By This Old House

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Subscribers: 301
Reviews: 3

 Jul 3, 2021
I have always enjoyed TOH, but the TV show can only scratch the surface. I really like that this show takes a deeper look at that week's topic.

 Jan 28, 2020

 Jan 1, 2020
About time! I love the same good natured TOH crew on a podcast! We joined the TOH members group and enjoy watching what was hip in the orange counter tops and this new thing called demolition or as we like to say "Deee-mo".


From This Old House, Clearstory is a window that sheds light on the surprising stories behind our homes. Host Kevin O'Connor digs into the systems, structures and materials in our homes from unexpected angles. Will future skyscrapers be built out of wood? Why is the American Chestnut heralded as “the perfect tree”? Did the Romans have a better recipe for concrete than what we use today? How will we build on Mars? You’ll hear from industry leaders, historians, and builders. Clearstory – your home in a new light.

Episode Date
Home in a Kit
Between 1908 and 1940, Sears, Roebuck, and Co. sold 70,000 homes through their catalogs. These were called Kit Homes, and they ranged from simple one-story cottages to elaborate two-story homes with columns and fireplaces. The house arrived in pieces in a boxcar. And they helped spark the first wave of suburbia. Host Kevin O'Connor speaks with Rosemary Thorton, author of The Houses That Sears Built, and Avi Friedman, author of Pre-Fab Living, about this then-groundbreaking concept. How did the kit home answer a booming need for affordable and modern housing? And why did their popularity disappear? And is there a place for a modern kit home today as we face yet another housing crisis? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jul 15, 2021
Materials Around Us
Our lives are shaped by materials. And there’s no better place to see that reflected than in our homes. Glass windows revolutionized the comfort and safety of our houses. Stainless steel modernized our kitchens and even made our food taste more delicious. Host Kevin O’Connor explores the materials that surround us with Mark Miodownik, Professor of Materials and Society, and author of “Stuff Matters.” What are the most influential materials in our homes and will we really be able to change a room’s color with the push of a button? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jul 08, 2021
Urban Resilience
Sea levels are rising at an alarming rate worldwide. And yet, we keep moving to waterfront communities regardless of the threats. What does this mean for the buildings and residents of waterfront cities like New York City and Miami? How do we build our cities to be more resilient? Or is the best course of action to convince millions of people around the world to abandon their homes for higher ground? Host Kevin O'Connor speaks with Antony Wood, professor and executive director of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, Jim Murley, the Chief Resilience Officer for Miami-Dade County, and Jainey Bavishi, head of New York City’s Resilience Office about what’s being done now to mitigate this growing risk. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jul 01, 2021
Skyscrapers tell the stories of cities around the world. These massive columns of steel and glass continue to be feats of advanced building technologies, innovation and design, especially as super-tall structures push the limits of just how high we can go. But is it possible to build skyscrapers out of … wood? Host Kevin O’Connor speaks to architect Michael Green and Lynn Osmond, president and CEO of the Chicago Architecture Center, about building tall with one of our original building materials. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jun 24, 2021
Healthy Homes
As building technologies have improved and new building materials have found their way into construction sites, our homes have certainly become healthier than before... right? Host Kevin O'Connor speaks with professors Jonsara Ruth and Alison Mears, co-founders of the Healthy Materials Lab, a design research lab at Parsons School of Design, about the history of toxic building materials, what we use today that could be harmful to our health, and how we can create healthier built environments. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jun 17, 2021
The Perfect Tree?
There was a time when the American Chestnut was a plentiful resource for the wood that built our homes. In the early 1900s it was found in house framing, windows, trim furniture, and more. At 100 feet tall and up to 10 feet wide, it towered over the eastern forests. But then it disappeared. And now there's a movement to bring it back. Host Kevin O’Connor gets the story from author Susan Freinkel, who shares the historic importance of the Redwood of the East. We learn about the cutting-edge technology that scientist Bill Powell is using to bring it back from extinction. We also talk to Rex Mann, who grew up in Appalachia with the American Chestnut and researcher Sara Fitzsimmons who is overseeing an orchard of new growth trees. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jun 10, 2021
Life On Mars?
