Paul Lafrance, most commonly known as the “Deck Guy” both in the Reality TV megacosm as well as in the average North American home, is also a musician, the CEO and founder of the international design company, Paul Lafrance Design, and the father of four daughters. He plans to one day complete his self-help book for men, which is a life-long project: a study into the intricacies of the female mind. So far, he’s got the title page done.
Paul is the host of HGTV’s Decked Out, Disaster Decks, and Deck Wars as well as one of the judges on Canada’s Handyman Challenge, and moonlights as the head designer at Paul Lafrance Design. Since 1997, he’s been designing and installing everything from groundbreaking backyard retreats, unique interior transformations, and commercial outdoor spaces, to custom built homes. He is known for his infectious energy, quick wit, and unapologetic rock star style.
The Design Wheels
Janna Lafrance – Wheel turner/Lover of Sushi, Sunshine, and of course, Paul!
Meet Janna Lafrance, co-founder and CAO at Paul Lafrance Design. Married to Paul and older sister to Joey and Josh, she considers herself to be secretly responsible for all things impressive and humorous about Paul Lafrance Design. She’s normally behind the scenes, administrating and keeping the wheels of the organization turning, although periodically she will make appearances at Paul Lafrance Design and Decked Out events, particularly if there is sushi or sunshine involved.
Steven Williams – Head of Design Sales/Technological Savant
Steven Williams, Head of Design and Sales at Paul Lafrance Design, has been with the company for many years. He’s worn many hats (literally and figuratively), from carpenter, to production manager, to general manager, and has excelled at everything he has put his hand to. A couple of years back, he discovered his affinity for drafting and design and has played a significant role in the Paul Lafrance Design migration to the new design software, “DeckWorks“, which boasts state of the art 3-D technology. A multi-talented individual, he has a reputation for humour, hard work, talent, and general stealth-like maneuvers, and is an absolute asset to the Paul Lafrance Design team!
Josh – Senior Design Consultant/Closet Mad Scientist
Josh brings a high level of skill and mathematical genius to the team. He is a design concept artist, as well as technical wizard and a teacher. Josh supervises the Paul Lafrance Design team and tries his best to inspire budding new PLD superstars. He spends a lot of time silently working, pondering the meaning of life, and honing his exceptional musical talents in piano, guitar, and more!
Gemma – Social Media & Project Coordinator/Weekend Warrior
Gemma is behind all the great posts, tweets and blogs that have gained 1,000’s of followers. She’s also our “go to” person when computers and brains freeze simultaneously! In other words, she knows her way around a hard drive, speaks “software”, and generally assists when her co-workers are ready to smash, drop-kick, or launch their lap-tops into another galaxy! Gemma is also a skilled CAD draftsperson and lends a helping hand to the other designers, keeping the department running smoothly. On weekends, she can be found battling in the forests of Ontario with a broadsword, wearing some kind of medieval body armour.
Shuja – Design Consultant
Shuja is a whiz with CAD, Vectorworks, and a number of other drafting programs, which combined with his skills as a designer make his contribution to the Paul Lafrance Design team vital. He also has a background in project management, which is a great asset to the team. Shuja frequently unwinds by taking long walks and delighting his friends & coworkers with his passion for the culinary arts! Maybe that’s how he works so well under pressure.
Dan works as a lead carpenter and all-around building savant. He’s constantly dazzling us all with his dizzying intellect, wood and metal manipulation, motorcycle building, drumming, and general genius.
Chrissy – A mom by day. A designer by night – okay make that designer by day as well.
With a background in architecture and landscape architecture, a passion for people and places (the weirder, the better!), and unyielding ability to find inspiration in the way we live our lives, Chrissy has been designing "life's little luxuries" for more than 13 years. What began as a career in high-end residential landscape design in 2005, has grown to include all scales of spaces from tiny urban backyards, to a townhouse complex, to cottage retreats, and a spa resort. Aside from creating "living rooms" outside the walls of the home, Chrissy has also developed an extensive resume in custom furniture and interior design, many interiors of which have been featured on the Custom Built tv series on HGTV. So if you sit there, eat there, live there, or breathe there, Chrissy is ready for you.
Mikey joined the team in 2017 as a skilled builder with a particular talent for practical jokes and taking Paul’s shenanigans in stride. In his spare time, he regularly awes friends and family by his prowess with the guitar, paintbrush, and his camera.
Shane - Deck Store
Shane isn’t your average designer in the decking industry. He brings a multi-faceted approach to the client in a unique way. On the technical side, Shane has a diploma in Construction Engineering and has worked in the industry as a deck builder as well as an Inventory Manager and Purchaser. These experiences allow Shane to fully understand the construction as well as the various materials that are available in the market. Creatively, Shane uses his love of music, photography, and painting to inspire him to create designs that are aesthetically pleasing as well as being highly functional with respect to use of space. Combine that with his ability to recommend the proper materials for low maintenance and longevity of the project, you’ll love working with Shane as your designer. He enjoys building strong relationships with his clients while helping them to create an outdoor living space that they will enjoy for many years.
Robert - Deck Store
Robert Hodichak, better known as the “DeckDaVinci” on social media, has over 25 years of experience in design, sales, and marketing. He has designed some of the most spectacular outdoor living spaces throughout North America from the Caribbean to the Northwest Territories and everywhere in between. His designs have won many awards and have been featured on television and in magazines.
Robert is a master 3D designer specializing in the most state of the art technology and virtual reality. His love for modern design and knowledge of low maintenance materials has elevated him in the outdoor living industry. Robert is not afraid to try something new and exciting which results in many times designing a space from a different perspective. The backyard is his canvas and he truly is an artist.
“Keeping a pulse on new products and designs styles has allowed me the opportunity to work with some the best architects, designers and builders in the industry. I learned to maximize the use of space while keeping the area visually appealing.”
Robert’s focus is to assist the team in the creating some of the most beautiful and functional spaces. He is a firm believer in “Functional, Usable Spaces First” and has the ability to make any space attractive and timeless with creative design elements.
Olga - Deck Store
Olga is a bright and cheerful design consultant and an integral part of our design team. She is detail oriented and very attentive when creating a design that works for the customer’s needs and desires but also within their budget. Clients love working with Olga as she becomes their advocate and friend, ensuring that the project comes to completion to exceed their expectations. While young, Olga has plenty of industry experience and an excellent knowledge of materials and building practices.
Lawrence - Deck Store
Lawrence Winterburn: A “Deck Builder” turned “Designer." In reality, during his career as a trim carpenter, he was coming up with his own details for architects and engineers. Lee Valley Tools actually carries a few of his designs for purchase. This "Mad Scientist of Woodwork" has been featured in too many Canadian Magazines, newspapers and books to list. Father to four boys and based near Barrie, someday soon, Lawrence is planning a whole weekend off—just not this weekend.
Lawrence's holistic approach to design takes a little time with his new friends—but that is the necessary first step to designing something amazing! His 30-year history of designing outrageous woodwork, cabanas and backyard retreats give him a unique approach and eye for his clients discerning tastes. Lawrence is well known for sharing way too much technical information—so if he loses you, just jump in and remind him, “Lawrence . . . that doesn't matter!"
Soobia - Deck Store
Soobia is a pleasure to work with and loves to create livable, workable & functional spaces that reflect her client’s needs, design values & budget. Her passion is to bring her client’s dream space to life working in a creative & collaborative team environment. She is committed to each client and project as though it were her family and her own back yard.