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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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'...

AUGUST 29, 2011 | MONDAY
Speed Square

Sometimes called a "magic square," angle square, or protractor square, this tool functions as a square but is shaped like a triangle. One leg of the triangle has dimensions mark...

AUGUST 29, 2011 | MONDAY
Quick Tip: On-Site Level Lengthener

All right, let's say you're raising a stud wall of eight or nine feet and the longest level you have on hand is two feet. You know full well that the dimension lumber you're using is full...

AUGUST 29, 2011 | MONDAY
Combination Square

This tool is essentially an adjustable hand square, with a couple of clever advantages. It consists of a rigid steel rule, usually twelve inches long (though sometimes combination squares...

AUGUST 28, 2011 | SUNDAY
Drywall 101

What is drywall?Although the two words are often used interchangeably, Sheetrock is actually a brand name for drywall, which is gypsum sandwiched between two sheets of paper or, more rece...

AUGUST 22, 2011 | MONDAY
Proper Sanding Techniques

While there are many different products you can use to sand (a palm sander, a block, or sand­ing with paper in hand), the process is basically the same for all of them. Follow these steps...

AUGUST 17, 2011 | WEDNESDAY
Quick Tip: Hire a Home Inspector Before You Buy

Search for Hidden ProblemsNow, more than ever, buyer beware. Most sellers just aren’t motivated to do expensive repairs in this market, so problems sometimes get painted over or hidden, a...

AUGUST 10, 2011 | WEDNESDAY
Quick Tip: Design a "Green" Garden

A Green, Healthy Garden The old adage, what goes around comes around is especially true in your garden. Because plants aren’t the only things living there, your garden should be a friendl...

JULY 22, 2011 | FRIDAY
Quick Tip: Patching Damaged Drywall

The Virtues of Drywall Drywall has been the wall finishing material of choice for most of a century because it’s so easy to install and finish. Another of its virtues is that when it’s da...