From Renee on April 17th, 2008 in Decks and Patios
According to David Cohen of California Deck Builders, building a deck is a natural remodeling choice, especially when you use natural materials. This is because decks function as an extension of your living area, and they allow you to spend more time outdoors at home, relaxing with friends and family.
When a deck is built properly to withstand years of dedicated use, the results are good for both homeowners and contractors. Cohen believes that when clients go into their backyard to enjoy a structure he built, good karma continues to flow for years. “According to the laws of the universe,” he says, “nothing comes unanswered. I’m just trying to do good.”
For Cohen, part of being true to his work entails using natural materials. This includes using several types of wood, such as redwood, cedar, and other types. His wood decks are made with grown redwood and cedar products. “I love the wood. I love the smell of it. When you cut a piece of redwood, there is that smell and it’s so earthy and natural.”
The alternative is using a composite, such as Trex. Cohen gets many requests for these decks and is licensed to install them. “More and more people are asking for composite material, like Trex. People don’t want to maintain their decks anymore. They feel they want to build it and that’s it. People don’t want to have the real thing, they want an instant solution.” However, Cohen admits that composite decks entail virtually no maintenance.
For his own home, though, Cohen will not use composites. “I feel like I’m selling out, like a guitar player that plays one of those guitars that tune by themselves.” In addition, Cohen personally hates vinyl fencing. “I find it disgusting. Like a piece of plastic. I prefer an older wood fence. Unpainted. A little broken.” He says wood fences can come in several shapes and sizes and can vary from a Southwestern look to a Colonial look to a look straight out of a magazine. Adding to the aged distressed vibe, Cohen recommends planting vegetation, using the right combination of plants for the natural look.
Adding to the satisfaction of the atmosphere a deck creates is the process of building something from scratch. Cohen works with homeowners to design their structures for flow as well as functionality. “Sometimes I tell them the functionality of deck shouldn’t be first priority,” he says. “It should be the way it’s designed because they need to live with it and live in it.”