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Q&A With Jason Cameron of DIY Network’s “Man Caves” and “Desperate Landscapes”

The handyman talks about building the ultimate man cave, must-have power tools, and what it’s like to work with Tony Siragusa.

Jason Cameron of DIY Network’s Man Caves and Desperate Landscapes. Photograph courtesy of Jordan Matter Photography.

Licensed contractor and landscaping expert Jason Cameron has been a fixture on home improvement shows for nearly a decade, appearing on TLC’s Trading Spaces and While You Were Out. Now, the host of DIY Network’s Man Caves and Desperate Landscapes spends his days building manly retreats and transforming humdrum yards. This week, Cameron headlines Washington’s Home and Remodeling Show at the Dulles Expo Center (4320 Chantilly Ctr., Chantilly, VA). We caught up with the venerable handyman to discuss his must-have power tools, his favorite carpentry website, and whether Man Caves will ever make it to Washington.

What’s the ultimate man-cave accessory?

[Laughs] Oh, boy. There are a couple mainstays in a man cave. The three most important would be the large flat-screen TV, the Kegerator bar, and a comfortable chair—a chair the guy loves and the girlfriend can’t stand.

What’s been your favorite Man Cave project?

We went to Camp Virginia in Kuwait and redid a USO tent. That was probably the most memorable, because working with the troops was amazing—just to be able to work with the soldiers and all the young men and women in the military coming in and out of theater.

Where are some of your favorite places to shop for tools and materials?

Usually we’ll shop at local home improvement stores and lumber yards. But I also shop online for certain things that I need to special order. Rockler has a lot of unique things we might need for a build.

Any power tools you’re lusting after right now?

[Laughs] Nah, we pretty much have everything we need. We use all Bosch tools, and we have a pretty good mobile wood shop. Of course, there’s always something you really want. Bosch is making a Miter saw that has an articulating arm, and it’s pretty awesome.

For those of us who don’t have a mobile wood shop, what tools do you recommend?

I would suggest a multi-tool kit. Bosch makes one that comes with a power drill, a flashlight, and a circular saw. And a jigsaw is something every do-it-yourselfer should have. If you can afford it, a Miter saw is nice to have for crown molding or trim.

What’s it like working with former NFL star Tony “The Goose” Siragusa?

Tony’s a big pain in the ass, and I mean that in the nicest way. [Laughs] I love him like a brother . . . and brothers don’t get along sometimes. But we always have fun.

Switching gears, what can Washingtonians expect from the Home and Remodeling Show?

What’s great about these shows is that you can see the latest and greatest technology. And if you’re doing a project or getting ready to do a project, [home expos] are a great resource because you can get all your questions answered in one visit. And if you’ve got time, come and listen to my spiel.

Will Man Caves be coming to Washington anytime soon?

I hope so. Most of the shows we do are in New Jersey, but occasionally we travel. Never say never.

The Home and Remodeling Show runs January 20 to 22 at the Dulles Expo Center. Tickets can be purchased online for $7 or at the door for $10.