A mechanic, a biologist, a UPS guy, and a rocket scientist walk onto a deck. It’s not the start of a bad joke – this is the future of deck building in America.
Jason Katwijk, Kyle Bannister, Phil deLeon, and Robin Lopez are four young, up-and-coming professionals in the deck-building industry, from four very different backgrounds. Together, they serve as a great example of the future of an industry that, according to a host of almost daily news articles, seems to be facing a serious shortage of young blood.
With more than three decades of experience and three showrooms along the Front Range, founder and president of Colorado Custom Decks Garth Hystad was already an outdoor-living big shot, crafting out-of-this-world decks and outdoor spaces with a price tag at least half the cost of the original home.
A few years ago, his passion for integrating the indoor-outdoor experience and the sheer scale of his projects garnered the attention of HGTV’s DIY Network, and their hit show Mega Decks was born—exclusively featuring Hystad’s work in Colorado (and beyond).
The “tiny house” movement might seem to be popular, but in reality more than half of all new homes built last year were 2,400 square feet or larger, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s “Characteristics of New Housing” report. In comparison, the average home size in 1973 was 1,660 square feet. And when it comes to the size of their decks, the majority of Americans feel bigger is better too. RealtorMag, the official publication of the National Association of Realtors, reports that since 2014, the average deck size in the the Northeast grew by 53% to 406 square feet. Decks as large as 10,000 square feet aren’t unusual in some of the listings for high-end homes, according to RealtorMag. Driving the size increase is the outdoor living trend, where deck projects include amenities like kitchens, fire pits, multiple levels and seating areas, and other features that bring the indoors outside, even in colder climates.