Hosts: Tom Kraeutler & Leslie Segrete
(NOTE: Timestamps below correspond to the running time of the downloadable audio file of this show. Text represents a professional transcriptionist’s understanding of what was said. No guarantee of accuracy is expressed or implied. ‘Ph’ in parentheses indicates the phonetic or best guess of the actual spoken word.)
BEGIN HOUR 1 TEXT:
TOM: Coast to coast and floorboards to shingles, this is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
TOM: And welcome to a very special edition of The Money Pit. Today we are celebrating pioneers of the DIY movement. We’re talking about the folks at This Old House. This season they’ve gone where no program has gone before – that is to Brooklyn, New York to renovate a beautiful, historic brownstone – and they’ve allowed us to come along on this final day of filming.
LESLIE: Alright, now we don’t have to tell you about This Old House. You know it is the original home makeover show and it has been on the air for 30 years. And it was the first show about houses from floorboards to shingles and it really paved the way for me and Tom and all of those cable channels devoted to nothing but ours and your money pits.
TOM: And here we are on the set of the current project. The renovation and production for this season’s This Old House episodes has just about wrapped and we’re going to be here and talk to the cast, we’ll talk to the crew and the to the happy homeowners who have survived about four or five months now of daily restoration. And we want to talk to you, so pick up the phone and give us a call with your Old House question, especially today, at 1-888-MONEY-PIT. 888-666-3974.
LESLIE: It’s a Money Pit This Old House party and the guests of honor are about to join us. But before we talk to the This Old House experts, here’s a little background about this project.
Now, the renovated brownstone we’re in right now was turned from a rooming house into a three-unit home and it is absolutely gorgeous. And as a matter of fact, this home is slated as a historic preservation home; so the crew has really paid attention to detail when it came to restoring some of these original details. So let’s get started talking to the folks that made it all happen.
TOM: Up first, the guy who walks us through each and every renovation on This Old House, welcome host Kevin O’Connor. And Kevin, I have to say, this home looks absolutely amazing.
KEVIN: It is a remarkable transformation for this hundred-year-old brownstone. We could not be happier with the way it turned out.
LESLIE: Just a few weeks ago you and I spoke and you were saying, ‘I don’t know how we’re going to make it to the end.’ Is that something that you always feel?
KEVIN: I’m the doubting Thomas on the crew (Tom and Leslie chuckle); because I’m probably the guy who has the least experience in construction. I walk in here two weeks before the wrap party and I shake my head and say, ‘There’s no way any human being could finish this project.’ And in the six years that I’ve been doing it, the 12 projects that I’ve been on, I have been proved wrong every time and, once again, they have proved me wrong. We finished.
LESLIE: And may they always prove you wrong.
KEVIN: I hope so, absolutely.
TOM: Now this is This Old House’s first ever project in New York City. What was special about working in the Big Apple?
KEVIN: There were two things for me. I grew up in New Jersey, so I spent a lot of time coming over to Manhattan, as a kid, with my brothers and my dad; and so I have a real affinity for this area – the excitement, the energy that comes from Manhattan. But in all of those years growing up and coming over to the big city, I had never gone the extra thousand yards over the bridge.
LESLIE: To Brooklyn.
KEVIN: I’d been to the Bronx, to the ballgames, all over Manhattan; never to Brooklyn. So this was our first trip, for me, to this borough and there is a very distinct feel here in Brooklyn. There is a swagger, almost a gunslinger’s attitude of these guys and I love it. They all work in Brooklyn, they’ll only work in Brooklyn and they know these buildings and this neighborhood inside and out.
LESLIE: I mean you’ve been the doing the show, as you say, six years. What have been some of the more memorable or the most memorable or even the most exciting projects or renovations that you’ve tackled?
KEVIN: Yeah, I mean there’s a long list because this is obviously a huge thrill for me. It’s been a great ride. You know, there are a couple of highlights in my mind. This Old House, because it’s got such a great reputation and people love the show, it gets us great access.
So I can remember three years ago we were down in Washington, DC and we were renovating an old tenement and we tell lots of side stories in the city that we’re working in and, in this particular occasion, we got to tell the story about the Lincoln Memorial. Now, there’s this sort of iconic, beautiful memorial and you almost can’t even get near it, it’s so sacred. Well, it happened to be undergoing a renovation and so I was invited to actually climb up on the memorial (Tom and Leslie chuckle) and we were there with the preservation artists.
TOM: Now, normally you get arrested for doing that. (Tom and Leslie chuckle)
KEVIN: Exactly, yeah. In fact, the park service guy who invited us there had no idea that we would get invited up onto it by the people who were restoring it and his jaw dropped.
KEVIN: And when we got off he’s like, ‘I don’t people have been up on that memorial in 80 years and they probably never will be again for another hundred.’ And so that sort of thing really sticks with you; that you have that sort of access to a beautiful memorial like that. It was a great time.
TOM: That must have been pretty special.
Can you give us a quick overview of this project?
KEVIN: Sure. We’re in a 110-year, 100-year-old brownstone; obviously in Brooklyn. It’s a beautiful building form; you know, these rowhouses with this magnificent fa
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