Bob Vila


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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Bob Vila Radio: This is How Many Coats of Primer You Need

Look up instructions for almost any paint job, and you’ll consistently see primer mentioned in one of the first steps. Comprised of more resins and less pigment than paint, primer both he...

Bob Vila Radio: This Is What You Need to Know About Painting Over Oil-Based Paint

If you’re painting over oil-based paint—say, on kitchen cabinets or trim—it’s best to use more oil-based paint. Switching to a water-based or acrylic paint might cause peeling or chipping...

3 Reasons Now Is the Time to Upgrade to a Smart Thermostat

Back in the 9-to-5 world, when people got up, went to work, and returned home at the same time every weekday, nobody wondered how to build something better than the typical programmable t...

Bob Vila Radio: Quick Tips for Pulling Weeds

Rampant weeds steal water and valuable nutrients from the soil—and they crop up daily. Follow these tips to make removing them as painless as possible. Listen to BOB VILA ON PULLING WEEDS...

French Drains 101

Things with "French" in the title are usually fancy, right? Poodles, perfume, pastries. But a French drain is nothing more than a ditch in the ground, inset with a perforated pi...

10 Natural Ways to Combat Summer Mosquitoes

There's nothing more annoying than having your summertime fun ruined by the buzzing and biting of the season's peskiest foes—mosquitoes. Before they breed, congregate, bite, and drive you...

JULY 27, 2018 | FRIDAY
The 5 Things to Know Before Buying a Battery Mower

The seemingly endless cycle of summer yard maintenance often motivates homeowners to think about buying a new lawn mower, one that will make the job faster and easier, and maybe even be g...

JUNE 12, 2018 | TUESDAY
How To: Get Rid of Flies Outside

Landing on the food at your backyard barbecue. Buzzing around your face as you do yard work. Zipping through your front door as soon as you open it. They are Musca domestica, the common h...

MAY 5, 2018 | SATURDAY
Bob Vila Radio: Brush Up Your Paint Technique to Avoid This Problem

How can you avoid those bothersome blisters that sometimes appear on painted surfaces? Here are some pointers:CM_BVNOTES-1818-6Listen to BOB VILA ON BLISTERING PAINT or read below:Before ...

APRIL 24, 2018 | TUESDAY
Bob Vila Radio: Why Metal Roofs Are on the Rise

Curious about metal roofing? You're certainly not alone. Though at one time its use had been relegated to utility structures like barns and warehouses, metal roofing has rebounded in rece...