were needed and where to place them. He then dug holes for two sprinklers and buried them so they would sit flush with the top of the lawn. He then adjusted the spray pattern for each head so they would overlap slightly. Finally, Roger connected a garden hose to each head and connected both hoses to a single outdoor faucet using a splitter. Up in the loft, Roger gave some additional tips for watering using timers and rain gauges.

Where to Find It
In-ground sprinkler heads:
Watering Made Easy
877-280-4485

Technical assistance provided by:
Texas A&M Dallas, Agricultural Research and Extension Center
972-231-5362

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

Where to Find It
Roger showed a small device for calling birds.

Audubon Bird Call
Supplier: American Bird Products, Inc.
401-583-0202

Pouring a concrete footing for a deck
Tom helps a homeowner who needs new concrete footings because she wants to expand her deck. Tom first determines how many footings are needed and where to place them. Next, they dig the holes for the footings and make them wide enough to accommodate a plastic form into which they'll pour the concrete. They also dig the holes 4 feet deep to prevent frost heaving in the winter. They then cut a cardboard form to the proper length and place it on top of the plastic form in one of the holes. They then mix up concrete in a wheelbarrow and pour it into the form. Tom then inserts some metal reinforcing bars to make the footing stronger. Finally, Tom screeds off the concrete at the top of the tube so that it's smooth and flat. Later, up in the loft, Tom shows how the wooden post gets attached to the footing once the concrete has cured.

Where to Find It
Forms, concrete and deck fasteners can be purchased at your local lumberyard or home center.

Bigfoot Systems Inc.
800-934-0393 or 902-627-1600

Tom also showed an orange, plastic form for concrete footings in the loft.
Sound Footings LLC
802-764-2323
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
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