Could humans travel to Mars within the decade? Some tech giants are planning on it. And the plan isn’t just to get there -- it’s to live there. What would our Martian homes look like? How would we construct them? And should we even go to the Red Planet? Host Kevin O’Connor speaks with journalist and author Stephen Petranek, astrophysicist Michelle Thaller, planetary geologist Jacob Bleacher and architect Xavier De Kestelier about the future of human life on Mars. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jun 03, 2021
Our Perpetual House Guests
When we think of pests, we may think of the obvious: ants, mice, spiders, cockroaches. But what about the life we can’t see? And what about the ones that are actually helping us out? Host Kevin O'Connor speaks with ecologist, author, and professor Rob Dunn about the visible -- and invisible -- creatures we live within our homes and how there’s no amount of cleaning that can keep some of them out. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
May 27, 2021
The (Second) Rise of Concrete
How did a massive, devastating fire lead to the rebirth of one of our oldest building materials: concrete? Host Kevin O'Connor speaks with author and journalist Vince Beiser and assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering Admir Masic about concrete in the ancient world, how it came into our modern world, and the mystery of why it wasn’t used for a thousand years. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
May 20, 2021
The Post-Pandemic Home
The pandemic has changed our lives and our world... but will it change our homes? Host Kevin O'Connor speaks with author and professor of architecture Sara Carr, journalist and bioethicist Elizabeth Yuko, and assistant professor of architecture Cyrus Penarroyo about how our history with pandemics has influenced the way we build our homes, and how Covid-19 could shape the future of our homes and communities. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
May 13, 2021
Season 2: Premiering May 13, 2021
From This Old House, Clearstory returns with a brand-new season—with more incredible insight from industry leaders, historians, and builders alike. Listen as host Kevin O’Connor unveils some unexpected truths, flashes back to the past, and takes a glimpse into the future to shed light on the stories behind our homes. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
May 10, 2021
[Bonus] The Walk-In from America’s Test Kitchen
We are ending 2020 with some good news: Clearstory will be back for its second season in spring 2021! In the meantime, we’re bringing you an episode of “The Walk-In,” a podcast from our friends at America’s Test Kitchen. In this episode, podcast host and chef Elle Simone Scott sits down with Mashama Bailey, executive chef and co-founder of The Grey in Savannah, Georgia, to chat about cooking with intention, developing confidence in the kitchen, and balancing creative energy with business savvy. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Dec 21, 2020
[Bonus] Introducing the Ask This Old House Podcast
Clearstory will be back for season 2, but in the meantime, we’re excited to announce the debut of the Ask This Old House Podcast. Just like the Emmy-Award winning TV show on PBS, the podcast features the Ask This Old House experts, who answer home improvement questions from homeowners around the country. In the first episode, This Old House editor Chris Ermides sits down with master electrician Heath Eastman to help a homeowner with a ceiling fan in a loft space, and a bathroom chandelier.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Oct 08, 2020
Rebuilding Paradise: Holding onto Home
After major natural disasters, like Superstorm Sandy and the Paradise, California fires, why do some homeowners choose to rebuild, often in the very same spot, while others opt to move and start fresh elsewhere? We hear stories from people who’ve made these tough decisions. Then, psychology professor Susan Clayton and This Old House’s Richard Trethewey talk about what “home” really means. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jan 16, 2020
Construction Waste: A Dumpster Dive
We’ve all seen a dumpster full of debris on a job site, but do you know anything about where that construction waste ends up? We generate about 570 million tons of construction waste every year... and that number is growing. Listen as This Old House Contractor Charlie Silva sorts through what we can reuse or recycle, the EPA’s Nicole Villamizar runs the numbers, and Professor Debbie Reinhart looks to smarter technology. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jan 09, 2020
[Bonus] Proof from America’s Test Kitchen
Clearstory will be back with a brand new episode next week. In the meantime, we’re excited to share a favorite podcast of ours: Proof from America’s Test Kitchen. Kevin sits down with host Bridget Lancaster to learn more about the podcast which “goes beyond recipes and cooking to investigate the foods we love,” and then we bring you the “Prepping for the Worst” episode of the show. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jan 02, 2020
Electricity: What’s Current and What’s Next?
