For decking, Mark Ellis of Creative Redwood Designs in California uses mostly ipe; for railings, he opts for redwood or cedar, which are more workable and less expensive and also add contrast and interest to a deck's overall design. The redwood railing pictured at left (top and center) was built to match an existing railing on the property; the owner elected to have it built as shown knowing it would not meet current code (a 4-inch sphere can pass through the gap above the arch, the lowest portion of which is less than 36 inches high). For another customer on