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Ask This Old House: Sink Installation 101

During the course of the house calls they make for Ask This Old House, the TOH team often end up giving a bit of a tutorial on homeowner tasks.For example: Season 14, Episode 6 turned into Sink Installation 101. When a homeowner found that his trendy vessel sink was letting too much water splash onto the granite vanity, Richard Trethewey helped him replace the vessel unit with a self-rimming model—covering all the basic steps of installing a sink. The self-rimming sink that Richard suggested required a new faucet and handles as well as a new hole to be cut in…

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Spotlight: Jenn Nawada

Now that Jenn Nawada has become a familiar face to TOH viewers on Ask This Old House (where she has been on the team since 2015) and current renovation projects, including the Brookline mid-century-modern house, we wanted to find out a bit more about her work.We caught up with Jenn on a bitter winter day (temps in the 20s, wind chill near 10) when she was explaining the permeable pavers chosen for the Brookline project’s patio. A Florida native, Jenn finds New England winters a challenge, but she says the cold season is one of the best times of year…

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Watch It Again: Return to Santa Fe

Back in the winter of 1989–90, TOH TV renovated a 1930s adobe house in the historic district of Santa Fe, New Mexico.The renovation included gutting original rooms, adding a library, building custom kitchen cabinets, and upgrading all the house systems. A few weeks ago, Norm Abram and Richard Trethewey returned to Santa Fe to see how the adobe house is faring, as part of TOH TV’s 40th-anniversary celebration this year. It was a particularly fun revisit given that the original homeowners—artists Joe Anna Arnett and James Asher—still own and live in the house, and nearly everything the TOH team did…

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Behind the Scenes: Jamestown Net-Zero House

To achieve their Jamestown Net-Zero goal, homeowners Don and Dana Powers purposely chose electric appliances for the entire house, knowing it would maximize the impact from the solar PV system installed on their barn. There was one exception: the living room fireplace.The couple wanted to include this primal element for the nurturing effect it contributes to gatherings in the living room with family and friends, but they needed to make sure it was right for their lifestyle. They chose a sleek unit that operates on propane and offers the advantages of providing heat while also keeping the surfaces around the…

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Live Q&A: Scrape once, paint twice

During the Live Q&A last month, host Kevin O’Connor led Insiders on a tour of the work to date at the Brookline mid-century-modern house—beginning outside with a look at the exterior-siding finish work under the direction of professional painter Mauro Henrique. A flood of paint-related questions came in from Insiders during the session, seeking advice on shortcuts or quick and easy ways to coat a surface.Mauro’s nearly universal answer: “Do it right: Scrape any peeling paint, clean the surface, prime, and apply two top coats.” Questions describing particular challenges included: a Massachusetts Insider who asked whether soot on a painted…

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Sneak Peek: Brookline snow guard

The rubber, nearly flat roof of the Brookline mid-century-modern house suits the architectural style of the home, but Tom Silva had other concerns in mind after installing it.“After a New England snowstorm, you just might have the right conditions for a snow or ice avalanche coming off that roof,” says Tom. To address the issue, he installed pipe-style snow guards in the area of the roof near the main entrances to the home. Made of a length of metal pipe with regularly spaced brackets, the snow guards create a barricade; they’re designed to hold the snow in place so that…

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