Hot Project on a Cool Island

This Old House finds history and beauty on Nantucket


An American Craftsman

Quoting Kierkegaard while cutting cumaru, master floorer Chuck Cripsin calls on his training as a philosopher in the struggle to create the perfect surface. By Walt Harrington

Secrets of Shellac

Shellac is a triumph of nature in an artificial age-a protective finish you can eat. Journey to India, where this amber resin from the sweat of a bug is painstakingly harvested by villagers. By Jeanne Huber

Victorious Lady

The charm of a 109-year old Nantucket dowager can blind almost anyone to her flaws. But not the This Old House crew, who invite designer Jock Gifford and contractor Bruce Killen to look beneath the surface of the show's next project. By Brad Lemley

Set in Stone

Three generations of knowledge are brought to bear on a pile of rocks. The result is an elegant and permanent stone wall that seems to spring from the surrounding earth. By Jack McClintock

Life in a Concord Barn

Lynn and Barbara Wickwire realized a dream—and became celebrities—when This Old House remade their crumbling barn into a home. Step inside this favorite project seven years later to see how it's holding up. By William G. Scheller

Fear of Fiberglass

Is the insulation we've relied on for 60 years hazardous to our health? The tiny fibers are in the walls of 90 percent of homes in the United States, and some scientists think they're more dangerous than asbestos. By Susan Seager

Tile and Toil

With their gentle curves fired in deep earth tones or glazed in colors, clay tiles can turn a roof into a work of art. But these are not the sort of shingles a roofer looks forward to fixing. By Wendy Talarico

An Island Preserved

Although life on this windy sandbar has eased since the days of whalers and Quakers, Nantucket's simple style endures. Our pullout poster celebrates this Atlantic outpost's graceful dwellings and the self-reliant people who built them. By Jack McClintock

In the Garden

Inspired by the hardy Nantucket landscape, Russ Morash pays his respects to the rugged rugosa rose and admires an old seaside tradition, the shell drive.

Around the house

Off The Wall

The Pest-Free Life

Could one bad experience with a tiny bug launch a lifelong dependency on the exterminator? Oh yes. By Jeanne Marie Laskas

Power Tool


A serpentine slice is easy and nice when This Old House wields a jigsaw. By Mark Feirer

Hand Tool

Need A Shave?

A light hand and a sharp scraper leave a surface so smooth you'll be certain sandpaper never touched it. By Jeanne Huber


Crowning Touch

No wonder there's so little crown molding in this country. Those stately curves are more than most carpenters can cope with. By Charles Wardell


Gap Goop

When the windows leak and the boards bend and the siding swells, only caulk can help. Our encyclopedia of ooze options. By Brad Lemley



Lock-in plugs, built-in breakers, even an extension cord that lights up: New high-tech cords carry current safely. By Ken Textor

Real Estate

Buyer's Agents

Forget location, location, location—the most important thing to remember is that most real-estate agents work for the seller, seller, seller. By Wendy Talarico

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