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This Old House


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#331

Cgr

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Posted Jan 11, 2013 @ 12:41 PM

We have a nest thermostat and have no problem with it. I especially liked it when I was sick and could change the temp with my phone! We got ours free for signing up with the electric company for 2 yrs.

I agree the house seems cold. And all that white will be hard to keep white with kids around.
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#332

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Posted Jan 13, 2013 @ 6:58 AM

Now having seen the last show, my opinion hasn't really changed. The house did look better furnished, but still way too much white, and the pine accents looked plywoody to me. Maybe they needed a different wood. I liked the lighting fixtures and the wallpaper in the powder room. I also liked a lot of the art, but I assume a lot of the art and furnishings are staged and don't belong to the owners. There did seem to be a nice flow to the first floor rooms.

Oh well, on to Essex.
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#333

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Posted Jan 13, 2013 @ 7:49 AM

All that pine is pricey! There were no knots in it and that makes it expensive. But I would think it is authentic Scandinavian since there are lots of pine trees there. I agree too much white. I just wonder how little kids handle it.
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#334

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Posted Jan 21, 2013 @ 1:01 AM

Here in Atlanta, we're still catching up after a 6 week Pledge Drive and lots of Celtic Woman and Do-Wop Classics - :( . I saw the one where they installed the butcher-block kitchen counter.

I don't mind the Scandanavian Modern look (I like the wood ceilings), but there is a LOT of white in there! I don't like where they put the TV in the family room, either, as you know there's going to be terrible glare from the windows at all times of the day, making it tough to actually watch anything.

Also, I want to see how tiny that master bedroom really is. It appears to be the size of a closet. There's the wall with the door to the hall, the wall with the door to the roof deck, and the 2 walls with the storage doors hidden by the wainscotting. Where do you put the bed, and how small will it have to be to actually fit?
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#335

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Posted Jan 21, 2013 @ 7:50 AM

The new project, fixing a house for elderly parents. The house is going to be gorgeous, as it usually is, but why in the world stick the elderly so far out of town where the services are? Doesn't make sense to me.
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#336

nws2002

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Posted Jan 21, 2013 @ 2:11 PM

why in the world stick the elderly so far out of town where the services are? Doesn't make sense to me.


That made zero sense to me as well. I like the idea of universal design, but not sure it really makes any sense to stick an elderly couple on a rocky hill with a steep driveway that is miles from town. Sure they'll be able to get around the first floor of the house, but what happens in bad weather?
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#337

whee whee piggy

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Posted Jan 21, 2013 @ 6:20 PM

I had thought I lost the final Swedish Modern episode due to a power outage, but our PBS reran it, despite the cable description saying it was going to be the first episode in Essex.

I'll stand alone with loving the final results. The white was pretty much in the public spaces and balanced with the bright colors in the furnishings. I just don't know how necessary this technique is for Boston. I live in Alaska and followed this closely for ideas on brightening my own home from the past owners' affair with 'Tuscan design'. *shudder*

And the children's bedrooms were painted colors. Those bedrooms with their window seats were to die for. I didn't find the master too small at all. I continue to not get this tend for massive bedrooms. They have all the deck to lounge on, they appear to not be watching TV in bed sorts, and there was a huge walk-in closet. Other than the bed, what did they need space for? My new house has a 20' x 14' bedroom and I have NO IDEA what to do with the space.

I didn't like the tiny TV off to the side of the fireplace. Accept reality. If a family are TV watchers, the TV is only going to get bigger over the years and now they have no place for it. Other than converting the basement to his mancave, but then you'll spend all your free time in a dark basement. I also didn't like how the wood tones on the range hood, floor and butcherblock were different. I expected to love the butcherblock but it was just too shiny butcherblocky for me.
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#338

mrsbaty

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Posted Jan 22, 2013 @ 6:55 AM

I'm very glad they're done with this one. I've already said I didn't like them doing this to a an old house but even if that weren't an issue, it seems impractical for a family home in many ways. Several things felt like they were just done to be innovative, like the tv next to the fireplace, rather than because they would really work for the family. Other times I felt like the homeowner just wanted to show us how smart she was about Scandinavian design. Definitely ready to move on.

Norm, Richard and Tommy could build doll houses out of shoe boxes and I would watch!
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#339

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Posted Jan 24, 2013 @ 5:59 PM

Question: was the Cambridge House finale missing something? It felt very small and we were waiting for the living room but only saw the family room. Thought they planned to do another ceiling treatment but don't remember ever seeing it completed on a previous episode, either. Perhaps that's the answer: they didn't finish but had to shoot the finale(?).

Our main problem in the master was that shower under the eaves. Anyone over a certain height will hate it. You'd have to angle your head in the skylight. WRT the f/r, didn't care for the feature wall - it felt unbalanced with the monster TV (all speaker, IIRC) to the left and open shelving to the right. The furniture grouping was parallel or bowling alley style to maximize seating which is o.k. but not optimal, IMHO.


Moving on to Essex - was surprised about the location, too. It's fine if we assume the h/o plans to drive her parents to their appointments and do their errands, etc. Hopefully, the h/o's live close to that house. Didn't sound as if the work will be specialized so as to affect future resale of the home.

