As a proud member of America’s favorite home improvement team since 1986, general contractor Tom Silva has provided years of expert advice to home enthusiasts across the country on This Old House and Ask This Old House.
Renovating houses since he was a child, Tom’s first major project, working alongside his dad and brother, was installing a basement fallout shelter underneath their 1787 Colonial in Lexington, Massachusetts. After digging out the 20x40x12-foot hole under the house, by hand, and hauling away all the boulders, they framed it and finished it off. “It took us two years, and I felt such pride in what we had accomplished that I knew I wanted to do this for a living,” says Tom.
Silva Brothers Construction, made up of Tom, his father, and brother Richard, built the original set for the WGBH-TV Boston production The Victory Garden in the parking lot of WGBH. Russell Morash, the creator of This Old House, discovered the Silva crew while they were conducting a major restoration on an 1845 Greek Revival-style house. It was then that Russ named Tom and his crew the general contractors for the show.
“Each job is unique and different, which is just what I like,” says Tom. “Besides loving my work, I’ve made good friends with the entire crew of This Old House, and it’s been a rewarding experience.”
Parents of a daughter and a son, Tom and his wife live in a 19th-century house he continues to renovate in a Boston suburb. He is a native of Massachusetts and a boating enthusiast.