The 35th anniversary season of This Old House TV concludes with a special project, as the crew partners with Homes for Our Troops (HFOT) to build and outfit a house in Hopkinton, New Hampshire, for a wounded Iraq War veteran. A nonprofit organization, HFOT is dedicated to building specially adapted, mortgage-free houses for severely injured veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Since 2004, the organization has built 168 houses for veterans and their families.
The project house, to be built on an empty lot, will be a single-story ranch-style home for Staff Sergeant Matt DeWitt and his family. Matt sustained combat injuries in Iraq that required the amputation of both arms below the elbow.
Although Matt doesn't require or use a wheelchair, the house will be built with universal access in mind, in keeping with the mission of HFOT. The living spaces will feature large rooms, hardwood and tile flooring throughout, and wide, saddle-free thresholds.
The master bath will be outfitted with a shower featuring a flush threshold; a touchless toilet and faucet; and digital temperature controls, to prevent burns. Matt, the father of two, is looking forward to being able to give the kids their baths, a task that would be nearly impossible in a conventional bathroom.
The TOH TV crew will chip in on a variety of projects, including the installation of an accessible closet system for Matt and his wife, Cat, in a space that also doubles as a “safe room.” They'll also construct a high tunnel greenhouse so that Matt and his wife, both avid gardeners, can grow food for the family. And master carpenter Norm Abram and host Kevin O'Connor will use reclaimed barn boards to build a custom table for the family's new dining room.
New episodes of the DeWitt House project will begin airing in the spring of 2015 on PBS stations and thisoldhouse.com. Check local listings for the dates and times in your area. Join the conversation with @thisoldhouse on Twitter using #TOH4TROOPS.