Ask This Old House

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Season 8 Show Descriptions

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Episode #826, Season 8 of ATOH
Plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey helps a homeowner replace his leaky outdoor faucet… more
Episode #825, Season 8 of ATOH
General contractor Tom Silva helps a homeowner repair a wobbly newel post at the bottom of a staircase… more
Episode #824, Season 8 of ATOH
Landscaping contractor Roger Cook visits a nature center to learn how to attract many different species of birds… more
Episode #823, Season 8 of TOH
Landscaping contractor Roger Cook shows a homeowner how to use and maintain string trimmers… more
Episode #822, Season 8 of ATOH
Landscaping contractor Roger Cook helps a homeowner revive a damaged lawn… more
Episode #821, Season 8 of ATOH
Host Kevin O'Connor and plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey head to Virginia to help a homeowner replace his old, electric water heater with a heat pump water heater that uses much less electricity… more
Episode #820, Season 8 of ATOH
Plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey and general contractor Tom Silva head to Detroit to help a homeowner remodel her kitchen with new appliances… more
Episode #819, Season 8 of ATOH
General contractor Tom Silva helps a homeowner replace the broken sash locks on his vinyl windows… more
Episode #818, Season 8 of ATOH
General contractor Tom Silva helps a pair of homeowners in Houston, Texas install crown molding in their bedroom using an innovative fastening system… more
Episode #817, Season 8 of ATOH
Plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey heads to Tampa, Florida to help a homeowner cool off his garage workshop with a ductless air conditioning system… more
Episode #816, Season 8 of ATOH
Landscaping contractor Roger Cook helps a homeowner conserve water by installing an innovative rainwater collection system… more
Episode #815, Season 8 of ATOH
Plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey helps a homeowner update the look of her bathroom by installing a new vanity cabinet, countertop, and sink… more
Episode #814, Season 8 of ATOH
General contractor Tom Silva helps a homeowner dress up an old fireplace by installing a new mantle and marble hearth… more
Episode #813, Season 8 of ATOH
Plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey heads to Tampa, Florida to help two homeowners repair their broken water softener… more
Episode #812, Season 8 of ATOH
Landscaping contractor Roger Cook helps a pair of homeowners improve the appearance of an unsightly concrete retaining wall… more
Episode #811, Season 8 of ATOH
General contractor Tom Silva and host Kevin O'Connor show how to build and install new laminate kitchen countertops… more
Episode #810, Season 8 of ATOH
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Episode #809, Season 8 of ATOH
Landscaping contractor Roger Cook visits Harvard University to learn about their new organic lawn-care program… more
Episode #808, Season 8 of ATOH
General contractor Tom Silva and host Kevin O'Connor build a basic picnic table using common framing lumber… more
Episode #807, Season 8 of ATOH
This episode is all about saving energy at home… more
Episode #806, Season 8 of ATOH
Landscaping contractor Roger Cook joins plant expert Carrie Kelly at a nursery to learn about container gardening.… more
Episode #805, Season 8 of ATOH
General contractor Tom Silva helps a pair of homeowners install a new siding glass door… more
Episode #803, Season 8 of ATOH
Landscaping contractor Roger Cook travels to Baltimore, where he helps transform a small urban backyard into a pleasant outdoor living space… more
Episode #802, Season 8 of ATOH
Host Kevin O'Connor teams up with an electrician to install a home intercom system. Then Kevin, along with… more
Episode #801, Season 8 of ATOH
tom silva helps a homeowner install a combination range hood and microwave oven over her kitchen stovetop

Original Air Date: Week of 10/08/2009

Landscaping contractor Roger Cook kicks off our 8th season by helping a homeowner build a cozy campfire pit in her backyard. Then Roger, along with general contractor Tom Silva, plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey and host Kevin O'Connor ask, "What is it?" Afterward, Tom helps a homeowner install a combination range hood and microwave oven over her kitchen stovetop.

Building a backyard campfire pit

Segment 1 short description Roger helped a homeowner build a campfire pit in her backyard using a kit consisting of concrete pavers and a steel ring. First, they dug a shallow pit slightly wider than the campfire. For drainage, Roger dug a second narrow, deeper hole in the middle and filled it with ¾" stone. Next, he added a mixture of stone and stone dust in the shallow pit and compacted it using a hand tamper. Then, with the steel ring in place temporarily, Roger installed several rows of curved concrete pavers around it, staggering the joints and gluing each row together with masonry adhesive. Finally, they backfilled around the firepit with topsoil and replaced the turf.

Where to find it?

Roger installed a campfire kit complete with curved concrete pavers and a steel inner ring.

Manufacturer: Ideal Concrete Block

What is it?

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

Where to find it?

Kevin showed a flexible funnel designed to catch water underneath a plumbing leak, diverting the water to a drain:

Ultra-Pipe Drip Diverter
Manufacturer: UltraTech International, Inc.

Installing a microwave and vent hood combination over a kitchen stovetop

Tom helped a homeowner install a combination microwave and vent hood over a kitchen stove. With the upper cabinets and an electrical outlet already installed, Tom cut away the drywall over the stove and restructured the wall framing so that the duct could exit straight to the outside. Next, Tom replaced the wallboard with plywood and installed the mounting bracket, being careful to screw it securely into the wall studs. Tom then cut the hole for the exhaust through the vinyl siding on the outside of the house. He then applied liquid foam insulation around the perimeter of the opening and fastened the exhaust duct in place. He then fastened the vent hood to the wall and screwed the top of the microwave to the cabinet above. Finally, Tom fastened the vent to the outside of the house using caulking and screws and the installation was complete.

Tom installed a combination microwave and range hood over a kitchen stovetop:

Where to find it?

Kenmore, model no. 81623
1000 Watt Microwave with 1,200 Watt grill with 1.6 cu. ft. capacity.
Episode #804, Season 8 of ATOH
General contractor Tom Silva helps a homeowner install new aluminum gutters and downspouts. … more