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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JULY 19, 2011 | TUESDAY
The Construction Schedule

How long do the steps take? No two jobs are the same, but here are some reasonable estimates of what will be required for each stage. Do keep in mind, though, that even the best organiz...

JULY 19, 2011 | TUESDAY
A Recipe For Renovation Contracts

All contracts you sign should begin with the parties to the agreement. Yours and the contractor's names and addresses should be stated up front, along with the date the agreement was draw...

JULY 19, 2011 | TUESDAY
Getting a Loan

Loaning money is at the heart of a bank's business. But to stay in business, the bank must do it carefully, lending it to people who can be trusted with it. A bank will establish your &qu...

JULY 14, 2011 | THURSDAY
New Air Conditioning for Old Houses

High noon will turn many a classic home into a summertime sweatbox. And while noisy window-mounted air conditioners can lower temperatures, they are just as apt to spoil a charming exteri...

JULY 12, 2011 | TUESDAY
Quick Tip: Your Plants Can Cool Your House

Watch Where You Plant Your TreesMost people know that planting a tree to shade your house is a great way to keep it cool. Plants have a kind of built-in air conditioning system called eva...

JULY 12, 2011 | TUESDAY
Home Maintenance Checklist

1. Roof: Check the roof and around vents, skylights, and chimneys for leaks. Repair as necessary. 2. Attic: If there is no ridge vent, keep gable vents open year-round to ensure proper ve...

JULY 12, 2011 | TUESDAY
Handling Your Hand Saw

How to Make a CrosscutCrosscuts are cuts that go against the wood grain. Once you've properly measured and marked your piece of wood, guide the side of the handsaw blade with the knuckle ...

JULY 7, 2011 | THURSDAY
Quick Tip: Improve Your Home's Air Quality

Poor Air Quality Threatens HealthThe American Lung Association reports that the death rate from lung disease has risen faster in the last decade than any other major disease. Countless da...

JULY 1, 2011 | FRIDAY
This Old Flagpole

Summer folks on the New England shore have a long-standing tradition of flying the flag from Memorial Day to Labor Day. We always flew the colors at my in-laws place on Cape Cod and when ...

JUNE 22, 2011 | WEDNESDAY
House Style: Georgian Colonial

Early Colonial Revival HousesThe Colonial Revival was inspired by patriotism, nostalgia for the pre-industrial past, and appreciation of traditional craftsmanship. Beginning in the 1880s,...