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.

DesignerStone Panels Paul Lafrance Design Team - Brands We Trust

DesignerStone Panels – Brands We Trust

DesignerStone Panels are made up of a front layer of thinly cut real stone (granite, travertine, onyx or marble) adhered to an unique backing which is then engineered using the most modern patented technology to create an extremely strong and light weight stone faced structure. The result is a natural stone panel that is stronger and much lighter than traditional large slabs of the same stone, making them much easier to transport and install.

Natural stone can bring elegance and flair to any space, but it isn’t always the easiest material to work with. That’s why Paul was thrilled to find DesignerStone® Panels. Their lightweight stone panels are a great alternative to traditional stone slabs.

One of Paul’s favourite features of DesignerStone® Panels is their ability to be back-lit. Why not flip a switch and take an already beautiful onyx backsplash and bring it to life with light? When using the translucent or opaque panels you are able to incorporate lighting into your feature wall, bar-top, backsplash, outdoor screen, tub enclosure, or any other element you want to highlight – the applications are endless.

Want to upgrade your shower or bath enclosure without the mess or hassle of installing marble tiles? DesignerStone® Panels are waterproof, groutless, and can be installed over existing tiles. No CNC machine or bridge saw required–in most cases panels can be cut onsite with portable tools, and by using full panels (vs tiling) you can really show off the beauty of the natural stone.

Paul Lafrance Design has incorporated DesignerStone® Panels into many bathrooms, kitchens, bars, and outdoor spaces and are always looking for new ways to use this innovative product. Check out their website before your next reno, and don’t forget that we’re always looking for cool new products to try, so get in touch and give us the scoop on your company.

Great Canadian Cookbook Fall 2015 Macaroni and Cheese with Paul Lafrance

Great Canadian Cookbook Fall 2015

Our fearless leader Paul Lafrance has added a new title to his resumé: Chef!

Check out his appearance on Food Network Canada’s Great Canadian Cookbook with Chef Lynn as they recreate a truly classic Canadian dish.
They’ll kick up macaroni and cheese with some delicious Canadian-made artisanal cheeses…yum!

Food Network Canada – Great Canadian Cookbook, Macaroni and Cheese with Paul Lafrance – October 6th, 2015

Outdoor Lifestyle Magazine Spring & Summer 2015 Edition

Hey, deck & landscape fans! We have an excerpt from the fabulous Outdoor Lifestyle Magazine Spring/Summer 2015 edition for you today.

In this edition, Paul Lefrance talks about one of his most beloved projects from HGTV Canada’s Decked Out, a compact project styled like a Miami club lounge.

Check out the article for Paul’s thoughts on not just designing out of the box, but breaking it entirely!

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!

Disaster Decks New Project Photos Tuesday nights at 9pm e/p on HGTV Canada

New Project Photos on Disaster Decks – Did you enjoy yesterday’s double feature of all-new “Disaster Decks“? Airing Tuesday nights at 9pm e/p on HGTV Canada, we’re delighted to be unveiling decking projects once again!

We started off with Karen and Justin, whose sprawling, rotting deck was both an eyesore and a hazard for their growing family. Paul and the crew were there to give them a helping hand…and teach dentist Justin a thing or two about a different kind of drill!

Next, Lori and Tim’s deck was being eaten by an overgrown privacy shrub, and falling apart at its ant-infested seams. Zip ties and duct tape repairs? Say it ain’t so!

Check out our gallery updates and tune in again next Tuesday at 9pm e/p on HGTV Canada. Plus, watch for watch for @PaulLafranceDES on Twitter, and hashtag #DisasterDecks!

  • Karen and Justin’s Deck
  • Lori and Tim’s Deck

Disaster Decks – Spring Finally Sprung! Season 3 Premiered Last Night at 9pm e/p

Season 3 Premier – Spring Finally Sprung on Disaster Decks, oh boy! Disaster Decks is back on HGTV Canada with an all-new season, which means spring is here at last! Season 3 premiered last night at 9pm e/p with two all-new episodes, followed by the finale of Custom Built at 10pm.

First up, David and M.C. had a rotting, incomplete deck/outdoor man cave. With no deck on the second floor of the home, the couple was forced to block the door with furniture to keep anyone from falling out! Fortunately, Paul & the crew came to the rescue.

Next, Alain and Denise were in serious need of a rebuild for their disintegrating deck. Rather than waiting around for a guest to fall through, they called in Paul Lafrance. Now, they have a classy private retreat they’ll enjoy for years to come!

Moving indoors, Paul & the crew tackled a unique challenge; bringing together and harmonizing the passions of a zen-loving yoga enthusiast, and a hunter who loves serving up fresh game! Result? The Hunter Yoga Kitchen!

Finally, Custom Built wraps up the season with The Swivel Television Room, in which Paul livens up a tired and disorganized living room with a show-stopping new centerpiece! A swiveling jumbo TV mount that can be viewed from either the kitchen or the living room, above a beautiful eco-friendly two way fireplace.

Next Tuesday, join us on Twitter starting at 9pm e/p, and watch for @PaulLafranceDES and hashtag #DisasterDecks!

