July 25, 2024


Elegant home interior

Norm Abrams Retiring After 43 Years on the Show

This Old House‘s master carpenter Norm Abram is officially hanging up his toolbelt after more than four decades pioneering the home improvement television genre. Celebrating everything Abram has done throughout his storied career will be a one-hour tribute special, The House That Norm Built, premiering Monday, October 3 at 9 p.m. ET on PBS and streaming on The Roku Channel.

In the special, fans will get to see some of the most wonderful recollections from Abram’s 43-year career, including classic moments, archived footage, interviews and memories from celebrities, friends, peers and those who worked alongside him. Abram’s trademark plaid shirt, uncompromising craftsmanship, sitcom impersonations, late-night TV bits and more have made him the ultimate authority in home improvement over the years, all as he maintained his humble outlook on life. 

(Photo: Roku)

Abram appeared in over 1000 episodes of This Old House alone, also working on over 50 home renovation projects and hosting more than 280 episodes of The New Yankee Workshop. Abram first found his passion for home renovation on Christmas Eve in 1958, when he went to a job installing hardwood floors with his father, a Boston carpenter. That first job was the first of many weekends and summer breaks Abram spent with his father learning the skills and discipline necessary to become a master.

Twenty years after that first Christmas Eve, Abram’s talents were discovered by Russell Morash, who had commissioned him to build a barn, and was immediately taken in by his work. Morash invited Abram to help with the renovation of a house in Boston’s historic Dorchester section as a WGBH camera crew filmed them for a series, and the show was an immediate success. Abram then served as master carpenter of This Old House since the series premiered in 1979 and hosted The New Yankee Workshop later in his career.

This Old House and Ask This Old House would go on to receive a combined 117 Emmy nominations and 20 Emmy wins overall. This Old House is set to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award by the National Academy of Television, Arts & Sciences at the 49th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards on June 18th, not in small part due to Abram’s work over the years. “Norm is a living legend that helped create the home improvement television genre and entire networks are now in existence because of the trusted expertise to generations of homeowners that he provided,” said Dan Suratt, Vice President of This Old House, Roku in a statement. 

“‘Measure twice, cut once’ is a familiar slogan to anyone who knows Norm – it will be hard for anyone to measure up to Norm,” Suratt continued. “We’re honored to have had him as part of our family.” The House That Norm Built premieres Monday, October 3 at 9 p.m. ET on PBS and streaming on The Roku Channel.