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.

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.

Cyclone Range Hoods Inc. Paul Lafrance Design Team - Brands We Trust

Cyclone Range Hoods Inc. – Brands We Trust

We’ve all tried to rid our kitchens of that sticky film on our cabinets, or the smell of burnt food from the air. When updating your kitchen, the last thing you want is to have the same issues a couple of months later. The problem is in the air. Paul found the solution for his kitchen by effectively ventilating the air using a state-of-the-art Cyclone range hood.

Cyclone is a Canadian range hood and exhaust fan manufacturer, wholesaler, and retailer that was born out of the need for a more powerful kitchen ventilation system on the market. For twenty-five years Cyclone has grown and improved, fine-tuning their range hoods into the perfect fusion of performance and design. Their environmentally-friendly filter-less system uses less energy to remove more air than those with filters, and they have machine-washable parts that never need replacing.

Nothing gets rid of airborne contaminants, grease, and odours like a Cyclone range hood. With a wide variety of canopy and island range hoods, picking a ventilation system for your new kitchen renovation or update will be a breeze. Far from the traditional utilitarian range hoods, Cyclone’s products are expertly designed and engineered to blend in with your design, or become a stylish focal point, depending on style and needs.

You may not have given much thought to which range hood you will use, but after checking out the Cyclone Gallery we are sure you’ll be as blown away as we are by their incredible products.

Cyclone is one of our recommended companies, and you can find the rest of them over on our recommended page. Make sure to check out next week’s “We <3 It” Wednesday for more information and inspiration, and as always, we are looking for more great products and services, so be sure to get in touch if you have something new or exciting to share with us.

Mono Serra Group Paul Lafrance Design Team - Brands We Trust

Mono Serra Group – Brands We Trust

With so many flooring options out there, it can be overwhelming to narrow down which brand is the best for you. A company that Paul highly recommends is Mono Serra Group.

Mono Serra Group is a Montreal based flooring company that specializes in the manufacturing, distribution and wholesale of quality floor coverings, including ceramic and porcelain tiles, laminates and hardwood flooring. Far from being limited to only one type of flooring, Mono Serra Group started out specializing in ceramics, but they have spent the last 20 years building and growing, and today they offer top quality products in all flooring categories–including a collaboration with Ceramiche Serra S.p.A., which enables Mono Serra Group to provide North American customers and business partners with quality Italian tiles at highly affordable prices.

Mono Serra Group have set themselves apart with their elegant and stylish designs and affordable prices. With a wide variety of tile patterns, wood grains, finishes and colours, Mono Serra Group has the perfect product for every room in your house, as well as some terrific tiles for outdoors. On three of our recent jobs we have had the pleasure of installing their laminate and hardwood flooring, and both had exceptional quality and great value.

So, when building your next design from the ground up, make sure to check out the Mono Serra Group website for inspiration, and look for their logo when picking out flooring at your local big-box store or independent retailer.

Curious about what other brands and companies we use in our designs and projects? Check our recommended page! Next week for ‘We <3 It!’ Wednesday we will be featuring another great company, so be sure to check back. In the meantime, if you have a product or service that you think we might like, get in touch and tell us all about it.

Official Press Release 2016 The Deck Store & Paul Lafrance Design Join Forces

The Deck Store and Paul Lafrance Design join forces and are proud to announce an alliance commencing immediately.
Download the official press release, here.

The partnership will combine their respective design teams with The Deck Store being the exclusive supplier and installer for all outdoor living space projects. Paul Lafrance will continue to operate independently on private interior, commercial and celebrity projects. Terry Fangrad, CEO of The Deck Store and Paul Lafrance are two of a kind – brilliant designers who are fun loving, high energy, young minded, and eclectic with a vast knowledge of the industry. They are excited about this new venture as combined, they will be the premier deck design, supply and build company in Canada.

About The Deck Store
The Deck Store Inc is Canada’s Largest Decking Design, Build and Supply company with 6 locations in Ontario, Canada. They have over 30 years experience building custom, one-of-a-kind decks and the only company to offer up to a 25 year workmanship warranty. The Deck Store has designed and built over 10,000 decks and installed the very first composite deck in Canada. The owner, Terry, has been designing and building unique deck projects for over 25 years. His designs are known for their modern look, complete functionality, and space utilization. His homegrown company installers have been groomed to pay attention to the smallest of details. A Deck Store built deck is the pride of any customer choosing this elite company.

About Paul Lafrance Design
Paul Lafrance is the star host of HGTV’s hit shows “Decked Out”, Disaster Decks”, “Deck Wars”, and “Custom Built”. He is internationally known for his out of the box and one-of-a-kind designs. Since 1997, he has been designing and installing everything from groundbreaking backyard retreats, unique interior transformations, and commercial outdoor spaces, to furniture and custom built homes. He is known for his infectious energy, quick wit, and unapologetic rock star style. Paul’s ideas and designs are creative, unique, and unmatched in an industry that typically produces cookie cutter decks and boring outdoor spaces.

The Deck Store Inc.
454 South Service rd. W.
Oakville, ON
L6K 2H4
905-337-7707
sales@deckstore.ca
deckstore.ca

Paul Lafrance Design
1295 Wharf St. Unit #19
Pickering Ontario
L1W 1A2
416-971-3343
info@paullafrancedesign.com
paullafrancedesign.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!

Winter Design Special Package Give The Gift of Backyard Luxury! 

Winter Design Special – Give the gift of backyard luxury!

From now until December 31st 2015, we are offering a special deal on pricing for deck designs within our Toronto-based build area.

How does it work? When you schedule a Spring build for your new Paul Lafrance Design deck, we’ll match you to a Design Package that matches your budget and build cost estimate. You’ll pay upfront for your onsite consult, which will be deducted from the design fee. When you are ready to build in the spring, we’ll deduct the design fee from the cost to build your project (don’t worry, we’ll give you a cost breakdown to show this!)

With your design fee being returned to you in the build, this means you’ll be getting savings* of up to $5,000.00!

Not sure if you’re within our service area?
Give us a call (416) 971-3343 #6
Or, send us an email!

*Please note that you must proceed with your build in order to qualify for these savings.

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.

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.

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