This Old House | Watertown House [S20, E1] | Full Episode

27July 2019

This series premiere episode is available FREE for a limited time in celebration of TOH's 40th anniversary! To view the rest of Season 20, get a FREE trial membership to TOH Insider. Learn more

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In this episode:The show kicked off its 20th anniversary with the renovation of a sprawling 1886 Queen Anne-style Victorian in the Boston suburb of Watertown, Massachusetts.

Our Watertown Victorian finally got her paint and paper, but not until seven months of intensive surgery had come to a close. Problems that had been apparent from the start--crumbling chimneys, a wet basement, paint-caked siding, antiquated systems, a confusing floor plan--were quickly joined by nasty surprises. A sodden back lawn that couldn't grow a lawn. Flues in need of new linings. An optimum floor plan reconfiguration that called for removal of a chimney, two fireplaces, and all three staircases. Inadequate insulation. And the termites, whose visits over the years necessitated costly sill replacement and the removal and reconstruction of all three porches.

Costs added up as quickly as the days went by, yet through their nervous sweat homeowners Christian and Sue remained committed to doing right by their new house. They understood the importance of getting the fundamentals right, so that the trimmings would have a proper base. As Christian said, "I'm going to be carried out of here feet first, so I want a house that will last a lifetime—and then some."

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