Edited by diydude, Jan 24, 2013 @ 6:28 PM.

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#340

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Posted Jan 27, 2013 @ 6:56 PM

I'm excited about this new project in Essex. It appears to be a "normal" sized house with some interesting changes being made, and for practical rather than aesthetic-only reasons. I think they said that the owners live only 2-3 miles away, so I don't mind as much about them putting her parents on top of a mountain by themselves.

From what I could tell, this was Tommy's idea, in that he knew the owners previously and suggested them to the producers. He also already knew the architect and introduced her to the owners and the producers. I guess he can't really complain if he finds a bunch of termites and rot in the beams now! haha
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#341

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Posted Jan 28, 2013 @ 10:02 AM

I just caught up with the first two episodes of the Essex project. I agree it seems odd to stick the parents out in the woods like that, but maybe they already live in a rural part of NC and prefer it? Since there are 6 acres with the property, I wonder if there is some ulterior motive to subdivide it and build more houses, in which case it would be less isolated.

It does look like an interesting project. I'm curious about the use of geothermal to heat the house.

I was underwhelmed by the visit to the universal design store.

Our main problem in the master was that shower under the eaves. Anyone over a certain height will hate it. You'd have to angle your head in the skylight.


Yes. This brought back bad memories of a stay in a B&B with a similar bath setup. Claustrophobic.

Edited by Rickster, Jan 28, 2013 @ 10:03 AM.

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#342

markm

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Posted Feb 4, 2013 @ 1:58 PM

Budget must not be a serious consideration on the Essex project - they build a second lower retaining wall just to get around a zoning requirement that the first high retaining wall have a railing that would gotten in the way of some of the views. From both a budget and safety perspective that seems like a questionable choice.
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#343

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Posted Feb 5, 2013 @ 7:47 PM

Mystery solved on the Cambridge house's living room. It had been on the 2nd floor and was converted into a bedroom, according to the before and after plans, available on their website. Was probably thinking of the beautiful ceiling treatment and living room in the architect's home they toured.

So, the small family room, couple of chairs in the front window and basement are the only general living spaces in that home. Overall, the home felt like a row house - small and insufficient, to me.

Back to Essex . . .

ETA: Worried about the safety issues related to those two rock walls but did appreciate the installation method, especially the elimination of the visible mortar. Hope they install a few lights on the patios and/or wall for the grandparents.

Edited by diydude, Feb 6, 2013 @ 7:57 AM.

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#344

selhars

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Posted Feb 19, 2013 @ 12:31 PM

why in the world stick the elderly so far out of town where the services are? Doesn't make sense to me.


Add me to that chorus. I don't care what they say (as someone who has had to see to the affairs of TWO elderly relatives) being out there makes no sense at all....unlesss....

I missed the first show....the introduction so to speak...have we seen the older parents or have we been told how old they are now?
If not...and maybe I'm to wily for my own good but.....

.....uppose these parents are let's say only in their 60s now....I personally could see someone REALLY thinking ahead and being QUITE slick....why not use the parents as the stated reason to get on the show (who would question it). By the time the parents really are older/elderly...ANYTHING could happen....what do you know ...oops..."mom and dad can't really be that far away, alone" (I know the adult kids live nearby but that could change too.)

And what do you know? ....the ADULT KIDS get a get-away cabin THEY can use or live in. ...with TOH doing the work...the latest technology,,,and I'm SURE at less cost than it would REALLY cost.

I know a bit about reality TV. And as long as everything is "legal" producers really don't care if the reason for the project is the REAL reason. I doubt very seriously there's any legal commitment for the parents to actually LIVE in the house after its completed.

Since there are 6 acres with the property, I wonder if there is some ulterior motive to subdivide it and build more houses, in which case it would be less isolated.


I also think there is SOME other reason for this project. I just can't fathom putting elderly people out there.

Our main problem in the master was that shower under the eaves. Anyone over a certain height will hate it. You'd have to angle your head in the skylight.


I noticed that too . VERY strange. I couldn't imagine that was done on a TOH project. That space looked low and tight even for a person who isn't that tall. Even if you'd fit in and could stand tall you wouldn't want to FEEL like the the ceiling was that close to your head.

Edited by selhars, Feb 19, 2013 @ 12:40 PM.

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#345

markm

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Posted Feb 19, 2013 @ 3:17 PM

They have never shown the parents or mentioned their age.

I would also like to have seen the cost-analysis on the geothermal heating/cooling system. Richard's son explained it in an early episode and claimed it would save something like 30 per cent - but did not say over what period. All the drilling and dynamiting they have done since then must have really driven up the upfront cost - wondering if they are doing it just because it makes for good television.
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#346

Arnold Robinson

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Posted Feb 19, 2013 @ 11:33 PM

I'd suspect that the geothermal system has a long payback period, but I very much doubt that money is an object on this project. I haven't heard them mention a budget or seen them making budget-related tradeoffs.

