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How do you say ‘thank you’?

Roofing company rides to the rescue of Santa Clarita Valley family

Posted: December 10, 2012 5:05 p.m.
Updated: December 10, 2012 5:05 p.m.

Jennifer Hill poses with her children, Bailey, 3, Emma (front left), 6, and Jayden, 8, in front of their Valencia home Monday. Not pictured is her husband, Kirk Hill. Signal Photo by Jonathan Pobre

Jennifer and Kirk Hill just wanted a roof over their heads.

The couple had been trying to replace their dilapidated wood shingle roof for almost three years. But job instability and other issues meant only plastic and paper were standing between rain clouds and Jennifer, Kirk and their three kids on Via Cruz in Valencia.

They thought it would take years to finish the extensive project, but instead it took the generosity of a neighbor and his employer. This week, PetersenDean Roofing and Solar Systems will complete the new roof on the Hills’ home with donated materials from various vendors and donated time from PetersenDean employees.

“We didn’t know what we were going to do,” said Jennifer Hill, who is pregnant with the couple’s fourth child. “We were just in such a mess.”

It was Jason Smith, an area neighbor with kids in the same school as the Hills’ children, who noticed the family wasn’t making progress on the repairs.

Smith, who handles roofing sales and operations for PetersenDean, had worked on various roofs in the area and continuously checked on the home whenever he passed it.

“It had an old shingle roof and the wood shingle roofs only last 20 years,” Smith said. “I kind of was wondering what was going on in that house in general and found out about their circumstances.”

The Hills removed the roof under pressure from their homeowners association to replace it. But because of the recession, Kirk’s work in the film industry became more sporadic and the project was too expensive to finish.

“We just didn’t have the credit or resources,” Jennifer said. “We were getting fined and it just turned into a big snowball effect.”

Smith spoke with Kirk about the situation and then approached his boss at PetersenDean about helping the family.

PetersenDean, a national roofing company with a Santa Clarita location, “does a lot of charity work, so this was just something locally that we can do for this struggling family,” Smith said. Boral Roofing, Malarkey Roofing Products, Bay Cities Metals, Pacific Supply and Eagle Roofing Products contributed the materials.

Last week, within days of the decision to help, PetersenDean began the work. It is due to be finished by this week, weather allowing.

Smith calls it “a Christmas gift,” but Jennifer Hill calls it a once-in-a-lifetime situation.

“For someone that doesn’t even know you to do this is surreal,” she said. “How do you even say ‘thank you’ for that?”




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