Ask This Old House

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Season 6 Show Descriptions

Showing results for "Season 6"
Scan the episodes below and select "more" to get information on products or services you saw on that episode.

Episode #626
Rebuilding a toilet tank, Lawn Watering, Building a simple bookcase… more
Episode #625
Installing a water pressure reducing valve, Choosing the best types of grass seed, What is it?, Installing crown molding on kitchen cabinets… more
Episode #624
Replacing broken tile, Cutting ceramic and stone tile, Installing glass tile on a kitchen backsplash… more
Episode #623
Overseeding a lawn using a slice seeder, Viewer tip, Preparing a home for sale, Finding and fixing a mysterious plumbing leak … more
Episode #622
Installing granite steps, Choosing "Keyless" Deadbolts, Replacing polybutylene water piping… more
Episode #621
Installing an old full-mortise lockset into a new door, Installing a pellet stove, Non-Gasoline Lawn Mowers… more
Episode #620
Building a soccer goal with PVC pipe, Building stilts, Building a sandbox… more
Episode #619
Increasing attic insulation, Installing landscape lighting, Replacing an old kitchen faucet… more
Episode #618
Installing a Water Softener, Installing fiber-cement siding … more
Episode #617

Original Air Date: Week of January 24, 2008

Landscaping contractor Roger Cook heads to Oregon to help a homeowner improve her lawn, starting with a simple soil test. Next, Roger, along with host Kevin O'Connor, general contractor Tom Silva and plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey ask, "What is it?" Then, Richard and Kevin visit a local homecenter to identify several different types of water supply pipes.

Improving a lawn

Roger traveled to Oregon to help a homeowner with a lawn that had many bare spots and weeds. To improve the lawn, Roger started by mowing the entire lawn very short, using a bag to gather the clippings. Next, he used a power "dethatcher" to remove thatch and help loosen up the top layer of soil. Then Roger used a "core aerator" to remove 3" plugs of soil, allowing water, air and fertilizer get down to the lawn’s roots. Next, Roger spread a layer of compost over the top of the entire lawn to improve the soil and help with drainage. With the compost raked in, Roger used the results of the soil test to determine what type of fertilizer to use and how often to apply it. With fertilizer applied over the entire lawn, Roger applied a blend of new grass seed and raked it in. This will help fill in the bare spots, crowd out weeds, and improve the overall appearance of the lawn.

Where to find it?

Soil testing is a critical part of gardening and landscaping. Many state universities have county extension programs that offer soil testing and analysis for a small fee.

Technical assistance for this project was provided by:

DeSantis Landscapes
7907 State St.
Salem, Oregon 97301

Soil analysis was provided by Oregon State University ( and The University of Georgia (

Power dethatching and aerating machines are available for rent at many rental centers, home centers and hardware stores.

Compost, seed and fertilizer are available at garden centers, nurseries and home centers.

What is it?

The guys try to guess the intended purpose of an unusual-looking product.

Where to find it?

Tom showed a "quirrel proof" birdfeeder.

Squirrel Stopper
Manufacturer: Liberty Products, Inc.
P.O. Box 95
Allendale, MI 49401

Water Supply Piping

Richard and Kevin visited a local home center where Richard explained the different options available for water supply piping including galvanized steel, copper, CPVC, and PEX. He also showed some different types of fittings used to join pipes together.

Where to find it?

Water supply pipes and fittings are available at any hardware store, home center or plumbing supply house.
Episode #616
Replacing a leaky skylight, What is it?, Repairing a 3-way light switch… more
Episode #615
The ATOH crew repairs a smelly dishwasher, transplants a rosebush, changes a circular saw blade, and plays another exciting round of What Is It?… more
Episode #614
Installing thermostatic radiator valves on hydronic radiators, What is it?, Making a refrigerator fit into an opening that is too small, Viewer tip… more
Episode #613
Installing a vinyl fence, Installing an epoxy coating on a garage floor… more
Episode #612
Determining landscape grades, What is it?, Seeing inside walls, Repairing a bathtub drain that won't hold water… more
Episode #611
Improving front steps with bluestone, What is it?, Installing a propane kitchen stove… more
Episode #610
Diverting storm runoff to a "rain garden," What is it?, Refinishing a wood floor … more
Episode #609
Picking a Christmas tree, What is it?, Safety equipment, Caulking a leaky window… more
Episode #608
Improving a muddy backyard, Choosing space heaters, Preventing condensation in a bathroom fan… more
Episode #607
Installing replacement windows, Heating water more efficiency, Home energy audit… more
Episode #606
Removing a dangerous tree, What is it?, Installing interior door trim… more
Episode #605
Repairing a jammed garbage disposer, What is it?, Stripping exterior paint, Drilling and notching in joists … more
Episode #604
Preventing floods, Removing and replacing foundation plants, What is it?, Fixing rotted wood with epoxy… more
Episode #603
Replacing a toilet flange, What is it?, Repairing cracked plaster, Viewer Tip… more
Episode #602
Carpentry squares, What is it?, Installing a patio using concrete bricks… more
Episode #601
Replacing a bathtub drain trap, What is it?, Repairing a cracked drywall ceiling… more