Who is Tom Silva?

Tom Silva was born in 1947, in Lexington, Massachusetts, USA, and is a reality television personality as well as a contractor, best known for his work in the PBS television show “This Old House” which he has featured in for most of its run.

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The Net Worth of Tom Silva

Tom Silva has a net worth estimated to be over $5 million, earned through success in both television and his contracting business. He is a co-owner of a construction business he runs alongside his brother, and has been featured on television as a contractor since the late 1980s.

Early Life and Career Beginnings

Tom’s passion and skills in construction were developed at a young age, mostly thanks to his father – along with his brother, he helped with many of his father’s projects. They owned a Colonial house in Lexington which was built in 1787. At the time, a lot of people were concerned that a nuclear war might happen, due to increasing tensions during the Cold War. As a result, many businesses took advantage of the situation by offering fallout shelters to be built within homes.

Tom’s father thought the same, and wanted to build a fallout shelter for his family to help in case their home became effected by a nuclear attack. He helped build a family shelter under the house, capable of minimizing the damage of radiation in the vicinity of a nuclear explosion. Many would later be abandoned, of course left without being used.

Getting Television Work

The experience was enough to help continue his path forward, and eventually he and his brother created their own construction business called Silva Brothers’ Construction.

The company started to gain a lot of attention thanks to its consistency and craftsmanship, eventually attracting  PBS, which invited them to become contractors for the television show “The Victory Garden”. The show primarily focused on outdoor activities and gardening, though work needed to be done in the background which is where the construction company came in. The show was initially hosted by James Underwood Crockett, and aimed to help viewers when it came to gardening. The show was later hosted by Bob Thomson when Crockett passed away.

Over the years, the show broadened its scope to include topics such as pruning, planting, pest control, and potting, with many guest appearances too, under various hosts since Thomson, including Jamie Durie, Michael Weishan, and Roger Swain. The latest iteration of the show ran from 2013 to 2015 in collaboration with Edible Communities. The show is considered the earliest gardening program on US TV, running for 36 seasons from 1975 to 2015.

Tom Silva

This Old House

Tom’s work in the show gained the attention of Russell Murash, the producer of “This Old House”, who saw the good quality of work the Silva Brothers did for sets of “The Victory Garden”, prompting him to invite them to become permanent contractors for “This Old House” in 1988. Starting as a show, it has since expanded to become a brand, encompassing several television shows, a website and a magazine.

The original show started running in 1979, and aired on PBS for the next two decades, becoming one of the most popular shows to air on PBS, and winning 17 Emmy Awards during its run. It started out creating project houses, but later focused on renovation of older houses. One of its most popular episodes was the renovation of the Weatherbee Farm Westwood house, which also marked one of the first times the hosts had a dispute with the direction of a renovation.

The current host of the show is Kevin O’Connor, who was previously a client featured on the show. It celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2019 with a retrospect of some of the show’s biggest projects. It was initially somewhat controversial due to how they presented contractors’ trade secrets, but became noted for paving the way for modern home improvement shows.

Personal Life

Tom married Susan in the late 1980s – they’ve been together for over 30 years, and have two children. He is also very close to his brother Richard whom he shares the business with, and Richard’s family. One of his nephews works for the business, and is set to take over his father’s position in the future.

The family lives in a suburb of Boston in a house that was built during the 19th century. He continually makes renovations to the house, but during his free time he enjoys boating.

Author

Benjy is currently a reporter for BiographyPedia based in Adelaide, Australia. Prior to joining BiographyPedia in July 2019, he was a Bizarre TV reporter and theatre critic at TheSun. Benjy has also written for DailyMail and TMZ. Benjy studied journalism at Goldsmiths University of London, graduating in 2009. You can contact him at [email protected]

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