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Welcome New Yankee Workshop Fans!

 January 30, 2012
'This Old House' Picks 'Happy Renters'

David: This article is from the Barrington Patch.com by William Rupp.

Filming has started at a Barrington Beach-front house owned by Michelle Forcier and Geoff Allen for the award-winning PBS TV show.

Michelle Forcier and her daughter got acquainted with the home on Barrington Beach that is the next project for the award-winning ?This Old House? TV show while playing nearby on the beach.

?We used to play there on the stairs? that lead to the street that starts at the house, Forcier said. ?I?ve coveted it since I saw it.?

Forcier and her husband, Geoff Allen, bought the house recently after living in a rental property on nearby Bay Road.

?We were happy renters,? Forcier said. ?I fell in love with living on the water.?

The couple made an offer on the 2,000-square-foot property as soon as it was put on the market by the elderly owners, who opted to sell the house to move into an assisted living facility, said Allen.

A Chicago area native, Allen said he grew up much more inland than his wife, who worked as a lifeguard as a teenager.

The couple moved to Barrington from Chicago after looking for positions that brought them closer to their families in New England. Both of them are pediatricians at Hasbro Children?s Hospital in Providence.

How did they get involved with ?This Old House??

?Falling into our laps is a relatively accurate description,? said Allen. ?There was a familiarity with the show. So we got interested early on in the selection process.?

Mary Brewster, their architect, was contacted by "This Old House" the same way scores of other architects and builders were contacted, said Deborah Hood, a producer for the show.

?We got a couple of hundred entries from all over Rhode Island,? Hood said.

The house had all the elements for a project in the Ocean State, she said, especially because it sits on the oceanfront. Forcier and Allen also had already selected a builder as well as an architect.

?It was fully baked,? Hood said, ?with a builder that represented exactly what the show was looking for.?

Andrew Tiplady of Barrington is the contractor. He is expected to get much more air time than Forcier and Allen.

?The house and Andy will be the stars,? Forcier said. ?And that?s wonderful. We?ll participate in any way we can help.?

Allen and Forcier will appear on the show when key decisions need to be made, said Hood, such as selecting a countertop or making a change in the plans.

?This Old House? has been great to work with, said Allen, who never really expected to be selected for the show. But as the process kept moving along and they were still in the running, he said: ?It was hard to keep our hopes in check.?

How were they notified that they were selected?

?By email,? said Allen. ?We were all so scattered that it was difficult to get everyone together.?

What did they do to celebrate?

?A glass of wine on the back porch,? Allen said.

Michelle Forcier and Geoff Allen with their daughter on the deck of their beach-front house being renovated by 'This Old House'.Credit William Rupp

Andrew Tiplady contractors have started work on the house.Credit William Rupp

Source: William Rupp/barringtonpatch.com