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.

NatureKast Weatherproof Cabinetry Paul Lafrance Design Team - Brands We Trust

Anyone who’s seen me at work knows that I’m always on the lookout for the next great thing in outdoor living, and let me tell you, a gorgeous low-maintenance outdoor kitchen that doesn’t LOOK low-maintenance is it! As someone who doesn’t have a lot of time to spend refinishing natural wood (who does?!), NatureKast was love at first sight for me.

Picture, if you will, a luxury outdoor kitchen with all the fixings. Beautiful woodgrain texture, rich colour, waterproof cabinets, and a dazzling array of custom inserts & modular conveniences! Now, take away the time and cost of maintaining it and protecting it from the elements. What you have is a game changer! It’s not easy for a company to make one of my wildest design dreams a reality, but NatureKast passes the test with flying colours.

So what’s the story? NatureKast is the brain child of Mike Moras, who had become frustrated with the limitations that come with using natural wood in an outdoor setting. After seeing realistic “stone” panels created using resin and PVC plastics, he got an idea for making moulds from natural wood cabinets. Once Mike had perfected the process, NatureKast was born!

NatureKast has been running out of Ontario since 2015, when a team of Canadian distributors purchased it & moved operations from Florida. From there, they were able to hugely expand their line and offer near-infinite design possibilities for any application you could dream of.

I just love getting to work with local Canadian companies such as NatureKast Weatherproof Cabinetry. There’s a sense of camaraderie and pride that’s hard to find anywhere else. These guys really know what they’re doing and have such incredible passion and energy for their product. I can’t wait to see how they tackle some of my more outlandish requests.

Till next time,

Paul Lafrance

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.

Paul Lafrance at Jill of All Trades 2016 Conestoga College

The Jill of All Trades 2016 show, held at Conestoga College, Paul Lafrance, host of HGTV’s Decked Out, Disaster Decks and Deck Wars was the keynote speaker during the opening ceremonies. He told the students they have a unique edge over their male counterparts, but they need to use it effectively. Paul continues to encourages all women to pursue their dreams in skilled trades.

Learn more about Paul Lafrance and his upcoming events, contact us today!

Jill of All Trades offers a full day of hands-on workshops led by female mentors designed to help young women develop a better understanding of the potential of skilled trades careers.

Jill of All Trades is open to high school students.

This year’s keynote will be delivered by Paul Lafrance, star of HGTV’S Decked Out, Disaster Decks, Deck Wars, and Canada’s Handyman Challenge.

Additional highlights will include information booths, facility tours, guest speakers and mentorship opportunities.

Time: 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM

Location: Conestoga College, Cambridge Campus, 850 Fountain St. South

To Register: Please contact Rosanne Hessian at 519-748-5220 ext. 2429.

Message from Paul Lafrance Spring 2016

Message from Paul Lafrance;

Dear ‘fan’mily!

I’m so relieved Spring is finally HERE! As much as I love Christmas time, fireplaces, and the look of the winter sun shining off of trees and fields covered in ice, I’m happy to let it go in favour of warmer weather and being able to run outside without first donning my parka. I wear flip flops in the winter out of sheer rebellion!

At Paul Lafrance Design, we’ve been busily expanding, forging new relationships, and creating crazy projects that I can’t wait for you all to see! We’ve partnered with some truly remarkable companies that are on the cutting edge of the design industry, creating everything from state of the art glass railings, to corkscrew metal footings that replace traditional concrete ones, to incredible wall and ceiling treatments that make my job all that much more fun!

We’ve also formed an alliance with an amazing deck company called, fittingly, The Deck Store. The Deck Store, owned by Terry Fangrad, has got six design centres in Ontario (so far), and offers both stellar workmanship and customer service. We are now working with them, hand-in-hand, to install Paul Lafrance Designs all across the province.

