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Clearstory

Author: This Old House

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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.

26 Episodes
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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 megaphone.fm/adchoices
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 megaphone.fm/adchoices
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 megaphone.fm/adchoices
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 megaphone.fm/adchoices
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 megaphone.fm/adchoices
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 megaphone.fm/adchoices
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 megaphone.fm/adchoices
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 megaphone.fm/adchoices
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 megaphone.fm/adchoices
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 megaphone.fm/adchoices
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 megaphone.fm/adchoices
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 megaphone.fm/adchoices
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 megaphone.fm/adchoices
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 megaphone.fm/adchoices
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 megaphone.fm/adchoices
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 megaphone.fm/adchoices
The Post-Pandemic Home

The Post-Pandemic Home

2021-05-1334:591

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 megaphone.fm/adchoices
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 megaphone.fm/adchoices
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 megaphone.fm/adchoices
Life On Mars?

Life On Mars?

2021-06-0337:171

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 megaphone.fm/adchoices
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Comments (10)

Jonas Grumbie

what a nice change to my usual true crime/murder and history podcasts. Well produced, clear narration, interesting subjects.

Aug 4th
Reply

Bob Chauvin

Must listen for anyone working in the building trades!

Aug 3rd
Reply

Happy⚛️Heritic

Super interesting topics!

Aug 3rd
Reply

Peg Browning

o looks good8 77777t777u09u67ll7p9u0-573-9267 tt8uwill be there for a mjto N your TTFN yyutr8 7

Jul 22nd
Reply

Tom Murin

Kevin's mom!

Nov 22nd
Reply

Steve Horn

Both ep 1 and 2, very informative! Well done TOH! Keep them coming.

Oct 31st
Reply (1)

Sean Callahan

awesome pod!

Oct 27th
Reply (2)
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