Ask This Old House TV // Season 8 // Episode 16

Ask TOH | Rainwater Collection, Load-Bearing Wall

Landscaping contractor Roger Cook helps a homeowner conserve water by installing an innovative rainwater collection system. Then Roger, along with host Kevin O'Connor, plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey, and general contractor Tom Silva ask, "What is it?" Then Tom helps a pair of homeowners connect two rooms in their home by removing an interior load-bearing wall.

Removing an Interior Load-Bearing Wall
Tom helped a pair of homeowners remove a large section of an interior wall to create an opening that connects the living room and office area. Up in the attic, Tom showed that the wall was load-bearing because it was supporting the weight of several ceiling joists from two sides of the house. Before cutting into it, Tom built temporary supports on each side of the wall using framing lumber. Next, he cut out the new opening using a reciprocating saw, being careful not to damage the surrounding plaster. Tom then built a header for the top of the new opening to support the ceiling joists that had been supported by studs.

Where to find it?
Tom used a dust-barrier system that uses spring-loaded poles and plastic sheeting to keep dust inside the work area and away from the rest of the house.

Manufacturer: ZipWall Barrier System Products

Tom used a reciprocating saw to cut through plaster, studs and nails.
Manufacturer: Hitachi Power Tools (model #CR13VBY)

What Is It?
The guys try to guess the intended purpose of an unusual-looking product.

Where to find it?
Tom showed a flexible rubber pad that attaches to the head of a hammer to protect delicate woodwork when removing nails.

Zadok Hammer Pad
Installing a Rainwater Collection System
Roger helped a homeowner install a system for collecting and storing large amounts of rainwater for irrigating backyard plants. The system includes a large pillow that is filled with water from the home's gutter downspouts. When water is needed for irrigation, an electric pump is activated, which creates enough water pressure to run sprinklers attached to a garden hose.

Roger installed a rainwater collection system. It is manufactured by:
The Original Rainwater Pillow®

Additional installation support was provided by:

Michael Santos
Bristol Home Maintenance

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