Celebrity Carpenter: Carter Oosterhouse

Hi everyone! Today I wanted to do a biography on a celebrity carpenter (or as he is called on his website, a lifestyle expert), and I know what you’re thinking: that’s a thing? It totally is. Or at least, it is for Carter Oosterhouse, who has made quite a lucrative career out of it. This 40-year-old, tool-belt-sporting, Michigan native started learning his craft at a young age—by middle school, he was an apprentice to his carpenter neighbor along with two of his older brothers. He went to college at Central Michigan University, where he studied communications and nutrition.

Upon graduation, he moved to Los Angeles to try his luck in the television and film industry. He went for an audition at HGTV (the Home and Garden channel for those of you without basic cable, or possibly for non-Americans reading this blog) for a new show. He didn’t get that part because they cast him as a carpenter—an actual carpenter, not someone who just plays one on TV—on the incredibly popular show home improvement show Trading Spaces, where friends redo a room in each others’ homes over the span of two days with the help of two designers and a carpenter, which was in its fourth season at the time, circa 2003. He was also included in the successful spin-offs, Trading Spaces: Families and Trading Spaces: Boys vs. Girls. He has since moved more front-and-center in TV: In 2007, he debuted two new shows on the DIY network: Carter Can (a home improvement show) and Inside Job (a behind-the-scenes look at Carter Can, which is less boring and more helpful than it sounds—it isn’t just, “here’s the camera guy, and this is the control room” it’s more: ‘we used an air compressor to power a pneumatic nail gun to put up this crown molding, which was cut at an angle so that it was easier to fit the pieces together for a seamless look, here’s how we did it’ whereas the Carter Can show is, ‘check out that crown molding!’) He’s also got Red Hot and Green, a home-improvement show where he utilizes greener practices and encourages viewers to do the same, as well as Million Dollar Homes. He’s done some modeling, hosted a few tv specials, and guest starred on a few morning shows. He was also voted one of People Magazine’s Sexiest Men on TV, although he’s been married to the actress Amy Smart since 2011. In other words, if you put on a DIY channel, chances are you’re going to see his face if you leave it on long enough, and you’ll likely recognize him from something when you do see him.

He has written two different books, one children’s book and one focused on home design. He co-owns a Michigan winery with one of his brothers. He also runs his own non-profit organization to help kids build green spaces and parks in their communities, called Carter’s Kids. You can even buy custom furniture on his website.

This handsome jack-of-all-trades is an interesting one to watch, and it’s nice to see someone who both gives back to the community, and promotes better practices in their craft.