December 9, 2007
The Guys share in the limelight of the show, but supporting them are the dozens of other guys who have passed through our home and whose cars and trucks have lined our streets over the past seven months. As our project draws to a close, I'd like to recognize their contributions.
Starting out, we had a demo crew of about 6-8 guys. Over 3-4 weeks, they filled dumpster after dumpster with wall, floor and wire. They do home heating work as well, but the owner found demo is good work because there's no problems with getting paid…you're first in the door.
Allen Gallant spent a lot of time pulling wires through our home. But he is successful because of guys like Bryan and Jeff, who have been here most for of the project. They know the nooks and crannies better than any trade after running all our electric, cable, communications and A/V. They are fun guys who take pride in their work and have been great about figuring out some of our biggest challenges―both before and after the walls closed in. Big sports fans too. Down 3-1 in the ALCS, "The Sox HAVE TO win…oh, THEY'VE GOTTA WIN," declared Bryan. Keepin' the faith!
On the first day of filming, Richard Trethewey was digging out the sewage line. But, to get the bulk of the HVAC work done, he brought in a consortium of workers who installed our ductwork, boiler, condensers, radiant heat and insulation. For plumbing, day in and day out, Ron ran or replaced every piece of plumbing behind the walls. Ron also did the finish work, from installing the toilets to fine fixtures and bath "comearounds."
The first day I saw Roger on site was when he was running the Bobcat. He spent a lot of time in the dirt and dust, but guys like Fred, Amando and Jonathan did most of the tedius day-to-day work as our hardscape and landscape came together. While we enjoyed great weather this year, they were out there in the heat, rain, mud, cold and snow.
Jim Clark's Painting team is quite an impressive operation, running several shifts each day to get the mammoth job of exterior and interior painting. Volmar, the lead guy, had a grandchild a few weeks into our project, and holds up signs in front of the webcam to say hello to his family in Brazil. He gives us great advice on colors, and two others―both named Maurice―gave us great advice on the billiard room and wood stain choices. It's typical to see these guys hard at work as late as 11 or 12 at night.
The plastering guys rapidly transformed the skeleton of our frames into living spaces. They put up blueboard, put in corner details and of course plastered with several layers to produce a smooth, hard finish.
Pat Hunt's wood floor team did a great job with sanding our floors on the 3rd and 2nd floors, installing floors for our kitchen and some of our bathrooms, patching, screening and staining as appropriate. Steven us great advice about stain choices, and Mirek convinced us to sand and refinis our front hallway stairs, which greatly enhances the main entry.
Greg Smizer for alarms, Jim Furdon, Alan from Brooksde, John Umina and Ed from Earthcam, Lee and Wayne from Huntington TV, are just a few of the others.
Over the course of a project, we've seen many life events. None more sad than the passing of Joe Ferrante. He was a great guy who took great pride in his work, and his brother Mark and nephew Eric have quietly carried on with Joe's and their work.
And of course there's Tommy and all of his guys. Phil is the main guy day to day―he's always cheery, happy to talk about what he's doing and work through any issues. John has done a lot of the trim and molding installation, as well as fine scribe work. "Little Joe" has been on the project the longest, and he does everything from the mundane to the fine carpentry as he hones his skills. Brothers John and Mike work together a lot―they fixed up our garage and installed our mudroom cabinetry, among other things. Billy and Chris "Willy" were around throughout the project as well. Tommy's guys show up at 6:30 to open up the trailer and get everything ready to go by 7am, when they can start making noise. They work into the late afternoon or evening, as well as weekends as the schedule has demanded. These guys excel at their craft of fine carpentry, and in many ways set the standard and provide the glue that brings all of the many, complex streams of work and trades together.
Of course there are many others…the guys who pick up the dumpters, lay forms, pour concrete and remove trees. And with a few other houses under renovation on our street, I have a great appreciation for the work that those in this business perform, and how TOH sheds light on the great people in the trades and high quality of work they deliver.
One day a concrete guy named Rico came by from the project next door. "Hey, is Tommy Silva here?", he asked. I took him in to meet Tommy, and Rico enthusiastically shook his hand, told him how great it was to meet him and that he was a great fan. Rico was thrilled. "Gotta run, but this will be something to talk about all weekend!" he said, hurrying off to get back to work.
(9) CommentsComment on this Blog
Sounds like you had a great experience working with TOH. Looking forward to seeing the finished product! Happy Holidays to you and everyone at TOH.
FINAL COUNTDOWN? T-minus how many days? Will there be a tent outside or all the foodstuffs B set up inside? The wrap party only gets a few minutes on screen but I imagine it lasts a good 6 hours or so.with all the trades showing up and saying "I DID THAT!" Happy Holidays and Remeber to have the Wreath Shot of the front door.
I have watched a great deal of your project with great interest. I think they have done a great job with your house from what I saw of the webcams. I wish you and your family a happy holiday and a merry Christmas. I hope you can comment once more on the blog once you get settled in and maybe post a few pictures after everything is all cleaned up from the construction. I think many people would like to know how your family is doing in the new year. Speaking of the new year happy new year too!
Thanks for writing about the "behind the scenes" guys. I thank you for recognizing the hard work and dedication of the many people who make projects like this work.
Today's snowfall pleasantly shown on the front Web cam is perfectly timed "icing on the cake" for a project slowly baking since springtime. As the other cams have been moved or shut down, thanks for keeping the front cam on long enough to enjoy the seasonal change. I look forward to watching completion of the project on TV. Thanks again for a great ride in Newton; I've already been watching the New Orleans cams, and I look forward to reading the two blogs recently posted from The Crescent City.
I agree with the above poster about the webcam. I certainly want the family to have their privacy but really would like it if they kept the front cam on for one more day. I wish I could have seen the snow earlier. Nothing is nicer than a good old New England snow.
Thanks for chiming in Richard!
But I get a feeling the white "icing" might not be too sweet for those attending what appears to be the wrap party tonight. Please be careful going home folks!
I'm so sorry to hear about the unexpected passing of Joe Ferrante. What a shock to hear the news. I really enjoyed the pieces he did on TOH. He had a great work ethic and really added a lot to the show over the years. He will be truly missed. The world lost a mastercraftsman, but heaven will be adorned by the work his done here on earth.
I'm so sorry and condolences to his family and to the TOH family. We'll miss you terribly, Joe.
Mark Pierce, a transplated Yankee living in Georgia.
Can anyone tell me the final cost of the Newton project? I thought in the opening show the owners stated they couldn't afford to put an addition on their old house and then proceeded to buy a new house, gut most of it, grade and landscape the yard... I missed a few of the middle episodes due to PBS' annoying habit of taking the show off the air to put on Andre Rieu and Celtic Woman every 3 months but from what I saw this was a huge and costly project. I'm looking forward to the new one in New Orleans, it seems to be a worthy project and a useful one.
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