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S42 E17: Return to Dorchester

The show returns to Dorchester, MA, the home of the first This Old House project, to follow the renovation of a triple decker that burned from illegal fireworks.

Previous episode: S42 E16 | Next episode: S42 E18

In this episode:

Since the 1970’s the Boston neighborhood of Dorchester has been a special place to This Old House—it’s the home of our first project. For 41 years we have only come back to visit the old house but today we start a new project in Dorchester.

It’s a three-story 1905 apartment building that was heavily damaged in a fire. Carol Wideman and her family had to move out over a year ago. Tom Silva and Kevin O’Connor pull up in front of the home and meet Carol. She leads them to the back of the house where she describes the fire.

Carol takes Tom for a tour of the three-story building. As they walk to the back of the house they discover the interior damage. The higher they go, the worse the damage.

Kevin finds Richard Trethewey in the basement where they discuss the extent of the damage to systems. They then walk through the rest of the house and inspect radiators and plumbing fixtures to see what needs to change.

On the way they run into Heath Eastman who is looking at the wires on the second floor. Heath explains what needs to be replaced.

Charlie and the Silva Brothers are the general contractors. Kevin finds Charlie and Tom on the third floor where they discuss the challenges of bringing a triple-decker back to life. Charlie introduces Russ Gibson, foreman for the project.

Most homeowners assume their insurance company will send a check if their house is damaged in a fire. But as Carol is discovering, it’s not that simple. Kevin meets with Daniel Davison, a public insurance adjuster, who is helping Carol with her claim. Kevin, Tom, Richard, Charlie, and Russ wish Carol well with the new project.

Original Air Date: Apr 4, 2021 Season 42; Ep.17 23:42

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