Bob Vila

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Bob Vila

You probably know me from TV, where for nearly 30 years I hosted a variety of shows—This Old House, Bob Vila’s Home Again, Bob Vila, and Restore America with Bob Vila. (You can now watch my full TV episodes online!) But I’ve spent my career helping people upgrade their homes and improve their lives. Before my life in broadcasting, I launched my own residential remodeling and design business. Earlier still, I served as a Peace Corps volunteer, building houses and communities in Panama. I learned first-hand about home building from my father, who hand-built our family home. I’ve written 12 books about remodeling your home, buying your dream home, and visiting historic homes across America. It’s fair to say that buildings, especially homes, are my life’s work. Over the years I've also supported many causes dealing with housing and architectural preservation. I've been actively involved with Habitat for Humanity and helped them blitz build a house in Yonkers, NY, which we put on TV. I worked for years with the National Alliance to End Homelessness, supporting the work of many organizations throughout the country. In the last several years I've been helping out with the restoration of Ernest Hemingway’s home and collections at Finca Vigía near Havana, Cuba. This place was his home from 1939 until his death and he left it to the Cuban people to be run as a museum. This project has allowed me to visit my parents' homeland several times. Now it's this website that I am passionate about and the chance to share my projects, discoveries, tips, advice, and experiences with all of you. I’ve always believed that a little sweat equity goes a long way toward making a house a home, and that's exactly what my website helps homeowners do. You can connect with me on my own site and on Twitter. I look forward to the conversation and to getting to know you.

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OCTOBER 17, 2011 | MONDAY
How To: Patch Plaster Walls

Finishing a new wall or room with plaster or joint compound takes practice. If you have no experience with plaster or its near relative, joint compound, don't learn in your living room. E...

OCTOBER 17, 2011 | MONDAY
How To: Work with Plastic Pipe

Plastic pipe (commonly referred to as PVC) requires a mini­mum of tools and experience. If you can use a tape measure and a hacksaw, you can pro­bably cut, fit, and fasten plas­tic pipe. ...

OCTOBER 6, 2011 | THURSDAY
Quick Tip: Creating a Recycling Center at Home

Set Up an Easy Recycling SystemOn average, Americans recycle less than a third of our waste. If we doubled our efforts and recycled 60 percent, we’d save 35 million barrels of oil a year....

OCTOBER 6, 2011 | THURSDAY
Quick Tip: Compost

Successful Composting: Balance Is Key Successful composting requires four things: carbon, nitrogen, water and oxygen. A good way to remember how to keep a balance between carbon and nitro...

OCTOBER 6, 2011 | THURSDAY
Quick Tip: Mulch

Choose the Right Kind of MulchThere are lots of different kinds of mulch to choose from, depending on what’s in your garden and what’s available where you live. Wood or bark chips, compos...

OCTOBER 6, 2011 | THURSDAY
Quick Tip: Choosing Drywall

Drywall History Before drywall, builders nailed lengths of wood, called lath, to the studs and then applied several coats of plaster to that for a smooth finish. As many of us with old ho...

OCTOBER 6, 2011 | THURSDAY
Quick Tip: Buy and Install a Room Air Conditioner

What to Look for Room air conditioners are rated by the number of BTUs, or British thermal units, of heat that they can remove per hour. Contrary to what you might think, it doesn’t make ...

SEPTEMBER 27, 2011 | TUESDAY
Power Drivers

Power drivers are, for practical purposes, redesigned and re-engineered electric drills. Drills and drivers look much like one another, but instead of an adjustable chuck that can grip a ...

SEPTEMBER 21, 2011 | WEDNESDAY
Revitalizing the Hemingway Home in Cuba

In 1939, after selling the film rights to his novel For Whom the Bell Tolls, Ernest Hemingway purchased Finca Vigía, a beautiful country property in Cuba. The rambling masonry home—which ...

AUGUST 30, 2011 | TUESDAY
Hand Squares

Traditionally the larger metal squares, like the rafter square, were thought of as carpenter's tools. In contrast, smaller wooden or metal ones were more likely to be found in the joiner'...