Five Things You Didn’t Know About “This Old House”

DIY enthusiasts love to watch “This Old House” because it is the show that really teaches viewers how to make home repairs safely without the need of hiring professional contractors, which can be expensive. It’s become popular among members of this crowd. It also gives homeowners new ideas on renovations. Here are five things that you didn’t know about the show.

1. It teaches viewers about novel aspects of the law

There are some crazy laws that are still on the books in several states throughout the Union. While these are not currently enforced, it is a novelty to hear about them. Did you know that in Kansas, when you put your dishes into the cabinet you cannot stack them more than eight high? You can’t throw plates from “any window above the ground floor of a house or apartment” in the city of Freeport, Illinois. In Minneapolis, Minnesota and the state of Oregon, you’re not allowed to use a dish towel to dry china. It must be air dried. You cannot chip or break more than three dishes a day in Florida either. You can learn more about these funny and invasive laws here.

2. Filming of the show is scripted

Janet and her husband Jeff are the owners of a converted barn that was badly in need of renovation. They applied to the show without much hope of being selected, but when they were, the two were ecstatic. Jeff couldn’t be on the site as much as his wife was so she was the main homeowner who would appear on television. She shared that she had a lot of trouble memorizing her lines and got them wrong “about twenty times.” She came away from the experience with a new appreciation for the skill that it takes to be an actress. This shows us that the dialogue is heavily scripted.

3. How projects are chosen

There have been a lot of questions about how the project houses are selected. The company is based out of Boston, Massachusetts and they try to keep the projects close to the home base during the warmer months. They move on to other locations to make it possible to continue with their construction efforts through the winter and this would be an issue in Boston because of the extreme cold and precipitation that the region generally receives. “This Old House” does not pay for any of the renovations.

It is the responsibility of the homeowners to fully fund projects and when donations are procured, the homeowners must pay taxes on these materials and items. In order to be considered, a proposal must be sent in to “This Old House Productions,” and must include a variety of items. These include the names of the current owners, some pictures, a description of the home and the work that is desired, the budgeting for the work and when the owners would like to have the work done. They do not accept videos. None of the submitted materials are returned to the homeowners.

4. The “This Old House” mailroom gets 5,000 requests daily

This is an astronomical number of questions. It is also one of the reasons why many of the questions which are asked are not answered. In order to get your question chosen, it needs to be related to home repairs and it must be a universal question that would benefit most of the viewing audience.

5. “This Old House” offers a ton of resources outside of the show

“This Old House” maintains a website that includes thousands of pages that include information that is useful for homeowners. Topics include owning property, making repairs and improving existing homes. They also offer a weekly newsletter that is available via e-mail for free. The newsletter includes links to helpful articles and it’s easy to sign up.


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