M&M Builders Frequently Asked Questions

(408) 315-5388
932 Willow Glen Way
San Jose, CA 95125
A recent deck and arbor project by M&M Builders
Q: What kind of wood do you use and where you do you get it from?
A: "We primarily build decks with redwood and Ipe, which is a dense tropical wood. Deck framing has to be straight, not warped, which is why we only use high grade, pressure-treated, rot-resistant wood. We’ll go to the lumber yard, ask them to sort through their piles of lumber and pick the best of what they have. Wood quality is very important to us."
Q: Do you build decks with products other than wood?
A: "Yes, we also build decks out of composite and plastic materials, which are made to resemble the grain and texture of wood. These styles of decking are ideal for homeowners who don’t want to deal with maintenance. You have to re-stain a wood deck every two years, but some of these alternative decks will basically last forever."
Q: What should I do to extend the life of my wood deck?
A: "If you want the wood to consistently look new, apply an oil-based sealer to protect the deck from the sun. If it’s a redwood deck, you should reseal it every two years to maintain its efficiency."
Q: Is there a minimum height that a deck should be built off the ground?
A: "For redwood and composite decks, the minimum is typically seven inches. Ipe decks have to be built with a 12-inch clearance."
Q: When you install a deck on unlevel ground, do you grade the whole area or just the area where the foundation is being set?
A: "We have to grade the whole area because when it rains, water has to be able to run underneath into a drain or away from the house."
Q: What’s the most important part of designing a deck?
A: "It’s all about balance—the pool has to balance with the deck area, the deck area has to balance with the arbors, and even the rock placements have to balance with each other. We may not be able to put our finger on it, but we know what it’s like when you enter somebody’s house and it just feels right. That’s the feeling we strive to achieve when we design decks."