  • The Hunter Yoga Kitchen
  • The Swivel Television Room
  • Music Stand
  • Community Table
  • David and MC’s Deck
  • Denise and Alain’s Deck

Tiki Escapes Tropical Paul Lafrance Design Team - Brands We Trust

Tiki Escapes Tropical – Brands We Trust

Lazy vacation days, sweet summer sunlight, cool drinks, and a tropical breeze rustling through thatch roofing overhead. To get there, usually you need to deal with frenetic airports, crowded flights and last-minute vacation complications! Wouldn’t it be great to leave the stress out of the equation, and take that tropical destination paradise home with you? Paul thinks so, and that’s why he loves working with Tiki Escapes Tropical!

Founded and operated locally in Ontario by talented and passionate craftspeople, Tiki Escapes Tropical works with a fine eye for design and sturdy materials. Every detail is covered, from thatch tiki huts, tropical palapa umbrella kits, and even a variety of faux palm trees with hidden features! With a variety of customization options, they’ll help you achieve your dreams of a unique at-home vacation right in your own yard (or even home!). When the weekend begins, just step into your personal tropical paradise and let it all go. Who needs a long, stressful trip?

Your new at-home tropical vacation won’t fall apart on you, either. Tiki Escapes Tropical is very familiar with the rigors of Canadian weather, and create their products with pride to endure the craziest wind and rain! Each product is crafted with dedication and love, from the sturdy solid cedar support poles to the hand-woven palm fronds that create cooling shelter overhead. Rain or shine, your investment will be built to last for years to come.

For your next tropical-themed expansion, be sure to check out Tiki Escapes Tropical for the perfect accent features and customized structures. And don’t forget that we’re always looking for cool new products to try, so get in touch and give us the scoop on your company. Between his shows “Custom Built” and “Disaster Decks”, Paul is on the lookout for materials for every type of project!

We can’t wait to hear from you.

Houzz Awards 2015 “Best of Design” & "Best of Houzz"

Houzz Awards 2015 –  Awarded to Paul Lafrance Design of Toronto

Paul Lafrance Design of Greater Toronto Area Receives Best Of Houzz 2015 Award

Over 25 Million Monthly Unique Users Rated Top-Rated Home Building, Remodeling and Design Professionals in Canada and Around the World

PICKERING, Canada, February 4, 2015 – Paul Lafrance Design of Pickering, Ontario has been awarded “Best Of Houzz” for Design & Customer Satisfaction by Houzz, the leading platform for home remodeling and design. The custom design & build firm founded by home renovation expert Paul Lafrance was chosen by the more than 25 million monthly unique users that comprise the Houzz community from among more than 500,000 active home building, remodeling and design industry professionals.

The Best Of Houzz award is given in two categories: Design and Customer Satisfaction. Design award winners’ work was the most popular among the more than 25 million monthly users on Houzz, known as “Houzzers.” Customer Satisfaction honors are determined by a variety of factors, including the number and quality of client reviews a professional received in 2014. Winners will receive a “Best Of Houzz 2015” badge on their profiles, helping Houzz users around the world who discover and love a professional’s work to learn even more about that business’ popularity and satisfaction rating among their peers in the Houzz community.

“Our mission is to create beauty in our clients’ everyday lives, and provide for them a place of rest where they can let go of the day’s stress,” says Paul Lafrance. “We’re proud that our work has earned this recognition & incredibly grateful to our fans on Houzz for casting their votes.”

“Houzz provides homeowners with a 360 degree view of home building, remodeling and design industry professionals, empowering them to engage the right people and products for their project,” said Liza Hausman, vice president of industry marketing for Houzz. “We’re delighted to recognize Paul Lafrance Design among our “Best Of” professionals as judged by our community of homeowners and design enthusiasts who are actively remodeling and decorating their homes.”

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 & build 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. Having started out with a primary focus on Outdoor Living-space design, they have since expanded their scope and expertise to include interior design, construction, and custom furniture. They design internationally for homeowners all across North America and will bring your design dreams to life. 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 room to building a custom home, 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 powered by social tools, 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 and Sydney. For more information, visit www.houzz.com.

Decked Out Season Four The Privacy Deck & The Stainless Mesh Deck

Decked Out Season Four – The Privacy Deck & The Stainless Mesh Deck

We’d like to invite you to come on by our gallery for a closer look at the final two projects of season 4 of “Decked Out“! On these projects, Paul put some cool new materials to the test to create stunningly unique outdoor spaces.

“The Privacy Deck” features arched polycarbonate coverings that provide shade and shelter but let in lots and lots of light for a bright and welcoming oasis. Plus, cool motorized bug screening on the lower level lets the homeowners choose their level of exposure at the touch of a button!

And living up to its name, “The Stainless Mesh Deck” features lots of gorgeous custom woven steel mesh! Privacy screens, pergolas, and even furniture. How comfortable can steel be? As it turns out: Pretty darn comfortable!

Miss an episode and want to get caught up on “Decked Out“? Or just have a favourite project you’d like to see again? Visit HGTV.ca to stream episodes on demand. Enjoy!

  • The Privacy Deck
  • The Stainless Mesh Deck
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