Ask This Old House

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Season 5 Show Descriptions

Showing results for "Season 5"
Scan the episodes below and select "more" to get information on products or services you saw on that episode.

Episode #526
Building a Workbench and What Is It?… more
Episode #525
Lawn Mowing and Edging Basics, What is it?, Repairing and maintaining electric water heaters, Repairing a broken stair tread … more
Episode #524
Replacing a damaged mailbox post,Repointing Brickwork … more
Episode #523
Installing a new radiator/towel bar warmer, What is it?, Controlling crabgrass … more
Episode #522
Replacing a corroded shut-off valve with a "compression" fitting, What is it?, Selecting and planting "climbing" roses … more
Episode #521
Installing composite decking with hidden fasteners, Quieting a noisy steam radiator… more
Episode #520
Replacing a Shub, What is it?, Installing a roof-mounted attic fan… more
Episode #519
Refinishing cast-iron radiators, Installing a standby electric generator… more
Episode #518
Patching a damaged vinyl floor, What is it?, Repairing a leaking in-ground sprinkler system… more
Episode #517
Shopping for and installing wall-to-wall carpet, What is it?, Table saw safety… more
Episode #516
Removing an overgrown Juniper bush, Coiling an extension cord, Replacing a pop-up assembly in a pedestal sink … more
Episode #515
Clearing clogged drains, What is it?, Install Kitchen Cabinets… more
Episode #514
Prune a willow tree, fix a hot-water heater… more
Episode #513
Mulching, Sash Balancers … more
Episode #512
Shower Valve, Recycling Batteries … more
Episode #511
Cedar Clapboards, Chainsaw Etiquette … more
Episode #510
Kitchen Backsplash, Installing Sod … more
Episode #509
Child safety, What is It?, Installing a sump pump… more
Episode #508
Maintaining stone countertops, what is it?, Installing a chain link fence… more
Episode #507
Home Energy Audit, what is it?, Removing a toilet seat with corroded bolts… more
Episode #506
Rebuilding a small exterior deck and stairs.… more
Episode #505
Planting flower bulbs in fall, making straight rip cuts with a circular saw, what is it?… more
Episode #504
Installing garage storage cabinets, What is it?, Installing a ceiling fan… more
Episode #503
Installing a new shower base, Installing a rain barrel… more
Episode #502
Replacing a clogged faucet aerator, Selecting houseplants, Quieting a squeaky subfloor under carpet… more
Episode #501


Original Air Date: Week of October 12, 2006

Our 5th season kicks off with general contractor Tom Silva helping a homeowner repair an interior door that won't latch shut. Then Tom, along with landscaping contractor Roger Cook, plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey and host Kevin O'Connor ask, "What is it?" Then, Roger heads for "fabulous" Las Vegas, Nevada, where he helps a pair of homeowners select and plant a privacy screen using bamboo plants.

Repairing a bathroom door that won't latch
Tom visited a homeowner with an interior door that wouldn't latch shut. He started by inspecting the gap around the perimeter of the door when closed and found that the gap was wider at the bottom than at the top, indicating that the door was not hanging plumb in the opening. Rather than re-hang the entire doorjamb, which is very labor intensive, Tom recommended "shimming" the hinges using thin pieces of cardboard in the mortises behind the bottom and middle hinges. Tom used half as many shims for the middle hinge as the bottom one because it's halfway up the door. No shims were installed behind the top hinge because that hinge acted as a pivot point. Once installed, the door hung plumb in the opening and the door latched shut. Then, back in the studio, Tom showed how to keep a door from swinging closed by itself by bending the hinge pin with a hammer, which causes friction inside the hinge. He also showed how to make a door "plumb" by moving the top and middle hinges forward.

Where to Find It
Tom made his shims from cardboard.

You can also purchase plastic shims made specifically for door hinges.

EZ-SHIM, Inc.
Sunburst Sales & Assoc., Inc.
951-582-0770

What is it?
The guys try to guess the intended purpose of an unusual-looking product. Where to Find It
Tom showed a tool built in 1908 for loading and driving nails. Midwest Tool Collectors Association

Planting a bamboo privacy screen
Roger helped two Las Vegas homeowners select and plant a row of bamboo plants for privacy screening. They visited a local preserve where a horticulturalist showed them what types of plants thrive in the desert. After settling on a "clumping" variety of bamboo, they went back to the house and got to work. Roger started by laying out the new plants where they would go and spaced them 5-6 feet apart. Once the plants' locations were established, they started digging holes for each plant that were 2-3 times the width of the plants' containers. The soil was very dry, so Roger had the homeowners saturate the soil with water before planting. They also added "planter's mix" to the soil, which contains organic material that is beneficial to the plants. The plants were then put in the holes, backfilled, and once again saturated with water. The homeowners already had an irrigation line installed, so Roger used it to install 4 drip irrigation emitters for each plant. Finally, Roger added a layer of cedar mulch on top to help moderate soil temperature and retain moisture. Where to Find It
Roger visited a local preserve to see a variety of plants that thrive in the Mohave Desert.

The Gardens at the Springs Preserve
Horticulturalist, Peter Duncombe
702-258-3206

Bamboo plants can be purchased at your local nursery or garden center. The ones Roger planted were supplied by a local landscaping contractor.
Par 3 Landscape & Maintenance
4610 Wynn Rd., Suite B
Las Vegas, NV 89103