In the future, you might have wireless electricity powering virtually everything in your home fed by transparent solar cells planted in your window glass. Alex Gruzen of WiTricity and Professor Vladimir Bulovic of MIT.nano explain the electric futures they are working on. And in the meantime, This Old House electrician Heath Eastman shares what he’s wiring up these days. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Dec 19, 2019
Toilets: Humanity’s Greatest Invention?
Not everyone wants to talk about it, but the toilet is responsible for saving countless lives throughout human history. Hodding Carter, author of “Flushed: How the Plumber Saved Civilization” takes us on a journey through the toilet’s development, and This Old House’s Richard Trethewey tours the Plumbing Museum with an eye to the past before looking to the future. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Dec 12, 2019
Building Science: If These Walls Could Talk
Put simply, building science is used to optimize the performance of a building...but what does that actually mean for your home? Noted expert and industry consultant Christine Williamson helps decode the science, and offers practical tips to make your home more comfortable and efficient, and This Old House’s Richard Trethewey dons his lederhosen and fawns over German energy efficiency. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Dec 05, 2019
Roofs: Coming Out On Top
The design, the materials, the maintenance. Let’s face it, most of us don’t really know what’s up there protecting us. It’s battered by the wind, the rain, snow, and the sun and it’s supposed to take it all without any complaints or leaks. In this episode, Duo Dickinson, architect and author of “A Home Called New England” tells us what the perfect roof has to deal with, while Anne Cope, Chief Engineer of the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety shares how roofs are tested. You’ll also hear tips from This Old House’s Charlie Silva and Jeff Sweenor on how to keep roofs in tip-top shape and what to do when you need a new one. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Nov 26, 2019
[Bonus] Who is Worse Off? The Turkey or the Plumber?
Thanksgiving is chaotic: the planning, the travel, dealing with family. But think we’ve got it tough? How about the folks that have to balance those demands and deal with our leaks, our clogs and our heating and cooling failures? This Old House experts Richard Trethewey, Norm Abram, Tom Silva, Ross Trethewey, Nathan Gilbert, and a special guest close to Kevin’s heart tell their best (and worst) stories. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Nov 21, 2019
Wood: Dead in the Water?
Believe it or not, there’s treasure lying at the bottom of some rivers. Known as deadhead logs, this old-growth wood hasn’t seen the light of day for hundreds of years, and it makes for some of the most beautiful furniture and floors around. Sherry Davis of the Maine Forest and Logging Museum explains how they got there, and logger John Claytor shares stories of how he finds them. This Old House master carpenter Norm Abram also tells us how to use deadhead logs in our homes, and why it’s the best stuff around. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Nov 14, 2019
Windows: No Pane, No Gain
We go to great lengths to make our walls airtight and well-insulated, and then we turn around and put big holes in them. Windows. They look simple, but they are highly-engineered machines… pulleys and weights, argon gas, solar coatings and more. Architect Don Powers helps us decode R-value, U-factors and the typical window label, architectural historian Elizabeth Milnarik traces the history of the window, and This Old House general contractor Tom Silva reminds us that old windows are sometimes worth saving. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Nov 07, 2019
Framing: They Don’t Build ‘Em Like They Used To
It may look hard to frame a house, but it used to be a lot harder. Kevin O’Connor explores the incredible evolution of timber to stick framing. The 2x4 helped America spread out across the plains, but it reduced Chicago to ashes along the way. History professor Dr. Dennis Cremin traces the flames, and This Old House’s Jeff Sweenor helps snuff them out. Great innovation paired with massive tragedy set the stage for modern-day homebuilding. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Oct 31, 2019
Water: The Ultimate Recyclable
We use it day in and day out in our homes, but how much do we really know about water? Are we really running out? Kevin O’Connor speaks with author Charles Fishman (“The Big Thirst”), uncovering surprising facts about all things water. Las Vegas and Orlando show us who’s boss in the water conservation game, and This Old House plumber Richard Trethewey solves a water mystery. Water is too cheap and it’s the ultimate recyclable in need of a revolution. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Oct 24, 2019
Introducing Clearstory from This Old House
Clearstory is a new podcast from This Old House that sheds light on the surprising stories behind our homes. Host Kevin O'Connor digs into the systems, structures and materials in our homes from unexpected angles. Clearstory – your home in a new light. Premieres on October 24. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Oct 03, 2019