If you’re a fan of any of the DIY Network shows such as Turf Wars, House Crashers, Yard Crashers and Bath Crashers you may recognize or have heard of Doug Tolson, a featured contractor. But did you know that he’s a Davis Senior High School Alum (’84)? Doug’s talents have been showcased on these shows, but his success is anything but recent. Doug is one of those guys that has just figured out the key to happiness: Do what you love; love what you do. Our interview went beyond what I imagined, and even lead to meeting his fantastic wife Tana and their children at his amazing home in West Sacramento.
So how in the world did this West Sac contractor land such a gig alongside DIY host Ahmed Hassan? As with most success stories, it was luck and timing. Doug got a call to fill in on the show and the rest is history. Now he’s seen regularly helping transform frontyards, backyards, bathrooms and interior rooms too. His kick-back nature along with top-notch trade skills and design sensibilities have made for some amazing “big reveals” on all the shows.
How did Doug get started in construction? After high school he worked as a laborer framing homes in Davis. He worked for local companies such as Specialized Construction and Pyramid Construction. Now as a sole proprietor, Doug Tolson Construction, he has worked on residential developments throughout Davis since the late 1980’s and continues to work on projects in Davis, West Sac and the surrounding areas.
In 2004 Doug and Tana moved from their first home to an acre lot in one of the outlying areas of West Sac. They’ve taken a 1300 square foot 1950’s original tract home and made it into 3500 square feet of “la vida buena”. It’s hard to imagine where Doug has found the time to work on his own home knowing his wild filming schedule. It really is around the clock planning, demolition, construction and final touches to make those transformations ready for television. Doug promised me a final tour when his house is done…I’ll take lots of pictures to share on Davis Life Magazine!
One of the stories Doug shared during our interview demonstrates the heart he has for kids and baseball. With his three children involved in Little League, Doug was well aware of the disrepair of the West Sac Little League field built in 1953. A few years ago Doug Tolson Construction and community volunteers came together and restored the field and rebuilt the dugouts. Available practice fields became a problem too in West Sac. During the housing boom, portable classrooms were put on the land previously used as Little League practice fields; therefore, there was a shortage of sites for which teams to practice. Remember that acre homesite the Tolsons purchased? And, remember the line from Field of Dreams, “If you build it, they will come”? That’s exactly what Doug did. In his own backyard he planted sod, put in bases, home plate and a pitcher’s mound and recycled an old backstop for all the Little League teams to use for their practices! And they do. Every week coaches and players make their way to Tolson’s field and get a chance to prepare for their games. That’s the kind of guy Doug is; he saw a need and he filled it! Well water keeps the huge field green and is an awesome backdrop to the wide open West Sac landscape (not to mention the 50 palm trees Doug planted around the perimeter of his property).
Why palm trees? Well, when Doug isn’t working on a construction site or involved with baseball, his passion is SURFING! As a kid he skateboarded and had a minibike, and went crazy around the streets of Davis. But, as soon as he was of driving age, he was Capitola bound! At the end of a Blue Devil school day Doug would take off, surf the waves around Santa Cruz and be back before midnight. Now in his 40s he and some fellow surfers established the West Sac Surf Club. Whenever they can their families vacation at surf destinations in Mexico or they’ll drive over the hillto 41st Street in Capitola. The ambiance of Doug and Tana’s home is definitely inspired by the coastal lifestyle. Doug has an expansive workshop on his property that showcase close to thirty vintage surfboards, longboards to be precise. I’m not anywhere near being a surfing aficionado, but these boards were impressive!
Not sure how many contractors out there are hanging ten on their off days, but now you know Doug from Davis, California is. After meeting him it sure makes sense why good things are happening to Doug. He’s a solid guy with a strong work ethic and dedicated to his family and friends. Be sure to tune into any of the ‘crashers’ shows on DIY(set your TiVo if you can) and checkout his Facebook page (Doug Tolson Construction) for updates on his latest projects.
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