Slideshow: Laguna Beach Deck

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Check out some of the details that make this ocean-view deck special.

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A couple of years ago, my company completed a 1,000-square-foot deck in the hills overlooking Laguna Beach in southern California. This was a memorable project, not only because of the size of the deck and the home’s outstanding view of the Pacific Ocean, but also because of the difficult site. Located on a steep, curving road that was too busy and narrow for a crane, the home offered no access for heavy machinery, so everything – including 700-pound support posts and heavy glulam beams as long as 35 feet – had to be hand-delivered through a 4-foot-wide gate.

Not only was it difficult to deliver materials to the site, it was tricky to work on it too. The steeply pitched backyard was impossible to stand on, so we had to set up scaffolding even to dig the footing holes. Not only that, we had to make sure that none of our materials got loose and slid down the hill; if they did, they would slide right into the homes at the base of the hill. For the massive 6x20 Alaskan yellow cedar glulams, this meant roping the beams to winches and slowly easing them down the hill as worked to get them into position.

The city of Laguna Beach and the state of California also had something to say about how we ran the project. Being a beach town, the city has a zero-tolerance policy regarding runoff to drains, so we had to take great care when pumping and pouring the concrete for the footings to avoid spillage, and we needed to clean up any overage. And because the home is located in a high-risk fire zone, all lumber smaller than 4-by had to be certified flame-resistant. These obstacles made this project one of our most challenging in more than 25 years of construction in southern California. But we - and our clients - were pleased with the result, which was featured in one of Azek's national ad campaigns (you can see the ad on our website).