Roz Pendleton is an anchor and a leader in her neighborhood. When Rebuilding Together Boston teamed up with our friends at “Ask This Old House” we were honored to provide pavers to the worthy project for homeowner Pendleton. Pictured above, L-R, landscaper Jenn Nawada, homeowner Roz Pendleton and mason Mark McCullough. All photos: Mike Casey/ThisOldHouse

Throughout her working life, Roz Pendleton knew well the value of neighbors helping neighbors.

Now that she’s retired, she’s continued on, working to make her Boston neighborhood the best that it can be.

Through that same spirit, some of her neighbors worked to return the favor, but this time, in front of a national TV audience.

In late January, Pendleton and her home were the subject of a special episode of PBS’s Ask This Old House in which volunteers from the show worked with Building Together Boston to build a deck and a patio at Pendleton’s home in Dorchester, Massachusetts.

Donated materials – including 250 square feet of Pine Hall Brick Company’s English Edge HD Autumn pavers – were gathered and the entire crew of Ask This Old House came together under a pouring rain to demolish and rebuild a deck, build a patio, landscape, and install outdoor lighting in her yard.

“I can’t say enough about them,” said Pendleton, ‘because one of the things they are doing is to make sure seniors like myself who own property but who have fixed incomes can stay in our homes.”

Pendleton bought the home in 1999 for $119,900 – and an adjoining lot for $1 from a property owner who wanted to dispose of the property. This Old House host Kevin O’Connor jokingly offered to buy it from her for $2, on the spot, to double her money.

But Pendleton was having none of it.

She said she wants to stay in the home, which has just six years left on the mortgage. The problem was that the deck on the back was so unsafe that she and her family could not use it, even as an emergency exit. During the episode, This Old House contractor Tom Silva determined that it was too far gone to repair.

“One of the things that happens when you retire is that you are in your golden years, but you still have financial issues,” said Pendleton. “I have tried a lot of times to get this project done, but I would have had to have paid for it out of pocket, when Rebuilding Boston came along.”

Pendleton, who has a background in human services and is herself the daughter of a social worker, worked often with the community services arm of the Boston Police Department to build up a community watch and take other steps to make the neighborhood safer both for her children and her neighbors.

It was that agency that referred her to Rebuilding Boston – and since the project on her home was completed several months ago, Pendleton has referred several other people to the same program.

“It is making a big difference,” said Pendleton. “We as seniors have worked all our lives and we have put a lot into our community and the city itself and here is a program that will help us stay in our homes. If I were to sell my home, I would make a good profit, but where would I go? I am too old to buy another house. We want to stay where we want to stay. I am comfortable here. A lot of seniors who own their own homes would rather stay in our homes.”

On the ground

O’Connor, the This Old House host; Tom Silva, the contractor, This Old House carpenter Nathan Gilbert and Gilbert’s father, Bill, who is also a contractor, worked on tearing out and rebuilding the deck.

Meanwhile, This Old House mason Mark McCullough and landscaper Jenn Nawada worked on putting in the patio, installing lighting, and planting plants, all on the additional lot behind Pendleton’s home.

Other volunteers, including contractor Deliandro Dias, who had earlier taken part in a This Old House project in Boston, along with other This Old House cast and crew, took part.

They included Charlie Silva of Silva Brothers Construction, painter Mauro Henrique, plumber Richard Trethewey, home technology expert Ross Trethewey and electrician Heath Eastman – along with show producers, cameramen, soundmen and volunteers for Building Together Boston.

Pendleton said with everything going on with the taping of a TV show – the increased traffic, the tools, the cameras, the noise and all the rest – the community came together and willingly kept the way clear so the production crew would have a place to park.

“A community like this is like a village,” said Pendleton. “That’s what we have here, a village. My neighbors came out to support me because that’s what a village does.”

Painter Mauro Henrique, one of many volunteers for the project, works sand into the joints as the last step.