The good folks at the PBS program Ask This Old House took on a project with the community project Rebuilding Together Boston to build a new deck and install an spacious paver patio. Pine Hall Brick provided English Edge Autumn Heavy Duty clay pavers for the job. All photos: Mike Casey/ThisOldHouse

Boston homeowner Roz Pendleton is a pillar of her neighborhood.

In Colonial times in New England, a farmer working alone couldn’t get nearly as much done as 40 farmers working together, so the idea of the old-fashioned barn raising was born.

Recently, in Dorchester, Massachusetts, the crew of PBS’s Ask This Old House and Building Together Boston tapped into that same spirit to build a deck and a patio for Roz Pendleton, a woman in her mid-70s who is well-known in the neighborhood.

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 get the work done.

Mason Mark McCullough helps prepare the sand setting bed. Installing in rain made some aspects of this process a little easier.

Ask This Old House crew in the inclimate weather “studio.”

This Old House host Kevin O’Connor, contractor Tom Silva, carpenter Nathan Gilbert and Gilbert’s father, Bill, who is also a contractor, worked on tearing out and rebuilding the deck. Meanwhile, mason Mark McCullough and landscaper Jenn Nawada worked on putting in the patio, installing lighting, and planting plants.

And the remaining “40 farmers”?  Those roles were played by the rest of the This Old House cast and crew – including 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.

Pine Hall Brick was able to provide 250 square feet of English Edge Autume Heavy Duty pavers for the job. Note the 2.75″ thickness is greater than standard pavers, as these are designed for heavy vehicular applications. This patio is solid!

McCullough and Nawada may be TV stars, but they’re not afraid to bare-hand some heavy duty clay pavers for a good cause. 

The crew had to work fast. A running bond pattern made sense for efficiency. English Edge spacer nibs also help line up the pavers making installation a bit easier.

Making it work with English Edge clay pavers

Roz Pendleton’s home was built in 1884 and the deck had rotted away, making it no longer safe to use and eliminating one exit. For years, Pendleton has envisioned entertaining her children and grandchildren on the deck.

On the ground, Pendleton’s house has a sizable backyard for her Dorchester neighborhood, perfect for a patio, landscaping and outside lighting.

Janice Walker, the executive director of Rebuilding Together Boston, said the project at the Pendleton house is a good example of how the program works. The Boston affiliate, one of 120 affiliates around the country, works with homeowners and local non-profit facilities to do needed repairs at no cost to homeowners.

“The whole idea is to keep people in homes and keep that generational wealth,” said Walker. Often, they don’t have the money to make those home repairs so that’s where we come in. If you lose the house, you lose the ability to hand it down. Owning a home in these communities is very important and it is important to keep their homes kept up. It enables them, as prices go up, to keep that home and the value of that home in their family for some time to come.”

Walker added that Pendleton has worked with agencies, including the Boston Police Department’s Community Relations advocates, to make a difference.

“She has lived there for 30 years on a corner lot and is really a fixture in the neighborhood,” said Walker. “She has worked to prevent gun violence and to stop drugs. For us to go in and repair her house was wonderful because she has given so much to the community. Roz has referred people over to us – she has told us of other people we can serve. This is neighbors helping neighbors.”

Jenn Nawada (left) with happy homeowner Roz Pendleton and mason Mark McCullough after a day’s work.