CONCORD, Mass., (May 4, 2017) The Emmy Award-winning THIS OLD HOUSE® announces the start of production on its 39th season and welcomes fresh new faces as apprentices join the on-air series regulars to sharpen their skills in carpentry, masonry, HVAC systems and more. They are being welcomed as a part of the multimedia brand’s Generation NEXT initiative designed to encourage and empower people to join the skilled trades. Work is kicking off now on new house projects in Newton, Massachusetts, and Charleston, South Carolina with 26 episodes scheduled to premiere starting in the fall of 2017 on PBS.
This season, host Kevin O’Connor, general contractor Tom Silva, master carpenter Norm Abram, plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey and landscape contractor Roger Cook will be joined by trade students and up-and-coming professionals as America’s most trusted home improvement show shines a spotlight on the value of jobs in the building industry. By inviting the apprentices to join the crew, This Old House is expanding its Generation NEXT efforts and raising visibility of the need for new talent in the trades.
Today, This Old House also announces the three winners of the nationwide casting call: Austin Wilson, Nathan Gilbert and Bailey Beers. Chosen by the producers and editors for their commitment to developing the skills necessary for a successful career in the building trades, these young professionals will head to Newton, Massachusetts for 10 weeks, starting in June, to work alongside and learn from the This Old House master craftsmen while chronicling their experience on ThisOldHouse.com.
- Nathan Gilbert, a 28-year-old second-generation finish carpenter from East Bridgewater, Massachusetts, is also a third-generation Navy Seabee whose building skills were honed during a five-year enlistment that concluded in 2014 after three deployments. Gilbert now continues to work with his father’s construction company as well as for his own carpentry business, where he specializes in millwork installation for homes on Martha’s Vineyard.
- Bailey Beers will complete her first year of college as a building construction student before she heads from Bangor, Maine, to the Boston area for her apprenticeship with This Old House. The 18-year-old keeps a busy schedule. Her mornings begin at The Home Depot, where she works a shift before heading to classes and includes time spent with her classmates building a Habitat for Humanity house.
- Austin Wilson, an 18-year-old high school student from Castle Hayne, North Carolina, is currently taking a course in construction management at a local community college. You can find Wilson at the woodshop most nights after class, working on his own projects or helping others as part of the Kids Making It Woodworking Program, which he joined at age 12.
In addition to the Generation NEXT winners, five other apprentices from the greater Boston area will join the This Old House TV crew to learn new skills and put their craftsmanship to the test.
“The team is excited to have these young skilled tradespeople participate this season,” says John Tomlin, senior producer, This Old House. “This is a unique opportunity for those participating and, on a larger scale, a great way for This Old House to further the conversation about the importance of fostering new talent and shed light on the many opportunities that are out there.”
The first project of the 39th season is a second-generation family home in Newton, Massachusetts. Homeowners Liz and Joe recently inherited a 1,700 square-foot Four Square house, originally built in 1879, from Liz’s mother. Now the This Old House team and the apprentices are helping to renovate and expand to accommodate three generations, including their two girls and Joe’s parents.
Plans include a garage addition with an in-law suite above to accommodate Joe’s parents who are retiring and want to spend time with the family. Other projects include a kitchen expansion and renovation; new mudroom, laundry, and master suite; an HVAC overhaul; and the addition of a wood-burning stove.
The second project of the This Old House season will take place in Charleston, South Carolina, a town rich in history, with many architectural gems in need of saving. The crew—along with apprentices from the American College of the Building Arts, the only school in the U.S. that offers a bachelor’s degree in traditional building trades—will help restore two of Charleston’s quintessential historic homes, both of which require extensive renovations to restore their original beauty while making them functional for modern families.
The first Charleston project is an 1840s “single house” with a separate kitchen building. Located in the historic Ansonborough neighborhood, it will be home to Scott and Kathleen, and their two teenage kids. Work will include renovation of wood floors, plaster and medallions; connecting the kitchen house to the main house; adding a dining room and living suite; and landscaping.
A second Charleston project will be announced soon.
The 18-time Emmy® Award-winning home improvement series premieres this fall on PBS (check local listings).
In addition to highlighting the apprentices, product and service sponsors will be contributing funds to The mikeroweWORKs Foundation. Since the launch of the “Generation NEXT” campaign in November 2016, This Old House and its partners have helped raise $500,000 for The mikeroweWORKS Work Ethic Scholarship Program, which awards vocational scholarships to people getting trained for skilled jobs that are in demand.
About This Old House Ventures, LLC:
This Old House Ventures, LLC, is America’s No. 1 multiplatformhome-enthusiastbrand, providing trusted information and expert advice through itsaward-winningtelevision shows,This Old House andAsk This Old House,its highly regardedThis Old Housemagazine, and its information-drivendigital properties, including thisoldhouse.com.This Old HouseandAsk This Old Houseare produced by This Old House Ventures, LLC, and presented on PBS by WGBH Boston. National underwriting forThis Old HouseTV is provided by GMC, The Home Depot, State Farm Insurance Company, Mitsubishi and Gorilla Glue. Established as This Old House Ventures, LLC, the company is headquartered in Stamford, CT, with offices in New York, Detroit, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Atlanta and Concord, MA.