Rebel with a Cause Part I: Jason Russell, a.k.a, Dr. Decks from Tacoma, Washington dishes on his new DIY Network Show, The Deck Doctor and Bending Deck Boards
A deck artist since 1991, and a rebel all his life, Jason Russell stretches the limitations and allowances of deck boards to create amazing outdoor living environments in the Puget Sound area that go far beyond the boring square deck. Now, things are about to get really real. Jason and his talented crew are taking to the airwaves in DIY Network’s The Deck Doctor. Here, Jason splits some verbs with Design Next Door about his new show, deck automation, and bending the heck out of Inteplast Building Products decking material.
DESIGN NEXT DOOR: How did your new show, The Deck Doctor, on DIY Network come about?
JASON: I came up with the concept about three years ago. I’ve spent so much time perfecting my craft, and building these really amazing things, and I thought, they should be seen by more people than the just the great homeowners I build them for. So, I approached a couple of production companies and one of them put me in touch with an agent, and that’s how it got started.
DESIGN NEXT DOOR: What‘s the premise of the show?
JASON: It’s me and my great team building decks that far exceed the imaginations of the homeowners. Each episode is thirty minutes long and shows us doing what we do best - creating custom, out of the square box, with lots of curved boards and automation and robotics. We make things bend and move, essentially.
DESIGN NEXT DOOR: You’re known as a deck board bending artist. In one of the first episodes we see you create a beautiful curved border for homeowners Brian and Sherrill. How do you do it?
JASON: I use PVC decking materials, which is very conducive to heat. I use Heatcon’s silicone heating blankets on the boards to create curves and arches. I especially like using Inteplast Building Products deck boards. I like their warm tropical colors and wood-grain options.
DESIGN NEXT DOOR: Tell us about deck automation in these first episodes. In addition to heat bending deck boards, it’s another one of your signature things, right?
JASON: It is. There aren’t too many people doing it. In these first two episodes of The Deck Doctor you’ll see me and my team automate a deck chair, a hidden barbeque grill, a retractable diving platform, a disappearing picnic table and benches, a table-top fire feature, and tiki-torches.
DESIGN NEXT DOOR: What were your inspirations when you were designing the outdoor living spaces for the homeowners on the show?
JASON: I listen to what their needs are. I also try to get an idea from their interior living spaces as well. For instance one of our homeowners, Sherrill works from home, but she loves sitting outside when the weather is nice. I made sure to include hidden outlets in the picnic table so she can keep her laptop powered. I try keep things functional, but I also like to push the boundaries every chance I get.
DESIGN NEXT DOOR: We’ll talk more about those boundaries in our next post!
The Deck Doctor premiered on the DIY Network channel on Tuesday, May 17th. Check into http://www.diynetwork.com/ for the schedule. Want to see more of Jason’s amazing creations visit his fan site at http://www.therebelcarpenter.com/ and http://www.drdecks.com/ for more information on how Jason and his team can help you create your own one-of-a-kind outdoor living environment. You can also follow Jason through his social media accounts; Instagram (drdecks), Facebook, and Twitter (@drdecks). He has been posting pictures of the beautiful decks he worked on during his show, take a look and follow him for more inspirational deck imagery!
Don’t forget to read next week when we’ll have part two of our conversation with Jason.
Thanks for reading!