This project just started as a deck resurface project. Our client had an existing deck that was the standard 16’x20’ with some steps. Tired of the maintenance, these homeowners stopped at our booth at the IX Center Home and Garden show and asked us to stop out and take a look.
Upon my on-site inspection, it was determined that the deck could be resurfaced with low-maintenance Trex materials and not much else would change. The existing structure was in solid shape and fairly new, so this deck was a very good candidate for a resurfacing job. We would remove the wood decking, railing, and stairs, and replace it with low-maintenance composite materials.
However, during my visit at this client’s home, I noticed a variety of bonsai plants. I have always appreciated bonsai plants and wanted to learn the art; (one of those bucket list things). So, I asked the homeowner about his hobby and he said that he practiced it for quite a while now. My focus shifted from deck to bonsai plants. He spent some time answering my bonsai questions and regaining my bearings, we got back on track. I thought how fitting it would be for this deck to turn into a Japanese garden deck. There was also an existing Koi pond in the back yard that needed a little attention.
As we were wrapping, up I threw out an idea. What if we built a new deck that reflected my client’s love for bonsai. They were game. We set up a follow-up meeting and we agreed that I would present two solutions. The first would be a deck resurface and the second would be a totally new design that would have a Japanese feel and also accommodate the Koi pond.
Well, as you might guess by the title or this article, the Japanese garden won our clients affections. After proposing both options, it was a no-brainer. We would build the Japanese garden deck with the Koi pond, benches, and planters.
As deck designers, we always relish the challenge to try something new and step away from status quo. We love to navigate uncharted waters and claim new ground. This was one of those special moments.