Composite decks made from recycled plastic and bottles is an emerging trend.
by Mira Reverente
So much for the best laid-plans, engineer and entrepreneur Jerry Huffman chanced upon another thrilling business venture just as he was gearing up for retirement.
This father of two and grandfather of five from the Inland Empire thought his entrepreneur days were truly behind him until he took a trip to Oxnard to explore some investment opportunities and fell in love with the area. “It’s like waking up in paradise everyday,” he says of his new home and his latest business.
The owner of Beyond Decks was retiring after 20 years in the business and Huffman took an interest. Beyond Decks has been a household name in the area, having built most decks in the Channel Islands, Ventura Marina and other neighboring areas. It also sells outdoor furniture and fencing.
“There were some similarities with the construction company we sold in Riverside. It wasn’t that simple but it wasn’t a hard transition either – from machinery to decks,” says Huffman.
Now named Ocean View Decks, the pandemic took its toll on this new venture, just like it did on the rest of the economy. Merging old and new crews, backlogs, long wait times, a warehouse bursting at the seams and skyrocketing prices were just some of the challenges that the new business faced. Almost all of it has been resolved but the impact still has a lingering trickle effect, according to Huffman.
“We are beyond busy working on three to four different projects a day, at various stages of installation with a full crew,” he says. According to him, there is a months-long wait for most projects, now that the lockdown is over people are starting to enjoy the outdoors again, and putting money into their homes.
So much has evolved in terms of the craftsmanship used in decks, the past few years compared to 20 or 30 years ago. Composite decks with brands like Trex and Timbertech made from recycled plastic and bottles is an emerging trend. These decks come with a 50-year to lifetime warranty and don’t fall prey to termites, mold or deterioration, and are easier to maintain. Stainless steel is also another popular material used in decks these days.
There has also been an increase in demand for motorized pergolas, those weatherproof structures for people to sit or walk under, where plants can also grow over. “There’s a long wait for those. You can control the lighting for pergolas from your smartphone now like a fancy toy,” says Huffman.
If you’re still on the fence about having a deck installed, the company offers 3D drawings or virtual walk-throughs, where you can virtually walk through your deck before it’s even built including hand rails, the grill placement, among other things, before you even start spending money. Huffman is proud of this sophisticated software that they offer. Another service that Ocean View Deck offers is free certified deck inspections, anywhere from Malibu to Santa Barbara.
For more info: visit oceanviewdecks.com