Houzz Awards “Best of Design” & "Best of Houzz"

Houzz Awards –  Awarded to Paul Lafrance Design of Toronto.

Over 40 Million Monthly Unique Users Nominated Best Home Building, Remodeling and Design Professionals in North America and Around the World for the Houzz Awards 2017.

[Pickering, Canada]February 2, 2017 – Paul Lafrance Design of Pickering, Ontario has won “Best Of Design” on Houzz®, the leading platform for home remodeling and design. The whole-home design firm, founded in 1997 by television host Paul Lafrance, was chosen by the more than 40 million monthly unique users that comprise the Houzz community from among more than one million active home building, remodeling and design industry professionals.

The Best Of Houzz is awarded annually in three categories: Design, Customer Service and Photography. Design award winners’ work was the most popular among the more than 40 million monthly users on Houzz. Customer Service honors are based on several factors, including the number and quality of client reviews a professional received in 2016. Architecture and interior design photographers whose images were most popular are recognized with the Photography award. A “Best Of Houzz 2017” badge will appear on winners’ profiles, as a sign of  their commitment to excellence. These badges help homeowners identify popular and top-rated home professionals in every metro area on Houzz.

Paul Lafrance Design was born from my dream of creating whole-home transformations that buck the trend. We don’t just think outside of the box, we dismantle it completely! The end result are designs that stand the test of time because each one is unique to the homeowners they were created for,” says founder Paul Lafrance. “We’re honoured that the Houzz community has once again voted us ‘Best of Houzz’!”

 “We’re so pleased to award Best of Houzz 2017 to this incredible group of talented and customer-focused professionals, including Paul Lafrance Design,” said Liza Hausman, vice president of Industry Marketing for Houzz. “Each of these businesses was singled out for recognition by our community of homeowners and design enthusiasts for helping to turn their home improvement dreams into reality.”

 

About Paul Lafrance Design
Paul Lafrance Design, founded as Cutting Edge Construction & Design in 1997, is a home improvement design firm operating in the Greater Toronto Area. To date, they have had a hand in over a thousand projects and show no signs of slowing down. From outdoor living-space design to interior design and custom furniture, they design for homeowners all over the world. For more information, visit www.PaulLafranceDesign.com.

About Houzz
Houzz is the leading platform for home remodeling and design, providing people with everything they need to improve their homes from start to finish – online or from a mobile device. From decorating a small room to building a custom home and everything in between, Houzz connects millions of homeowners, home design enthusiasts and home improvement professionals across the country and around the world. With the largest residential design database in the world and a vibrant community empowered by technology, Houzz is the easiest way for people to find inspiration, get advice, buy products and hire the professionals they need to help turn their ideas into reality. Headquartered in Palo Alto, CA, Houzz also has international offices in London, Berlin, Sydney, Moscow and Tokyo. Houzz and the Houzz logo are registered trademarks of Houzz Inc. worldwide. For more information, visit houzz.com.

Techno Metal Post vs Other Deck Footings Paul Lafrance Design Team - Brands We Trust

Techno Metal Post vs Other Deck Footings

I love helping people to revitalize their outdoor living spaces, and transform their back yards into safe havens that will be a relaxing retreat for many years to come.  An important part of that is using a solid foundation that’ll last the test of time, because even the most beautiful deck is only as strong as the foundation beneath it!  That’s why I recommend Techno Metal Post to all my clients.

_DSC4770Here’s a Techno Metal Post in a nutshell: A hollow galvanized steel tube tipped with a thick steel helix that is drilled straight down into the ground.  They’re installed by trained pros using specially designed hydraulic machinery which does the job without ripping up your yard, mixing messy concrete, or creating huge piles of dirt to deal with.

So how does Techno Metal Post compare to other deck footings?  Let’s take a look.

Tradtional concrete footings are tradition for a reason: They work.  But that doesn’t mean they’re efficient or ideal.  Old timey hand-cranked drills work too, but why use them when you have a faster and more efficient alternative?  Even in ideal conditions, concrete footings require that you dig a hole deep enough to safely support your deck structure, then keep water out of it while you wait for the inspector to sign off.  After that, you must haul heavy concrete, mix it up, pour into place, and round the top to ensure water won’t be able to pool on it once it’s dry.  Then, you have to pack up and wait for it to dry, which takes at least a day.  Only then can you drill & place your saddle to start building.  And that’s if the footings are straightforward!  Sometimes you need to use a bell pier, which requires even more time.  All of this can take days to prepare and install, so while concrete looks cheaper than Techno Metal Post on paper, the money you save in materials goes right back out in labour hours (and then some).  Using Techno Metal Post, even my largest projects take less than a day to install footings for, sometimes even less than an hour!  That means I waste no time getting right into framing, leaving me with tighter timeframes and faster builds.