As for the parents, they haven't said anything specific about them. I would assume that the universal design stuff is mostly for future-proofing the house for people who are still healthy and able to manage on their own.
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#347

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Posted Feb 20, 2013 @ 10:12 AM

I like Richard, but has anyone noticed how his plumbing projects get progressively more complicated every season? The Cambridge project had a utility room that looked like something out of Star Trek. He was explaining the set-up to the homeowner, who seemed to be completely lost.

On this new project, Richard (and son) now have some other incredibly complex scheme going on.

My house is prett decent sized, but I don't have a basement, or a utility room, just a water heater in a small closet. Richard would be aghast!
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#348

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Posted Feb 23, 2013 @ 9:10 AM

They have never shown the parents or mentioned their age.


I hope they make an appearance. Maybe in the last episode?

However we did see the husband of the couple who own the house in the 1st or 2nd episode. I was quite surprised at how old he seemed. I would have guessed mid 50's at least, unless he is very prematurely gray and weathered looking. Of course the parents could be his wife's, and she could be quite a bit younger. We haven't met her either.
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#349

Mercyme84

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Posted Feb 23, 2013 @ 10:02 AM

In regards to the geothermal system. I am a mechanical engineer in Des Moines, IA. In this area closed geothermal systems are fairly common in all types of buildings and homes. We design allot of these for our school projects. The local utilities have generous rebate programs. Typical paybacks on a home would be around 7 years and on a commercial building/school around 5. Of course drilling the loops is much easier here without the rock. ;)
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#350

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Posted Feb 23, 2013 @ 1:24 PM

I like Richard, but has anyone noticed how his plumbing projects get progressively more complicated every season?

They're showcasing new technology and high efficiency stuff. I'd bet that if you hired Richard to fix your furnace, he wouldn't default to the Star Trek engine room stuff we see on the show.

I'm interested in seeing how the geothermal deal works out. I love the efficiency aspect of it, and it makes sense out in the boonies since they don't (apparently) have a natural gas utility and heating oil is expensive and awkward to deliver. They only need to have reliable electricity to make it work.
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#351

seb

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Posted Feb 24, 2013 @ 10:40 PM

They're showcasing new technology and high efficiency stuff.


And yet I have to watch them wrap shingles around a corner every. single. year.
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#352

markm

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Posted Feb 25, 2013 @ 3:25 PM

I think one sign that they realize they are repeating themselves is the more frequent use of 'time-killer' segments at the beginning of the show, such as the recent clam-digging and clam eating segment that Kevin and Roger did.
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#353

selhars

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Posted Feb 26, 2013 @ 12:58 PM

I love TOH really I do. But sometimes I wish they'd just do a regular house, with features I can afford.

Geothermal heat (through rock), putting electrical under ground (through 300 feet), aluminum roof, in floor heating, faux beams across cathedral ceilings, vents run all the way across the house just so they're on a particular wall,, and now anti-lightening system on the roof and run through the entire house and out and into the ground....and NOT ONCE have they said how much it costs in DOLLARS.. not some generic it cost 30, or 20, 10 ten percent more. I want DOLLAR AMOUNTS.

All of these are upgrades, and costly ones at that.

On one hand I DO like that they show us new developments...on the other......it would be nice to see a basic house with more affordable options.

Edited by selhars, Feb 26, 2013 @ 1:05 PM.

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#354

Rickster

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Posted Feb 27, 2013 @ 11:06 AM

I don't think they've ever done a house WITHOUT in floor heating.
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#355

markm

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Posted Feb 28, 2013 @ 4:37 PM

The Boston duplex they did several years ago with 2 woman homeowners (aunt/niece?) was one of my favorites, in large part because they were dealing with tight budget and showing how it affected decisions.

Edited by markm, Feb 28, 2013 @ 4:37 PM.

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#356

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Posted Mar 1, 2013 @ 4:23 PM

markm

I loved that reno.

None of these shows really give us a good idea of what it all costs in the end. I remember Bob Vila had his little dry erase board that he showed all the numbers, including donated goods and services.
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#357

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Posted Mar 2, 2013 @ 12:02 PM

I'd really like it if they returned to the old DIY model where the homeowners helped out and they did realistic remodeling projects. But, failing that, it'd be nice if they split the difference with the two projects per season. One high-budget, sky's the limit, remodel where they do all the fancy landscaping and high-tech mechanicals; and one where they do a smaller, more practical revamp. On the other hand, maybe that's what they think Ask TOH is for.
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#358

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Posted Mar 2, 2013 @ 1:15 PM

Wasn't Ask TOH cancelled long ago? Guess it's fine if the reruns cover any and all topics viewers would like to see -

Don't know but had assumed the large, expensive projects are at least partially promotional.
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#359

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Posted Mar 2, 2013 @ 8:12 PM

Wasn't Ask TOH cancelled long ago?

I'm seeing Season 12 episodes every week. I haven't seen anything one way or another for the next season, but I assume there will be one.
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#360

markm

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Posted Mar 20, 2013 @ 6:35 AM

I was really surprised by Norm's visit to Daryl Hall's houses on the most recent episode. I would not have expected an old pop star to be so into restoring and replicating old houses like he is. He seemed very knowledgeable.
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