I’m Ready For My Close Up (AKA Part 2 of My Time on the Silver Screen)

Photo Courtesy of Elyse Andrews, Somerville Beat

Photo Courtesy of Elyse Andrews, Somerville Beat

Yesterday I chatted about how I got selected to film a segment for Ask This Old House  so today I’m going to talk about what it was like to film a TV show that I’ve loved since I was a kid. Short and to the point: It. Was. AWESOME.

The project for the ATOH team was our cracked joist. Apparently, it’s a very common problem in old homes as our joists were notched so they sat on top of our main beam in the basement. This was common practice 100+ years ago and worked perfectly fine, until we started putting more and more stress by having large appliances (in our case, our fridge) sitting in the sweet spot of the joist. Add a high traffic area with our over-sized fridge, and you’ll have a cracked joist.  Builders today use hangers to connect the joist to the main beam, giving the joist proper support that it needs. But back to the filming!

We started relatively early in the afternoon, as they said our job shouldn’t take that long to complete. Tom Silva pulled up in his massive truck, where Adam and I (as well as his parents and Elyse) stood star struck. Let me tell you. He’s seriously the nicest guy to chat with. Coming with him, was the production entourage: Lighting, Sound, Producers, Assistant Producer, Camera guy all crammed in our teeny house. They brought so much equipment! The lighting, tools and camera could easily fill our entire living room.

We started off filming in the kitchen with our “opening” segment. This is where we cover the basics; welcoming Tom to our house and explaining why we wanted his expertise on our project. I’m not going to give the exact rundown of what happened here, but I will say…it took much longer then I thought it would take! I would be given direction by the director and while I thought I did a good job, I would be asked to do it again, but in a different manner. I now appreciate what actors go through! After we finished up we made our way to the basement where Tom was going to give our basement an inspection.

Tom giving our basement the once over

If only our basement was that bright! They brought in so many extra lights since our basement has very little natural light and setting those up take time! In between takes I was picking Tom’s brain about everything. How does our structure look? What would you recommend for the slope in our floor? What about moving our laundry upstairs, replacing the small shower? Being the good guy he is, he answered them all, and gave really great advice. I’m pretty sure I asked him (more than once) if he felt we had a good house on our hands, to which we replied, “You’ve got a great house with good bones. It’s going to make a great house for you!”


All in all, it was an amazing experience. With Adam and I being such big fans, it was incredible. Here’s a show we watch (and set our DVR for) filming in our very own home. When we discovered our joist was cracked, we had no idea how to even start fixing it and more importantly, how to prevent it from happening to our other joists. By having ATOH come to our house and show us how to fix it properly truly was a lifesaver! Had we listened to the structural engineer we brought in earlier that summer, we would have spent thousands (literally) in unnecessary repairs. Now we have the knowledge on what do to for the other joists, so we can reinforce them and give them the support that’s needed.

Joist signed by Tom Silva

For those that can’t read this, Tom wrote: “To Meghan and Adam From This Old House To Your House” Tom Silva, 9/10/2012

Plus, when the time comes to sell this place, do you think we’ll get extra points for having the joist that Tom Silva fixed from Ask This Old House signed by him? Maybe we’ll have to be on the look out for some fans like us.

For those that missed the show since it was on at the crack of dawn today, they’ll be showing it a couple of times this week. Make sure you put in your zip code so you won’t miss it! And if you want to view it online, you’ll be able to see it after January 8th, using this link.


4 responses to “I’m Ready For My Close Up (AKA Part 2 of My Time on the Silver Screen)

  1. You made it look so easy. I was impressed at how relaxed you seemed to be. You certainly pulled it off Meghan! I also think it’s great he signed his work!

  2. I’m really happy this all worked out for you! Sounds like you’ve earned it to me.

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