Deck blocks – shaped concrete blocks that sit on top of the ground like feet – are occasionally selected for very small, very low decks.  If your yard is very flat, if your deck will be very small and close to the ground, and if you don’t mind your deck shifting with each freeze-thaw cycle, these can work.  However, their shortcomings are varied and numerous!  Because they sit on top of the ground, blocks have very little shear resistance, and any kind of slope in your yard will cause the structure to tilt over time.  Is your home new?  That’s a potential issue as well, because the recently disturbed soil is more prone to settling beneath the blocks and causing the deck to shift.  Their usage is also very limited, as these blocks simply cannot be safely used for any deck that is more than a step or two above ground level.  In windy areas, a deck supported on blocks can even achieve “lift off” and rise out of the footings!!  Altogether, a deck supported on blocks will not last long enough to pass down to your kids with the house, and its fast deterioration will negatively impact the value of your house if you sell.  Nobody wants to be saddled with a deck that needs to be replaced within a few years.  With Techno Metal Post, these issues simply don’t exist.  The installation technician uses readouts on the machine that tell them when the footing has reached a significant enough depth to support the load of the deck, and once these babies go in, they stay put.  Thanks to the specially designed green sleeve, even frost can’t grab a Techno Metal Post, which protects your deck from frost heave.  This is definitely the foundation you want to turn to if you view your outdoor living space as a long-term investment to be protected.

Ground Spikes are another option for smaller, low-to-the-ground decks.  They consist of a metal spike that is driven into the ground with brute force, such as with a sledgehammer or a jackhammer.  The better quality ones also use a flat plate at the surface which helps to better distribute weight, but they still rely on soil friction and not soil bearing to support the load.  Since they go into the ground, they provide better lateral strength than deck blocks, but are still vulnerable to heaving during the freeze/thaw cycle, and are again quite limited in their application.  You must keep your structure very close to the ground, and it must be freestanding and not attach to the house via a ledger board.  This means more footings and less options! Techno Metal Post is the clear winner here.  No matter how crazy (or tall!) my design gets, the footings will be up to the job .

_DSC4694That’s not all that puts Techno Metal Post in a class all its own.  Each and every installation comes with an engineering certification that guarantees each footing is installed correctly and to the depth required to bear its load.  Plus, Techno Metal Post is 100% CCMC (Canadian Construction Materials Centre) Approved, so you can rest easy knowing that your new deck will be strong and stable for many, many years to come.

Techno Metal Post vs Other Deck Footings

Till next time,
Paul Lafrance.

Awarded Best Of Houzz 2017 Paul Lafrance Design of Pickering, Ontario

Over 40 Million Monthly Unique Users Nominated Best Home Building, Remodeling and Design Professionals in North America and Around the World
[Pickering, Canada], February 2, 2017 – Paul Lafrance Design of Pickering, Ontario has won “Best Of Design” on Houzz®, the leading platform for home remodeling and design. The whole-home design firm, founded in 1997 by television host Paul Lafrance, was chosen by the more than 40 million monthly unique users that comprise the Houzz community from among more than one million active home building, remodeling and design industry professionals.

The Best Of Houzz is awarded annually in three categories: Design, Customer Service and Photography. Design award winners’ work was the most popular among the more than 40 million monthly users on Houzz. Customer Service honors are based on several factors, including the number and quality of client reviews a professional received in 2016. Architecture and interior design photographers whose images were most popular are recognized with the Photography award. A “Best Of Houzz 2017” badge will appear on winners’ profiles, as a sign of their commitment to excellence. These badges help homeowners identify popular and top-rated home professionals in every metro area on Houzz.

“Paul Lafrance Design was born from my dream of creating whole-home transformations that buck the trend. We don’t just think outside of the box, we dismantle it completely! The end result are designs that stand the test of time because each one is unique to the homeowners they were created for,” says founder Paul Lafrance. “We’re honoured that the Houzz community has once again voted us ‘Best of Houzz’!”

“We’re so pleased to award Best of Houzz 2017 to this incredible group of talented and customer-focused professionals, including Paul Lafrance Design,” said Liza Hausman, vice president of Industry Marketing for Houzz. “Each of these businesses was singled out for recognition by our community of homeowners and design enthusiasts for helping to turn their home improvement dreams into reality.”

Follow Paul Lafrance Design on Houzz

About Paul Lafrance Design
Paul Lafrance Design, founded as Cutting Edge Construction & Design in 1997, is a home improvement design firm operating in the Greater Toronto Area. To date, they have had a hand in over a thousand projects and show no signs of slowing down. From outdoor living-space design to interior design and custom furniture, they design for homeowners all over the world. For more information, visit www.PaulLafranceDesign.com.

