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.

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!

Custom Built Season Two Custom Built Season Two Galley Update

Custom Built Season Two – Galley Update

Want to take a closer look at the cool projects that Paul and the crew created during this season of HGTV Canada’s Custom Built?
Look no further! We’ve got a bumper crop of all-new gallery photos for you to enjoy!

Check out the spectacular room renovations, from bathrooms to bedrooms to kitchens!

  • The Curved Glass Bathroom
  • The Big Beam Kitchen
  • The City Skyline Kitchen
  • The Gentleman’s Bar
  • The Big Family Basement
  • The Bright White Kitchen
  • The Lit Up Livingroom
  • The Wine Cellar Office
  • The Sliding Stage Theatre
  • The Art Table Kitchen
  • The Pizza Oven Kitchen
  • The Surf n Sport Basement
  • Live Edge Bar
  • Spaceship Loft Bed
  • Antique Radio Media Center
  • Medieval Armour Stands
  • Hideaway Change Table
  • British Pub Bar
  • Doggie Villa
  • Hideaway Play Room
  • East Coast Furniture
  • Curio Table
  • Community Artist Table
  • Firepit Family Picnic Table

Want a truly epic design or one-of-a-kind piece of furniture for your home?

Come on over to our contact page, and send us an email! We’d love to hear from you.

Talisman Mountain Inn CTV News - Work underway to restore the Talisman Resort

Talisman Resort — now Talisman Mountain Inn — was once a beloved ski resort that closed its doors in 2011. Now under new ownership, the resort is getting a top-to-bottom makeover, with design work by our very own Paul!

Have you heard the news? Paul Lafrance Design is very excited to be part of a spectacular rejuvenation project which will breathe new life into an old favourite Ontario getaway destination.

CTV News – Work underway to restore the Talisman Resort – September 17th 2015

Disaster Decks Season Finale HGTV Canada

Season Finale of Disaster Decks aired this week on HGTV Canada, and we have new gallery photos to share with you! What a ride: We met some quirky homeowners, built some fantastic backyard retreats, and left some newly-minted handymen ready to take care of their decks for years to come.

First up, when Jessica and Jeff moved into their beautiful new home, the only problem was the old unsafe deck that they inherited. A rebuild was required to keep their growing toddler safe, so Paul stepped in to lend a helping hand.

Next, Bryan and Sarah tried to remove their above-ground pool to refresh their yard, but the job was bigger than they thought and was left half-finished. After getting a helping hand, they’re the proud owners of the perfect deck to celebrate their wedding on!

And when Lida and Asad made their cry for help, Paul & the team arrived on the scene to find a decrepit deck that looked older than the century-old schoolhouse it was attached to! Now, the family of five will enjoy their outdoor oasis for years to come.

Finally, retirees Paul and Anne built their original deck thirty years ago, and weren’t up to the task of tearing it down to start fresh. Take a look at the beautiful outdoor oasis they can now look forward to spending their retirement on!

Thanks for enjoying the shows! Catch you later, and don’t forget to check us out on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest!

Custom Built The Blingy Bathroom Season 1 Episode 13

The Blingy Bathroom on Custom Built – Season 1 Episode 13

Chris and Irma have a dated and poorly functioning bathroom that they want to enlarge and re-style in a Parisian flair. Paul blings out their bathroom with Roman-style columns, a chandelier and heated floors, while giving Chris the massive shower he has always wanted and Irma a corner soaker tub. There is even a vintage style phone for Irma so she can talk to her friends while having a bath.

Brand New Project Photos – Last night’s new episodes of “Custom Built”, airing at 10pm ET on HGTV Canada, featured some of our coolest interior projects & custom furniture to date!

Up first, Paul and the crew took a tired and cramped old bathroom, and turned it into a luxurious and roomy Parisian retreat in “The Blingy Bathroom”, featuring Roman columns surrounding a roomy soaker tub and a jumbo separate shower. And in other projects, the team got back in touch with their tropical side to create an outdoor tiki bar!

Next up, you’ve heard of the man cave, but how about “The Lady Cove”? Paul & the crew created a peaceful haven for this homeowner to dance, read, and relax in a space all her own! Meanwhile, a music-lover with a fondness for classic flair tasked the crew with creating a colourful retro 50s diner with personalized style.

Watch out for hashtag #CustomBuilt next Tuesday at 10pm ET, when we’ll be tweeting live from @PaulLafranceDES!

Fisher Paykel Paul Lafrance Design Team - Brands We Trust

Fisher Paykel – Brands We Trust

Top quality appliances are vital assets that can improve every aspect of your life in the home, saving you vital time and energy, leaving you to relax and enjoy! When it comes to investing in your home with beautifying & modernizing renovations, you’ll also want to choose an appliance that complements and enhances your haven — not something you might want to hide away. For Paul Lafrance Design, that’s where Fisher Paykel comes in, with a huge variety of kitchen appliances to suit any wild & crazy design that Paul comes up with.

When it comes to cooking, every chef has their style and their favourite tools of the trade. Ultra-precise gas-burning cooktops? All set. Prefer versatile radiant heat? No problem! Stylish & speedy induction cooking? Fisher & Paykel has it all covered, with a variety of combinations in ranges, built-in ovens, cooking surfaces, and even microwave ovens! Plus, their high-tech cooling units — from full size stand-up refrigerators to compact drawer units — will keep your food (and favourite wines!) perfectly chilled and ready to go. Each unit comes equipped with highly sophisticated sensors which constantly track usage and temperature, and dynamically adjust fans & cooling to compensate, so their contents remain fresh & tasty. When you’re all done cooking, dining, entertaining, and showing off your awesomely appointed kitchen, the hidden dishwasher that’s concealed inside a drawer will take care of the mess. What a cool innovation! Paul can’t wait to see what Fisher & Paykel comes up with next so he can incorporate it into his latest reno.

Check out some of the slick applications where Paul Lafrance Design has installed top-of-the-line Fisher & Paykel appliances, including the ultra-slick pop-up gas cook surface & a gorgeous gas-powered stainless steel cook top! Want to find some other cool products or services used on the shows? Come on by our Friends page to check out some of the best in the business.

Custom Built The Onyx Backsplash Kitchen Season 1 Episode 2

The Onyx Backsplash Kitchen on Custom Built – Season 1 Episode 2

David and Laura’s home life revolves around cooking and entertaining in their kitchen. But with no counter space or room for their worldly wine collection, they must renovate their kitchen so they can host dinner parties in style. Paul completely guts the kitchen and changes the layout, giving them a central stove and a backlight stone onyx backsplash.

Been itching to get a closer look at the four projects revealed on HGTV Canada during last night’s episodes of “Custom Built”? Look no further!

Starting at 10pm ET, Paul & the crew renovated a tired old (and cold!) kitchen into a regal new space with plenty of cabinet space, state-of-the-art appliances, a stunning glass range hood, lots of spaces to store wine… and did we mention the glowing onyx backsplash? Oh yeah, there’s that too! Capping off “The Onyx Backsplash Kitchen” is a spooky zombie-themed vanity for a horror enthusiast couple!

Next is one of Paul’s favourite projects, a safe haven for a family who opens their home to foster kids in need. “The Movie Theatre Room” is a fun-for-all-ages, glitzy space for kids to call their own, creating a room for hanging out, watching movies, and sleeping comfortably at the end of a long day. Plus, the crew created a quirky bench for a couple of musicians in need of a place to store their many guitars!

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

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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