Updated: 10/03/2018 05:25 PM | First Published: 09/18/2018 02:36 PM

6 Unknown Facts about This Old House That You May Not Know



If you’ve been into DIY videos and easy hacks to solve everyday problems around your home, then add This Old House and its spin-off, Ask This Old House to your watch-list. There’ve been various kinds of home improvement shows, including Fixer Upper, Flip or Flop, Grand Designs, and Hometime. However, This Old House has been the best of all with 38 successful seasons since 1979 and more than 10 Emmy Awards.

To have our house featured as a restoration project on primetime television and to be viewed by millions is something any of us would love. This is what the show is all about. The show follows one whole house renovation over several episodes with general contractor Tom Silva, master carpenter Norm Abram, plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey, landscape contractor Roger Cook and host, Kevin O’Connor. Today, eCelebrityFacts is here with everything This Old House fans need to know about the show. 

#6 Initial Budget and Returns

This Old House renovators posing for a picture

The show, which went on to rake in millions of dollars, was started off with just $50,000. Russell Morash came up with the idea for the show while renovating his 1851 farmhouse, at a cost of around $30,000. The house was sold off, and the entire cost was never recovered. But Morash didn’t care because he was happy that the show was a hit. At least 5000 to 6000 homeowners apply on the show to get their home renovated. Which is why chances are pretty slim if you want your house to be featured on TV.

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#5 Well- Received Magazine Series

Kevin O' Conner and Tom Silva measuring a stand with a tool

Inside This Old House debuted as a magazine series in 2003 and answered people’s questions on home improvement till 2005. It was half an hour long and featured updated information, tips, and hacks on age-old queries about home renovations. What’s more? It also highlighted the favorite homeowners and experts as voted by viewers. This was really a fun and interactive way to show viewers that the team cared about their opinions. Not just that, it also featured humorous recountings of what the show had discussed earlier.

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This maverick of an idea brought audiences closer to their popular programme and made them more attentive to their homes. Not just that, soon enough, more and more people got the confidence to go ahead with the renovations they had been putting off for years. This was necessary to let viewers feel that they could improve their homes as they see on TV, and glitzy celebrity homes can be theirs too with just the right amount of planning and investment.

#4 Advertisements and Brand Names

Kevin, Tom, Richard and roger cook smiling

Missing out on advertising opportunities on a show like Home Improvement would have been foolish. The problem was since the show focused on practical approaches to solving problems, using swanky and top of the line stuff seemed to go against principles. At the same time, many companies were donating their things for the show. So, until the brand’s account was settled, their names were not beeped out and zoomed in. Several controversies later, outside products are no longer featured, actual costs are explained to the viewers, and the freebies are not mentioned, thereby eliminating the chances of misinformation.

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#3 How they pulled off renovations until Weatherbee House

cast of This Old House standing infront of a farm house

This show depending highly on user interactions and reviews had its share of controversy. After renovating the Weatherbee House in the ninth season, it was disclosed that the show actually displayed the costs paid by the homeowners, without showing the expenses of several pieces of equipment and fixtures as they were freebies from those companies. The show received a lot of flak from the viewers when the homeowners went public with this piece of information. Then, there was the whole new controversy over showing product ads versus local stuff and staying true to the original purpose of the show and its beliefs.

After all, you wouldn’t want to keep watching a show that started off with showing some home improvements and ended up catering to high-end brands promoting their wares. The show’s primary focus is on telling homeowners precisely what they must know about the regular “how to’s” they face every day and live with year after year.

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#2 Skepticism About the Show’s Concept and Ratings

cast of this old house standing in front of a car

When the show first aired, there was a lot of talks and skepticisms about its reception. Some felt that the audience would not accept the plumbers and carpenters on the screen

After all, how many viewers would want to stay up and see how floorboards should be placed in order to prevent creaky noises? The show would be a full waste of time, in other words. There were also some who were apprehensive about the kind of content that would be shown. If every painting and cutting hack was disclosed on TV, who’s gonna need the painter or the carpenter anymore? Defying all expectations and apprehensions, the show turned out to be a huge hit. It reaches tens of millions of viewers every month and continues to be in demand. The show achieved such a cult standing that it has even inspired spin-offs, a magazine and even more different versions of it.

#1 DIY and This Old House

cast of This Old House standing for a picture with a home owner

In the 21st century, with DIY projects covering everything, This Old House has been the original in this line of business and is highly successful at it too. They literally brought “DIY” into the urban home improvement lexicon. For those who missed out and never knew about This Old House until now, their episodes are still available online, maybe in parts and even in whole. Don’t miss out if you have the required TV channel.

This Old House is returning on October 6 for their 39th season. How excited are you for the show and the newest round of home renovation? Let us know in the comments.

References

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