Deck envy

Trexyinyanghr1Have you seen the "yin yang deck" at the L.A. County Arboretum? If you're heading to the L.A. Garden Show this weekend, you really should check it out.

The deck was built by Julia and Dave Bodell of The Wood Master in Tustin. (Click photo to enlarge.)

The lower part of the deck revolves around a fountain and a fire pit to represent yin and yang values. But the real interest lies in the upper part of the deck, which is made of curved Trex boards.

If you’ve ever held a composite decking board in your hands, you know it’s no more going to bend easily than would a stick of lumber.

But here’s one factor that sets composite materials apart from real wood — they will bend if you get them hot enough. To accomplish this, the company made a 20-foot-long cabinet with 25,000-BTU forced air heaters at each end. When the boards inside were heated and soft, they were lifted out with protective gloves, blocked into a curved shape on the deck foundation, cooled, then screwed into place from the bottom. The project took six weeks.

Visiting this deck might give you ideas (presumably more modest in scope) for your own home.

(Photo: Courtesy of Trex)