About Houzz
Houzz is the leading platform for home remodeling and design, providing people with everything they need to improve their homes from start to finish – online or from a mobile device. From decorating a small room to building a custom home and everything in between, Houzz connects millions of homeowners, home design enthusiasts and home improvement professionals across the country and around the world. With the largest residential design database in the world and a vibrant community empowered by technology, Houzz is the easiest way for people to find inspiration, get advice, buy products and hire the professionals they need to help turn their ideas into reality. Headquartered in Palo Alto, CA, Houzz also has international offices in London, Berlin, Sydney, Moscow and Tokyo. Houzz and the Houzz logo are registered trademarks of Houzz Inc. worldwide. For more information, visit houzz.com.

Western Retail Lumber Association Buying Show 2016 Western Retail Lumber Association in Calgary

Western Retail Lumber Association Buying Show 2016

Hey Alberta ‘fan’mily,

Paul is coming to Calgary later this month for the Western Retail Lumber Association 2016 Buying Show!

He’ll be appearing at the Regal Ideas booth (#205) on Friday January 22nd.

Come on out to the show and say hi or contact us today!

Thank you to everyone who attended the 2016 Buying Show. We look forward to seeing you next year.

Contact Liz Kovach to book or for more 2019 Buying Show information at 1-800-661-0253 or LKovach@wrla.org.

Show and registration information will be updated to the website as details are confirmed.

Please keep checking the Yardstick, the Toolbox, and the WRLA website for more information.

WRLA Membership and Attendance lists are for Member Use Only and are avaialable upon request.
WRLA Member information is not distributed or sold to non-WRLA Members.

Galley Workstations – The Galley Collection® Paul Lafrance Design Team - Brands We Trust

Galley Workstations – Brands We Trust

The sink is the “hub” of the kitchen, but is it so often overlooked when renovating one of the most important rooms in the house. Why settle for a single-use sink when you could reinvent your kitchen with a Galley Workstations from The Galley. Paul chose one of the Galley Workstations for his own kitchen and would suggest them to anyone.

The Galley was created by a passionate kitchen designer and family cook who saw the potential in a workstation where all the prepping, serving, entertaining, and cleaning up could happen. Starting with a prototype in his own kitchen, Roger Shollmier (Inventor & Chief Designer) made that idea into a reality. The Galley Collection® is now available in 6 lengths to suit any size indoor or outdoor kitchen.

So much more than a sink, The Galley is a super-functional kitchen workstation. Every Galley Workstations comes with a well-appointed culinary kit that is available in your choice of white or black restaurant-quality resin, or Natural Bamboo. Culinary kits are comprised of cutting boards, colanders, bowls, and drain racks that fit into The Galley’s dual-tier system. They also offer an impressive selection of additional accessories to suit your every need, like the Condiment Serving Board, the Bottom Sink Divider and the Upper-tier Garnish Board to name a few.

So, if you are looking for a super-functional, smart and stylish focal point to amp up your kitchen, or you want to streamline your prep and cook time, check out The Galley website and pick the Galley Workstations that works best for you.

Be sure to come back next week for another ‘We <3 It!’ Wednesday. We will have more exceptional products and services coming your way. For our past favs check our recommended page for the best in the business. As always, if you have a product or service that you think we might like get in touch and tell us all about it.

Soothing Company Paul Lafrance Design Team - Brands We Trust

Soothing Company – Brands We Trust

After a long day nothing soothes the body and mind like the sound of a crackling fire, or the cascade of water as it falls. Unfortunately, both can be hard to come by at home, especially in the cold winter months. Which is why Paul likes to utilize the amazing water and fire features available from The Soothing Company in his designs.

Operating out of Camas, Washington, The Soothing Company has everything you need to create a relaxing environment both outside and inside of your home. They carry a large line of fountains, fireplaces, bean bag chairs, hammocks, outdoor art, and many other fine home and garden decor items.

Want to bring the ambience of water to your outdoor oasis? The Soothing Company has a great selection of outdoor water features, water walls, fountains and various other types available to choose from. But why stop there? While water walls are usually only associated with the outdoors, it doesn’t have to be that way with The Soothing Company’s vast range of beautifully crafted indoor waterfalls and water features. A unique and stunning option for an indoor water feature carried by The Soothing Company are the Art Wall Fountains. An Art Wall Fountain is a beautiful hand-painted masterpiece that provides a colorful landscape for a waterfall to flow down.

The Soothing Company also has a huge selection of indoor and outdoor fire features to add to the atmosphere of your room or outdoor space, and that is really only the tip of the iceberg of what they have to offer. The Soothing Company has every base covered when it comes to creating a relaxing and inviting space to call your own.

