5 Questions for Kevin O'Connor
This Old House host Kevin O'Connor shares what he's learned from the crew and his top piece of advice for homeowners
Published July 28, 2015
This Old House is celebrating its 35th season on PBS this year. To what do you attribute its long-running success?
Styles change, fads come and go, and on television these days instant, over-the-top remodels seem to be all the rage. This Old House is the real deal.
Our guys are craftsmen first, and they've practiced their trades for a lifetime. So while others televise extreme makeovers, quick house flips, and yard crashes, This Old House offers honest advice from people you can trust—and there will always be a demand for that.
What personal stamp do you bring to the role of host at This Old House?
Curiosity and, I hope, a touch of humility. Even after a decade on the show, I'm still fascinated by the job site. These guys, who show up every day and work with their hands, are the real experts. It's my job to get the information out of them, share it with the audience and then get out of the way.
As host of the show, what skills have you picked up from the guys?
I'd like to say lots of carpentry or plumbing skills, many of which I have picked up over the years, but in truth, the best skill I've picked up from the guys is how to solve problems. Nailing, joining, soldering are all fairly straightforward, and given enough time, most people can handle them. But what the guys do better than anyone I know is figure out the complex problems that come up in every house renovation and solve them with craftsmanship, the latest technology, and a breadth of knowledge that is hard to find anywhere else.
Which of this season's three projects are you most excited about?
I'm most excited about our project in New Hampshire because it lets us tell a new and important story about what one group is doing to make sure veterans who served and were wounded have a decent place to call home. Homes for Our Troops is doing a great thing for Staff Sargent Matt Dewitt and his family and it just feels right that This Old House would share their stories with our viewers.
What's your best advice for homeowners about to embark on a remodel?
Be fearless. You can do more than you think.