The This Old House Hour

Thu, 11/27/2008 - 8:00pm

A rendering of the finished home.

©2008 Benson Woodworking Co., Inc./Socius Design

The Emmy Award-winning This Old House partners with custom home building company Bensonwood to build a new timberframe home that will reflect New England barns built centuries ago. Cutting-edge techniques, including extensive use of prefabrication and green technologies, will be implemented to construct a new home on property owned by the Favat family in Weston, Massachusetts. The This Old House Hour airs Thursday, November 27 at 8 p.m. on WXXI-TV 21 (cable 11) and WXXI-HD (cable 1011 and DT 21.1).

The town of Weston, about 20 miles west of Boston, was a vibrant farming community when it was founded in 1713. Over the years, as Weston evolved into a suburb, the farmhouses, fields and agricultural barns were slowly lost, one by one. Today, almost 300 years since the first barn was raised in town, only a few proud survivors remain. The utilitarian spaces, period details and rustic character of these old barns are the inspiration for the Favat family’s new home.

In the first half of the hour, host Kevin O’Connor arrives in Weston and finds a busload of masons just arrived from Wisconsin to help with the exterior stone veneer, while general contractor Tom Silva shows homeowner Amy Favat the new synthetic slate roofing material made from 80 percent recycled content. On the outside of the building, Jason Buechel and his crew install a New England fieldstone natural stone veneer that goes up with dark grout and deeply raked joints to give it a dry-laid look.

Meanwhile, in Brookline, New Hampshire, master carpenter Norm Abram meets third-generation lumber and paneling expert Tom Bingham to see how he is making custom wainscoting, chair rail and horizontal wallboards for the Weston home. Back in Weston, Tom shows homeowner Pete Favat the new custom garage doors and how they are installed and operated.

In the second half of the hour, landscape contractor Roger Cook helps a pair of homeowners build a retaining wall using pressure-treated timbers. Later, plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey has an easy fix for a kitchen faucet that is making a loud, shuddering noise.