To bring that essential element of calm to your next reno or update, drop by The Soothing Company website and be amazed at how relaxing life could be. We will be back next week with another ‘We <3 It!’ Wednesday with more great products and companies to share with you.

Can wait that long? Head on over to our recommended page for the best in the business. We are always on the look-out for new products and services, so if you have one you think we might like, get in touch and tell us all about it!

Outdoor Lifestyle Magazine – Fall 2015 Edition Check out this excerpt for his super Canadian strategy on stretching out the summer for as long as possible.

Paul is happy to be contributing to Outdoor Lifestyle Magazine again for the Fall 2015 edition, take a peak here!

It’s that time of year again, where we Canadians enjoy the beautiful fall colours that herald the closing of summer.

Still, it’s a poor substitute for gorgeously warm summer weather and sunny days at the cottage!

Check out this excerpt for his super Canadian strategy on stretching out the summer for as long as possible.

See you on the deck!

Venture Games Paul Lafrance Design Team - Brands We Trust

Venture Games – Brands We Trust

Known for being one of the very best in the business, Venture Games creates traditional, pro level gaming tables that are as elegant as they are functional. Each table is created domestically — no outsourcing overseas labour — by master crafters armed with passionate dedication & years of experience, using top quality materials. A little bit like us! Clearly, Paul working with Venture was a match made in Heaven.

Every single Venture Games gaming table is a work of art, made to order according to the client’s choice of customizations, which can include finishes, leathers, details and hardwoods. They carry a full complement of accessories, too, including leather dust covers made to fit your table, brushes, lighting, score boards & more! Your brand new table will also come with your own table care kit, including all the liquid wax, silicone spray, and other products that’ll keep your table perfect for years to come. You can check out their website here!

Plus, Venture Games tables come in a variety of shapes, sizes and uses, from competition-sized shuffleboard tables to smaller versions that fit well in a compact family home. And not just shuffleboard! When we chose the Winston ping pong table for our project, we knew that not only would the homeowners receive an excellently crafted & attractive play surface, they’d also have a beautiful and functional table that looks perfectly at home regardless of its dual nature! Constructed of solid 1-3/4″ thick rock hard maple, this is one that they’ll be passing down to the kids (and their kids’ kids!). With gaming tables like these, you’ll be moving your gaming room out of your basement and making it part of your daily living.

Friendly, enthusiastic and with fantastic customer service, Venture Games is a company that Paul Lafrance Design is proud to count among our suppliers. See you next week for another ‘We <3 It!’ Wednesday feature!

Custom Built New Project Photos

Custom Built New Project Photos!

Good morning everyone! Feast your eyes upon brand new gallery images showcasing the projects unveiled in last night’s “Custom Built” episodes on HGTV Canada.

First off, a single mother of three had her dream come true when Paul and the crew created the kitchen that she’d saved up for 20 years. “The Breakfast Bar Kitchen” of course includes a full-service breakfast station to help this busy family start their day off right, a peninsula table, wide-open galley kitchen, and a solid hardwood dining table that doubles as a beautiful ping-pong table! For another client, they created a retro media center, with classic stylings and modern luxury.

Then, a couple undergoing a whole-whole renovation ran out of design steam when they reached their master bedroom. Paul & the crew came to the rescue with a cozy and luxurious at-home getaway that maximizes their space. Plus, “The Rain Shower Master Bedroom” adds a stunning private bathroom which will be a relaxing haven for years to come. With space-saving the name of the game, the crew also creates a convertible coffee / four person dining table with elegant flair.

Join us next week on Twitter to get in on the air time fun! Find us at PaulLafranceDES & watch out for hashtag #CustomBuilt.

  • The Breakfast Bar Kitchen
  • The Rain Shower Master Bedroom
  • Retro Media Center
  • Transforming Table

Custom Built The West Coast Room Season 1 Episode 8

The West Coast Room on Custom Built – Season 1 Episode 8

We’re back with more photos of the cool projects featured on last night’s new episodes of “Custom Built” that aired on HGTV Canada!

Starting at 10pm ET, Paul & the crew turned a small and cluttered family room into “The West Coast Room”, a bright and beautiful place of rest that maximizes the available space! Meanwhile, they created a stunning wine cabinet using character-filled barn doors and classic rustic styling.

Next came “The Map Mudroom”, a unique project for a family who just didn’t know where to start with their mudroom renovation. For this globetrotting couple, Paul chose a magnetized glass map of the world, where they could stick magnets to mark the destinations they’ve visited. The crew also re-purposed an antique piano from a heritage church, and transformed it into a quirky custom cocktail bar!

  • The West Coast Room
  • The Map Mudroom
  • Piano Cocktail Bar
  • Equestrian Wine Cabinet
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