Port contractor to be featured on 'This Old House'

Erik Kaminski, Newburyport resident and owner of Kaminski Construction Management, built a home for “This Old House.”Eric Roth/Courtesy Photo

NEWBURYPORT — A local contractor will have his own “open house” when the TV series “This Old House” focuses on work he has done to build a home that replicates design and architecture from the late 18th century.

The work of Erik Kaminski, who runs Kaminski Construction Management of Newburyport, will be seen on WGBH-TV next month.

Producers said that 10 episodes will feature a North Shore farmhouse. Kaminski and subcontractors he chose built the house with the help of the crew from the “This Old House” production team.

“It was a great experience,” said Kaminski, who was recommended for the high-visibility job by a friend. “We had the plans, and it took about seven months to build the structure.

“One thing I remember is that when the crew was filming, everyone had to be quiet. So if you had a carpentry team downstairs, they would have to wait until the filming and sound teams were finished,” he added. “But things went well, and I learned a lot.”

The names of the buyers and the address of the house, somewhere on the North Shore, have not been made public.

Kaminski, 40, is a native of Ohio. He came East on a hockey scholarship at Northeastern University, and after he left campus he started in construction with a friend on Nantucket.

He said he learned on the job, and acquired an appreciation for history.

“In this area, you get many opportunities to work on period homes,” said the contractor, who did much of the carpentry work for the TV house himself.

The scenario of the upcoming series is that a young couple, Bill and April, have decided to move with their new baby from the city, and break ground on a pre-engineered home.

The structure is about 3,000 square feet and “has the fine architectural details of the late 1700s,” according to producers.

The family chose North Shore developer Connor Homes to pre-design and engineer the home, which reportedly offers a historical look and detail while providing modern amenities.

The series will depict how the components of the home are pre-built in a factory by craftsmen and assembled on site “in a fraction of the usual time.”

Host Kevin O’Connor will visit the site. Carpenter Norm Abram and interior designer Kristina Crestin provide architectural interpretation.

Producers say landscape contractor Roger Cook visits a granite yard to find stone to create a memorable landscape, and plumbing and heating expert Richard Tretheway helps install a geothermal heating and cooling system.

Kaminski said, “I used subcontractors from Newburyport, because I want to know the people who are doing the work. If the buyer has a concern about something in the house, I want to know that the team that built it will respond and work with the new owner.”

Senior producer John Tomlin said, in a statement, “Our audience will be drawn in by this unique twist. Featuring a new home is a departure for us but it’s a story that we are excited to tell.

“It’s a great opportunity for our viewers to see a historic-style home built from the ground up, using some of today’s most innovative and engineering techniques.”

Those interested can learn more about the construction at www.thisoldhouse.com.

The show is slated to premier on WGBH-TV — Channel 2 here — on March 24, producers say.

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