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

Original Air Date: Week of February 15, 2007

Landscaping contractor Roger Cook shows a homeowner how the brick stairs in front of his house have created a blistering "micro-climate," causing damage to an adjacent shrub. Together, they remove the ailing shrub and replace it with a heat-tolerant yew. Then Roger, along with host Kevin O'Connor, general contractor Tom Silva, and plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey ask, "What is it?" Afterward, Tom improves the ventilation in an attic by installing a solar-powered roof fan.

Replacing a shrub
Roger helps a homeowner with a "dwarf" alberta spruce tree that is planted near the entrance of the house. Roger finds two problems: Spider mites have killed off part of the bush. The other problem is that the bush is located in a sunny spot next to a large masonry front stoop. This area collects a lot of heat thereby causing stress to the plant. Roger describes this as a "microclimate" and recommends replacing the shrub with a heat-tolerant yew. Together, they remove the old tree, dig a larger hole to receive the new plant, amend the soil, and plant the yew.

Where to Find It
Shrubs such as the dwarf alberta spruce and yew are available at your local garden center. For more information about gardening in microclimates, visit:

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

Where to Find It
Tom showed an electric pump used for filtering and recycling used turkey fryer oil.

Miracle Frying Oil Pump
Supplier: Sportsman's Recipes, Inc.

Installing a roof-mounted attic fan
Tom helps a homeowner with poor ventilation in his attic. The existing ridge vent and soffit vents aren't doing enough to ventilate moisture and excess heat from the attic. Tom recommends tightening up any voids in the insulation and installing solar-powered attic fans. The fans will be mounted on the south side of the roof for best exposure to the sun throughout the day. Tom cuts a hole through the roof near the peak. He then removes a few shingles, installs the fan, and reinstalls the shingles around the fan's flashing.

Where to Find It
Solar Star® by Solatube
Manufacturer: Solatube International, Inc.

Up in the loft, Tom showed another attic fan made by a different manufacturer.

SolarCool Attic Vent
Manufacturer: Air Vent, Inc.
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
Repairing a bathroom door, planting a bamboo privacy screen, what is it?… more