With warm weather upon us (did I mention how happy that makes me?) we are getting booked up quickly with new designs for folks all across the country and in the United States. If you’ve ever watched any of my shows (Decked Out, Disaster Decks, Custom Built, etc.) you’ll know that we come up with some pretty spectacular stuff (if I do say so myself!). What you might not have known is that we design custom outdoor living spaces and interior renovations for people internationally. If you’ve ever wondered what we could come up with for your backyard or any room in your house, give us a shout. We’d love to dream up something extraordinary with you.

Your trusted messenger,
Paul Lafrance.

The Houzz Awards 2016 “Best of Design” & "Best of Houzz"

Houzz Awards 2016 –  Awarded to Paul Lafrance Design of Toronto

Over 35 Million Monthly Unique Users Nominated Best Home Building, Remodeling and Design Professionals in North America and Around the World.

Toronto, Canada January 22, 2016 – Paul Lafrance Design of Toronto, Ontario has won “Best Of Design” & “Best Of Customer Service” on Houzz®, the leading platform for home remodeling and design. The unique and cutting-edge design & build firm was chosen by the more than 35 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 35 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 2015. Architecture and interior design photographers whose images were most popular are recognized with the Photography award. A “Best Of Houzz 2016” 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.

“At my company, we are always pushing for excellence in bringing an amazing experience to our clients,” says founder & HGTV Canada host Paul Lafrance. “This is the second year in a row that we’ve taken home “Best of Design” and “Best of Customer Service” and I could not be more proud of my team.”

“Anyone building, remodeling or decorating looks to Houzz for the most talented and service-oriented professionals” said Liza Hausman, vice president of Industry Marketing for Houzz. “We’re so pleased to recognize Paul Lafrance Design, voted one of our “Best Of Houzz” professionals by our enormous community of homeowners and design enthusiasts actively remodeling and decorating their homes.”

Follow Paul Lafrance Design on Houzz!

About Paul Lafrance Design
Formerly Cutting Edge Construction and Design, Paul Lafrance Design was founded in 1997 by Paul Lafrance, host of HGTV Canada’s hit shows “Decked Out”, “Disaster Decks”, “Deck Wars” and “Custom Built”. In that time, the company has expanded from designing and installing backyard decks to creating unique whole-home transformations, one-of-a-kind furniture, and commercial outdoor spaces, both on camera and off. Paul’s creative ideas and internationally recognized designs are unique and unmatched in an industry that often produces cookie cutter decks and boring outdoor spaces. For more information, contact Paul today!

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.

Owning an Indoor Gas Fireplace 10 Things You Need to Know Before You Buy

Are you on the market to buy an indoor gas fireplace?

You are not alone. Indoor gas fireplaces are now listed as one of the top amenities for homeowners who want to give their safe havens that extra special touch – a nice blend of coziness and warmth. In fact, according to the National Association of Home Builders, indoor gas fireplaces come in second behind decks, outdoor patios and porches. They look nice, are great on the energy-efficiency front and homeowners enjoy them since they are less messy than wood fireplaces.

Sure, there was once a time when indoor gas fireplaces were expensive and a luxury only richer folks could enjoy. However, times have changed – you can now get one without breaking the bank. In fact, indoor gas fireplaces retail for as little as $400.

Paul Lafrance, CEO of Cutting Edge Construction and Design and HGTV star of Disaster Decks, Decked Out and Custom Built, gave HOSS 10 factors homeowners need to consider before purchasing an indoor gas fireplace.

Decide why you want one. “This is a very important question every homeowner needs to ask before making their purchase,” explains Lafrance. “Do you want to buy one for heating purposes? Or do you want one to enhance the look and feel of a room? Or perhaps it’s a combination of both? Once you know exactly what you want your fireplace for, then this will quickly narrow your search.”

Know it should only heat one room. “Some people who are on the hunt for a gas fireplace want one to heat more than one room in order to save on heating costs, but this is a real no-no,” says Lafrance. “When you try and save on heating costs this way, it means that the room your fireplace is in will be overheated and you will instead end up keeping it off most of the time.”

