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Phouka Home

But I want to have my house on This Old House!

Many people with old houses would love to have Steve and Norm pick their house for one of This Old House's projects. They envision a swarm of workmen descending on their house with architects and plans and contractors and decorators, turning their ramshackle purchase into a beautiful museum showcase.

Such is not often the case. As often as not, old-house enthusiasts decry the "Project House" as a gut-and-rebuilt project that does little to restore or retain the historic character of the house, and can end up costing much more than the initial estimates, and can effectively destroy a perfectly respectable old house.

Don't get me wrong - I'd probably agree in a minute if they wanted to come and work on my house. But remember that this is a television show that is meant to entertain more than educate, and few people have a true love and understanding of old house living, so the show caters to people who want an 'old house' that behaves and often looks like a 'new house'.

So, some guidelines ( from This Old House Magazine) on getting your house on the show:

  • Most people have a mistaken idea that TOH pays for the renovation.
    WRONG! You will pay for fixing your house, including paying taxes on any materials that are donated.
  • The show will normally choose the contractor and architect. You still have input, but the final decision will most likely sit with Norm and Steve.
  • They only work on two houses during the year. The summer project must be in the Boston area, and the winter projects must be somewhere warm enough to work outside. Those of us in the Midwest or Mountains are definitely out, although I personally think that Boulder stays warm enough in the winter between the snowstorms!
  • You should expect to pitch in with labor, in whatever capacity you can. The show really wants owner participation and sweat equity.

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All content ©1998-2009 R. Fingerson
Last updated 03/05/2009