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.

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.

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.

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

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.

Soothing Company Paul Lafrance Design Team - Brands We Trust

Soothing Company – Brands We Trust

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

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

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

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

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

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

National Forest Products Paul Lafrance Design Team - Brands We Trust

Tiki Escapes Tropical – National Forest Products

Using cedar posts to create that essential third dimension can improve many an outdoor design, but years of Canadian winters have taught us that not all posts are created equal. Many warp or split, and still more arrive in less than favourable condition. Thankfully, Paul has found a great company that stakes its reputation on the quality of their lumber, National Forest Products.

National Forest Products is a distributor, wholesaler and broker of high quality softwood lumber products, with facilities across Canada and North-Eastern USA. Whether you are looking for Pinnacle grade solid cedar or the revolutionary hollow core engineered QuattroPosts, National Forest Products has proven that they are a reliable source with quality product and exceptional customer service. They also have a strong commitment to the environment, and always endeavor to sell softwood lumber that has been grown and produced under controlled sustainable forest programs.

We can definitely attest to to the caliber of National Forest Products’ cedar lumber, but the product Paul has been the most impressed with is QuattroPost. These primed or natural finish hollow core engineered posts virtually eliminate shrinking, warping and splitting. QuattroPost’s hollow core is perfect for safely installing lighting to your deck or porch while hiding away the clutter of wires. QuattroPosts are lightweight and easy to install but they are also certified structural and can be used as an architectural element for your home. National Forest Products stands behind the quality and customer satisfaction of all of their lumber and every QuattroPost is 100% guaranteed, every time.

If you are looking to save yourself the time and hassle of returning ugly timbers, or you want the versatility and resilience of products like QuattroPost you should head on over to the National Forest Products website and see what they have to offer and where you can find them.

Check in next week for another ‘We <3 It!’ Wednesday for more exceptional products and services, or head on over to our recommended page for the best in the business. Do you have a product or service that you think we might like? We are always on the look-out, so get in touch and tell us all about it.

CGC Incorporated Paul Lafrance Design Team - Brands We Trust

CGC Incorporated – Brands We Trust

There are many elements that have to come together to create the perfect custom space, but for a quality finish you have to start with a quality foundation. Paul is a huge fan of using CGC Inc. Backerboard and Underlayment to set the stage for his designs to unfold.

CGC Inc. is a leading marketer, manufacturer and distributor of gypsum wallboard products, interior finishing materials, as well as suspended acoustical ceilings in Canada. Their products are easy to use, versatile, and have superior tile-holding strength, enabling you to unleash your creative side and be confident that your space will continue to impress for years to come.

Paul has used CGC Inc.’s backerboard in bathroom and kitchen renovations and their self-leveling underlayment in basement renovations and has nothing but good things to say about them. The backerboard panels are strong and durable and deliver high-performance water- and mold-resistant protection, and the DUROCK™ self-leveling underlayments offer superior strength and durability when installing tile or when used as a finished flooring. With other great products, like the CGC DUROCK™ Shower System–a fully bonded waterproofing system for tiled showers installations, designed to control moisture independently of the tile covering, while creating a solid base for a long-lasting shower–CGC Inc. is a company that Paul Lafrance Design is happy to recommend and will continue to work with in the future.

It’s what’s underneath that helps ensure your renovation stands the test of time. You may have picked out the perfect tile for a shower, or flooring for your basement, but before you can install it, make sure that you check out all of the great products CGC Inc on their website and find out has to get you started the right way.

Check in next week for another ‘We <3 It!’ Wednesday for more exceptional products and services, or head on over to our recommended page for the best in the business. If you have a product that will blow us away, get in touch and give us the low-down on your company.

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