Utilize new technology. When it comes to heating efficiency, Lafrance suggests homeowners use a thermostat-controlled, self-modulated fireplace. “This technology allows your fireplace to go up and down while maintaining the right room temperature you want,” he says.

Take your time. Lafrance indicates that there are many styles of indoor gas fireplaces: standard, island, peninsula, island, see-thru, open-end/corner and contemporary. “Pick a style that suits the room you are working with,” he says. “Shop around and see what’s out there, and once you discover that perfect fireplace, then you will know that it’s just right for your space.”

Match the trim with your home decor. Once you know what kind of indoor gas fireplace you want, the next step is to select the styles of trim available. “Trim is important as it accents both your fireplace and the theme of your room,” says Lafrance.

Turn it off. It is one thing to see your fireplace turned on, and it’s another to see it when it’s off, says Lafrance. “When it’s turned off, does it still look like it brings life to your room? This is a question you need to ask yourself before selecting your indoor fireplace.”

Decide on the fan. Lafrance says that the most efficient fireplaces do not have a fan to move hot air around a room. “Fans do not really improve heating up a room, and they tend to be noisy, so keep this in mind,” he says. “If you do have a fan included with your fireplace, then make sure it has its own control (up, down and off) and use when needed.”

Give your logs room to breathe. “When picking a log set, make sure it looks right for your room, and more importantly ensure there is good enough space around the log set so that the unit’s valve won’t overheat,” says Lafrance, adding, “Log sets are not the only option for gas fireplaces anymore and there are many other different options that will also give you that contemporary look.”

Decide on switch, remote or thermostat. Knowing how you will operate your fireplace is also an important question you need to ask yourself, according to Lafrance. “Will you control it through a wall switch, a thermostat or through a remote control?” There are many options, but knowing which one to go with first will also help you in selecting the right fireplace,” he says.

Know the BTU (British Thermal Units) calculation. Lafrance indicates that anyone who wants to purchase an indoor gas fireplace needs to know how much heat it will let off. “You need to know the right BTU calculation that suits your room,” he says. “You don’t want a small room to have too much heat, and you don’t want a big room to not have enough heat. In order to know the BTU calculation for your fireplace and how energy-efficient it will be for your space, consult with a professional,” says Lafrance. “A classic mistake homeowners make is buying based on flame height impressiveness, and this is what will leave you stripped down in your ‘Underoos’ within 10 minutes of turning your fireplace on if you don’t understand BTUs.”

Want to ask the Paul Lafrance Team a burning question? Contact us today!

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.

WALLdesign by MURdesign Paul Lafrance Design Team - Brands We Trust

WALLdesign & MURdesign – Brands We Trust

Walls are the backdrop and foundation of any interior design, but sometimes even when using the right colours the room can be left feeling flat. Paul has found that the decorative panels from WALLdesign add dimension and texture to help bring those walls to life.

WALLdesign, also known as MURdesign, is a Canadian company based out of Québec that is changing the way we look at wall paneling. WALLdesign panels are textured panels that are installed over the drywall to add contemporary, rustic or classic character to your space. This eco-friendly company uses 100% recycled wood and non-VOC paint for their primed or specialty finished panels.

Offering a wide variety of styles and textures in both full and half-wall panels, WALLdesign has made it easy to find just the right finish to enhance your design. The easy to install panels give the instant look of concrete, barn board, tile, stone, layered wood, wainscoting or even a contemporary waved surface. What better way to bring your modern country space to another level, than with a rustic wood-plank feature wall? The 468 planking collection by WALLdesign comes in three colours and sizes to complement your design.

Whether you are looking for the classic feel of a unique full or half-wall wainscoting, or the edgy modern vibe of a concrete feature wall, WALLdesign has the perfect panels to complete your space. Check out their website to see all they have to offer or their great gallery for inspiration. WALLdesign also has an app for iPhone and Android so you can visualize your project in real time. You can find it here.

Want to know about more of our favourite products? Check our recommended page! We hope to see you again next week for another ‘We <3 It!’ Wednesday. If you have a product or service that you think we might like get in touch and tell us all about it.

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