This Father’s Day, the Ask This Old House team members look back on their childhoods and talk about their fathers’ influences on their career paths into the trades. Having fathers that were tradesmen themselves set an example for each cast member to look up to. From sweeping up their dads’ shops to building elaborate tree houses to tagging along on jobs. Each cast member gives a glimpse into their childhoods and their most important mentors.
Carpenter Nathan Gilbert grew up with a general contracting father, and he credits his father for his career in the trades. From an early age, Nathan remembers sweeping up the job site and pitching in on siding, framing, and roofing jobs for his father’s business.
Nathan appreciated that his father could come to all of his sporting events thanks to being self-employed. He’s also enjoying that flexibility now, as Nathan has the opportunity to be there for his daughter whenever she needs him.
General contractor Tom Silva knows his love of construction came from watching his father when Tom was a small child. He enjoyed watching his father work around the house or renovate homes built in the 1700s. Tom even has a picture of himself being about four years old and carrying his father’s hammer as the two walked together.
While they often worked on separate projects, Tom liked it the most when he got to work alongside his dad. That’s how Tom grew to love difficult jobs, as his father’s love for challenges rubbed off on him.
Master electrician Heath Eastman believes that without his father’s influence, he wouldn’t have thought of the trades. His father was a carpenter, and the first project the two worked on together was a treehouse fit for a king. Heath found that working side by side with his father showed him how enjoyable the trades could be.
The most important thing Heath learned from his father was to do things correctly. His father taught him that taking the time to get something right matters, as it’s the foundation on which the rest of the job relies.
Home technology expert Ross Trethewey’s biggest mentor is his father, Richard. Ross remembers going on a Christmas Day service call with his father, as Richard received a call that there was a family without heat. After just a few minutes at the family’s home, Richard restored the heat, and the two returned to their home to continue the Christmas celebration. Ross appreciated how his father knew someone had a problem, and he wanted to fix it and save the day, despite the holiday.
Plumbing and heating expert Richard found inspiration in his father’s demeanor, generosity, and willingness to bring young folks on board and teach them the trade. Richard continues his father’s legacy by mentoring others and bringing them into the trades, passing down the knowledge and experience he learned years ago.
Painting expert Mauro Henrique’s father was a handyman that would never hire someone to work at their house. He took Mauro under his wing and showed him how important it was to do things right and not be afraid to make a mistake. He drove home the importance of continuing to try to get things right.