The Emmy Award-winning PBS show “This Old House” is back for another season and the popular home improvement series premieres an 8-part special this week titled “Jersey Shore Rebuilds.” 

Shore architect Paul Barlo with Kevin O'Connor, host of "This Old House"
Shore architect Paul Barlo with Kevin O'Connor, host of "This Old House" (Photo courtesy Paul Barlo)


Chris Laird on "This Old House"
Chris Laird on "This Old House" (This Old House Television)

As we approach the one year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy the series follows home owners in three shore towns ravaged by the storm as they recover and rebuild despite having to overcome numerous obstacles.

I was able to get an advance copy of the premiere and it is very compelling, not just for those who have watched the show in the past but anyone interested in the process many of those at the shore have gone through and are still going through.

The episode which airs this week revolves around three homeowners whose homes were badly damaged during Sandy but despite suggestions in some cases that they tear down and move on have decided to clean up and rebuild.  Jed & Chris Laird live in what we would call downtown Bay Head, Carlos and Maria Santos are on a lagoon in Point Pleasant and Rita Gurry resides in Manasquan.

She by the way had just paid off her mortgage the month before the storm hit and decided to actually rebuild with a custom modular home from Zarrilli Homes. Owner Anthony Zarrilli is spotlighted in the episode I watched.

Robin Gurry
Robin Gurry (This Old House Television)

Also featured is architect Paul Barlo of Barlo & Associates Architects which like Zarrilli Homes has an office on Mantoloking Road in Brick.  Barlo talks at length with show host Kevin O’Connor about the devastation that occurred in Mantoloking and explained why the area has to rebuild.

He then took O’Connor on a tour of the Long Beach Island area destroyed by the 1962 Nor’easter and showed him first-hand how it recovered and rebuilt and actually survived the most recent storm without a scar.  Paul is very active in numerous community organizations and I’ve known him through Big Brothers Big Sisters as we were among the group who helped start the Ocean County chapter.

For all his philanthropic endeavors Barlo has been selected as Grand Marshal of the Ocean County Columbus Day Parade next Sunday in Seaside Heights.

The eight-part “Jersey Shore Rebuilds” series debuts this week and when and what channel really depends on where you live and what cable provider you have.  It appears to me that most of us can watch the PBS show Saturday but you can find out for sure by visiting where you can also watch the episodes.

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