10 Things You Didn't Know About Jeff Devlin
The Stone House Revival host and master carpenter also happens to be a guitar aficionado.
When the owners of historic stone homes in Bucks County, Pa., are ready to renovate but don’t know where to start, Jeff Devlin's their guy. In DIY Network's Stone House Revival, Jeff works with his team to restore homes that are more than two centuries old. While the rehauls are painstaking, the end result is always a modern refresh that preserves historic character.
In season two, premiering April 12, expect more of Jeff's custom carpentry projects. Stand-outs include a colonial bar — "I was crazy happy; I've been wanting to do that for years," he says — and stools forged by hand, sans power tools, inspired by a visit to Washington's Headquarters.
"I pushed myself a little, to the point where I almost caused exhaustion," Jeff says. "It wasn't just to build these things to show my skills, but it was also to prove to people that you don't have to always stick within your box. You can try something you haven't done. Succeed, fail — it doesn't matter."
Ahead of seeing all-new builds on Stone House Revival this season, here are 10 things to know about Jeff, on and off set.
He got his start with birdhouses.
Watching This Old House on PBS spurred Jeff's curiosity in carpentry as a teen.
"I would get inspired and start messing around with things myself," he says. "I don't want to say stole, but I would take wood from the dumpster of construction going on near our house."
He eventually found his niche with birdhouses, which he would sell at his church's craft fair.
"Old women will buy anything if you look pathetic enough," he says. "I sold them for $5, and it took me, like, two days to make one."
He hasn't always loved colonial history or even history at all.
"I'd go to Colonial Williamsburg as a kid, and I'd see people in ascots and think, 'What a bunch of weirdos,'" Jeff says.
But restoring historic homes and building historically-inspired pieces has fueled his interest in history as an adult.
"That's where history started coming to life, really, truly," Jeff says. "As an adult, all of these things are starting to click now, because I start with the wood then go back to the history. ... If we keep building a million developments and not caring about the old homes, it's gone."
He digs outdoor adventuring.
Jeff loves to be outdoors, whether it's sharpening chisels in his garage or mountain biking. He's especially fond of paddleboarding, skiing, snowboarding and surfing, both solo and with his kids, Reese, 14, and Aidan, 12.
He's worked behind the camera, too.
Before Jeff began appearing on TV, he worked behind the scenes as a cameraman while also running his woodworking business on the side. A friend of a friend heard Jeff loved snow sports and hired him to assist on a trip filming a ski competition. He learned camerawork on the job and went on to shoot events like drag racing, water polo, mountain biking, concerts and a few home renovation shows like HGTV's Save My Bath.
"All in all, it turned out to be an absolutely amazing experience. It was a balance to me — being able to travel and see new places," Jeff says.
He's a St. Bernard guy.
Jeff's family dogs growing up were always St. Bernards, and he now has a six-year-old St. Bernard named Gretel (who is the undisputed star of his Instagram account).
"Having her to come home to when the kids aren't here is awesome," he says. "Gretel, I have to be honest, is by far the best dog I've ever owned. She's very clingy, but she's nice. She's not a slobbery mess."
He unknowingly auditioned for HGTV.
A coworker came by to drop off a camera while Jeff was renovating his 250-year-old home. This led to his first on-camera gig.
"My entire downstairs was gutted. He says, 'Can I film you while you work?'" Jeff says. "Two weeks later, I get a call from HGTV saying, 'We'd like you to be a co-host for Spice Up My Kitchen on HGTV.' I didn't even know that the guy sent the tape. It was kind of a shock to me."
He's got #farmhouseproblems.
Jeff lives in a 1750s stone farmhouse in Chester County, Pa., — a labor of love with no lack of surprises, from wonky electricity to random drafts to a rogue rodent now and again.
"All of a sudden, an outlet doesn't work and you're saying, 'What in the world?'" he says. "At the beginning, I really took it personally, like I’m never going to be done. But now, it's more relaxed … this gives me purpose."
He's a guitar guy.
Formal lessons didn’t jive with him, so he taught himself instead.
"At my first lesson, the teacher was like, 'OK, I'm going to show you how to play Mary Had a Little Lamb.' I want to learn how to play Green Day. What are you talking about?"
Jeff even took his hobby as far as joining a band, but the hours aren't exactly ideal for him these days.
"I used to be in a band, but I don't do that anymore," he says. "I can't stay up past 9 o'clock."
Bonus: His kids are also interested in music. Reese plays guitar, Aidan plays saxophone and they both dabble in ukulele.
He's a Phillies fan.
"I could sit down and watch a Phillies game all day long," Jeff says. "It could be a triple header, and I won't move. I love going to the park."
The team effort of a baseball game is a lot like working on a TV show, he says.
"You can get a home run, but unless the pitcher does well, the whole team isn't going to do well," Jeff says. "These guys that you never see, the electricians and the plumbers, they don't get nearly as much credit. Everyone says, 'I love your show,' but it's our show."
A project with tennis racquets may be in his future.
Jeff also loves playing tennis. His late father played professionally and stockpiled wooden tennis racquets over the years from garage sales and second-hand stores.
"He has a collection of 1,000 wooden tennis racquets," Jeff says. "My mom wants to keep some of them, but the rest of them, I just have to figure out something to do with them. Table legs? I don't know."
Catch back-to-back, all-new episodes of Stone House Revival on DIY Network, April 12 at 9|8c.