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
two people in a workshop with one watching the other apply finish to a piece of wood with a paintbrush

Original Air Date: Week of 02/11/10

General contractor Tom Silva helps a homeowner replace the broken sash locks on his vinyl windows. Then, up in the loft, host Kevin O'Connor gets some tips on staining furniture and applying protective finishes from finishing expert Bruce Johnson. Afterward, landscaping contractor Roger Cook helps a homeowner protect her plants from the ravages of winter.

Repairing Sash Locks 0n Vinyl Windows
General contractor Tom Silva showed a homeowner how to replace broken sash locks on his vinyl windows. To find replacement sash locks that fit the windows perfectly, Tom contacted a company that sells replacement hardware for many different brands of windows. To remove the broken lock, Tom drilled out the rivets holding them in place. Next, he installed the new sash lock using a rivet gun and the project was complete.

Where to Find It?
Rivets and rivet guns are available at most hardware stores and home centers.

Tom installed new sash locks that he obtained from a company that specializes in hard-to-find window hardware:

Strybuc Industries
800-352-0800

Finishing Furniture
Up in the loft, Kevin was joined by Bruce Johnson, a wood finishing expert. Bruce showed Kevin how to prepare new, unfinished furniture by sanding it with sandpaper and cleaning the dust off using a tack cloth. He then showed how to apply "wood conditioner," which helps wood absorb stain more evenly. Once it was dry, Bruce applied an oil-based penetrating stain using a soft cloth and wiped off the excess. Next, he showed how to apply polyurethane, which leaves a clear protective coating. Bruce also showed how to clean old furniture using a readily-available "wood cleaner" and he showed how to completely remove old finishes by using an "antique furniture refinisher," which is a blend of solvents that dissolves several types of old finishes.

Where to Find It?
Bruce showed Kevin how to use wood conditioner, penetrating stain, polyurethane, wood cleaner, and antique furniture refinisher to finish both old and new furniture pieces.

Manufacturer: Minwax® Company
800-523-9299

Bruce Johnson, furniture finishing expert

Protecting Outdoor Plants from Winter Damage
Roger helped a homeowner prepare several of her outdoor plants for the coming winter. To protect shrubs from structural damage due to heavy snow, Roger wrapped twine around a plant to make it more compact. Next, he placed a folding wooden "A-frame" over the plant to deflect any snow that might fall from the roof above. For larger plants, Roger used a specially-designed tent that protects from both snow and drying winter winds. To protect the rose bushes, Roger tied the branches together with jute and drove wooden stakes into the ground. He then stapled burlap onto the stakes. To protect the delicate grafts near the bottoms of the plants, Roger added a layer of leaves around the base of the plants to help insulate them from cold weather.

Where to Find It?
Roger made a wooden "A-frame" to protect plants from falling snow using framing lumber and plywood from a home center.

Burlap, jute and wooden stakes are available at many home and garden centers.

Roger installed a large green tent over the larger shrub. It manufactured by:
The Shrub Coat™
888-SHRUB-COAT
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
more
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
Landscaping contractor Roger Cook kicks off our 8th season by helping a homeowner build a cozy campfire pit...… more
Episode #804, Season 8 of ATOH
General contractor Tom Silva helps a homeowner install new aluminum gutters and downspouts. … more