A quality program where the research outclasses the typical home shows popular these days.
This show on the History Channel has been running since late 2004, but we didn't notice it until Tivo caught the Chicago Bungalow episode rerun earlier this month.
The show stands out because of the work they do researching their subject matter. Lots of home improvement shows touch on the history of the house ("nice built-ins!") but don't go into any detail that would teach you something.
In contrast, J and I actually learned quite a bit from the episode we caught. The
episode put typical bungalow building techniques in the context of construction techniques and mechanical innovations at the time. Segments focused on evolutions in indoor plumbing, standardized lumber dimensions, and the use of clay tile roofing in reaction to the great Chicago fire.
Marty Dunham, the host, demonstrated some of the standard pitfalls of DIY hosts (too many snappy judgements for my taste) but I guess someone has to keep the show moving along.
Perusing their website, I'm pleased to find that the series has already addressed several more interesting subjects: Sears Kit Homes, the Brownstone, the Saltbox, and the Spanish Revival.
This one's definitely on the Tivo Watch List!