Ask This Old House

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Season 7 Show Descriptions

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Episode #726, Season 7 of ATOH
Plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey helps a homeowner repair a leaking PVC drain trap underneath his kitchen sink...… more
Episode #725, Season 7 of ATOH
Host Kevin O'Connor and an electrician help a homeowner install a new ventilation fan in her bathroom...… more
Episode #724, Season 7 of ATOH
General contractor Tom Silva helps a homeowner install a new garage door...… more
Episode #723, Season 7 of ATOH
General contractor Tom Silva helps a homeowner prepare his concrete basement walls for finished wallboard...… more
Episode #722, Season 7 of ATOH
Plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey helps install a new type of "zoning" control for her forced-air heating and cooling system… more
Episode #721, Season 7 of ATOH
Plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey helps a homeowner install a new "dual flush" water-saving toilet… more
Episode #720, Season 7 of ATOH
Our annual "kids" episode features family-friendly projects that parents and kids can build together!… more
Episode #719, Season 7 of ATOH
Plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey helps a homeowner quiet his banging pipes by installing a water hammer shock suppressor...… more
Episode #718, Season 7 of ATOH
Landscape contractor Roger Cook shows a homeowner how to prune her neglected crabapple tree properly.… more
Episode #717, Season 7 of ATOH
General contractor Tom Silva helps a homeowner clean, stain and seal his mahogany backyard deck… more
Episode #716, Season 7 of ATOH
Plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey helps a homeowner convert a claw foot bathtub into a shower… more
Episode #715, Season 7 of ATOH
This special episode is dedicated to making the most out of your existing kitchen cabinets.… more
Episode #714, Season 7 of ATOH
Landscaping contractor Roger Cook helps a homeowner in Charleston, South Carolina fix a sagging wooden gate...… more
Episode #713, Season 7 of ATOH
Plumbing & heating expert Richard Trethewey and host Kevin O'Connor replace an old tank-type water heater with a new, energy-efficient "tankless" unit...… more
Episode #712, Season 7 of ATOH
Landscaping contractor Roger Cook helps a pair of homeowners break apart and remove a large boulder...… more
Episode #711, Season 7 of ATOH
General contractor Tom Silva helps a homeowner repair a very dangerous deck...… more
Episode #710, Season 7 of ATOH
Plumbing & heating expert Richard Trethewey heads to Indianapolis...… more
Episode #709, Season 7 of ATOH
episode seven-hundred and nine, season seven of ask this old house

Original Air Date: Week of 11/27/2008

Landscaping contractor Roger Cook helps a pair of homeowners build a retaining wall using pressure-treated timbers. Afterward, Roger, along with general contractor Tom Silva, plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey and host Kevin O'Connor ask, "What is it?" Then, Richard has an easy fix for a kitchen faucet that is making a loud, shuddering sound.

Building a retaining wall

Roger helps a pair of homeowners build a U-shaped retaining wall in their backyard using pressure-treated landscape timbers. The timbers are 6x8 and are rated for "ground contact." First, Roger digs a trench and fills it with ¾ inch stone, which he then compacts. Next, he installs the first row, making sure to keep the timbers level and the corners of the wall square. He secures the first row of timbers to the ground by driving ¼ inch rebar through each timber into the ground every four feet. With the starter course in place, Roger puts filter fabric behind it to keep out silt and a drainage pipe to keep water from damaging the wall. Roger secures the remaining rows of timbers using timber screws. Near the top, he installs "dead men" to tie the walls into the earth and prevent the wall from leaning forward.

Where to find it?

6"x8" landscape timbers rated for ground contact and rebar are available at professional lumberyards.

The timber screws are manufactured by:
FastenMaster
153 Bowles Road
Agawam, MA 01001
800-518-3569
FastenMaster

Each time Roger cut a landscape timber, he applied a wood preservative to help prevent rot.

The wood preservative Roger used is manufactured by:
BEHR (no. 3-91 Fence Post Preservative)
Santa Ana, CA 92704
BEHR

Roger used a cordless impact wrench to drive the timber screws into the landscape timbers.
18V Impactor Cordless Impact Wrench (model #22618)
Manufacturer: Bosch
Bosch

What is it?

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

Where to find it?

Tom shows a device used to pull crooked framing lumber into alignment. It is manufactured by:
WoodRatchet
Kennedy Manufacturing LLC
570-223-0527
WoodRatchet

Repairing a noisy faucet

Richard helps a homeowner repair a noisy kitchen faucet. Upon close inspection, Richard discovers that it's actually not the faucet that's making noise, but the supply shut-off valve located underneath the sink. The shut-off was partially closed, which was causing a rubber washer inside to vibrate.

Shut-off supply valves are located at home centers and plumbing supply houses.
Episode #708, Season 7 of ATOH
General contractor Tom Silva helps a homeowner prepare a shower enclosure for tile using a new type of waterproofing system...… more
Episode #707, Season 7 of ATOH
This episode has many tips for making your home more energy efficient...… more
Episode #706, Season 7 of ATOH
Up in the loft, general contractor Tom Silva shows host Kevin O’Connor how to repair damaged laminate countertops...… more
Episode #705, Season 7 of ATOH
Landscaping contractor Roger Cook helps a homeowner transplant a giant Rhododendron bush...… more
Episode #704, Season 7 of ATOH
Landscaping contractor Roger Cook helps two homeowners repair the damage done to their lawn...… more
Episode #703, Season 7 of ATOH
Host Kevin O'Connor travels to Nashville, where he helps a pair of homeowners brighten up their kitchen. Then...… more
Episode #702, Season 7 of ATOH
Landscaping contractor Roger Cook shows a pair of homeowners how to transplant a large, mature tree to their front yard. Then Roger, along with...… more
Episode #701, Season 7 of ATOH
ATOH kicks off with Tom Silva preventing a garage roof from collapsing by replacing a rotting support post, Then Tom, along with...… more