The economy is good, providing a rich environment for entrepreneurs. Ontario is a mecca for the entrepreneurial spirit, and if you are considering going into business for yourself, buying a franchise within the province of Ontario could be a great place to start.
Nothing truly great comes without risk and going into business for yourself is no exception. Being an employee certainly has its advantages – a steady paycheck, job security and compensation packages. What a 9 to 5 job won’t get you is freedom.
Working for yourself will bring you autonomy. How well you do and how much money you make will greatly depend on your abilities and work ethic. For anyone who is hardworking and driven, owning their own business might be a great idea. Owning a franchise will enable you to go into business for yourself without as much risk or upfront investment.
Buying a Franchise
Buying into an established franchised business is a great way to get started in being your own boss. Your typical franchise agreement will include a buy-in fee that will, in turn, provide you with startup support. Long term, the franchise fees that you pay will provide you with use of an established name and brand, the buying power that comes from being part of a bigger company and ongoing support.
Every franchise company in the province of Ontario will have different agreements and different fees. If you are looking to investigate further the idea of owning your own franchised business, there are many ways to collect the information needed to make your decision. To start, begin gathering general info about franchising in the province of Ontario. Know your rights and obligations. Definitely ensure your finances are in order. There will no doubt be some kind of financial commitment up front once you’ve decided on a franchise. If you’ve decided that owning a franchise is the way to go, begin assessing your strengths and passions. What is it that you want to make a living doing? Sometimes this question is easy to answer. For others, a little soul searching may be needed.
Making the Decision
You’ve decided to take the plunge. Your notice has been given, you know where your future lies. Now you need to choose your investment. There is loads of information online about franchising in Ontario. Visit your local franchise shows. Here you will be able to learn a little about many businesses in one day. Sit down with CEO’s, work at getting more detailed information about each of the strong contenders. At this point, it’s wise to narrow it down to a couple of prospects. Ask loads of questions and ask to speak with fellow franchise owners. Consider the stability of the company. How long has it been in business?
Going into business for yourself regardless of the thriving business environment that Ontario provides, can be scary. Investing in a franchised business can provide an easier ride into entrepreneurship. Franchising in Ontario is not a sure bet but a good one that can help you end the 9 to 5 grind and have you enjoying the freedom that working for yourself can bring.
For many, Vaughan is the place they call home. If you’re planning to visit Vaughan this fall, you will soon find all the reasons why this part of the municipality of York continues to grow and prosper. The municipality of Vaughan was established in 1996 and in its first decade, doubled its population. Vaughan is now the fifth largest city in the greater Toronto area. In 1846, the whole of the Township was primarily agricultural and only had a population of 4,300. There were six grist mills and 25 saw mills. By 1936, there were still only 4,873 residents. Today, Vaughan is home to more than 300,000 people. Whether you’re planning to drive through Vaughan or plan to stay, there are loads of attractions that will keep you coming back.
Perfect for those thrill seekers, Canada’s Wonderland won’t disappoint. Vaughan is home to the 330 acre Canada’s Wonderland. This famous national amusement park opened in 1981 and Canada’s Wonderland soon became and remains the nations’ largest amusement park featuring more than 70 rides. In 2017, Canada’s Wonderland was the most visited seasonal amusement park in North America with an estimated 3.76 million visitors.
Black Creek Pioneer Village
If history is your thing, Black Creek Pioneer Village is a great place to take the family. This village in Vaughan is set in the 1800′s and features costumed guides, artifacts, period buildings and educational programs. Black Creek Pioneer Village is open year round and 7 days a week. The Humber River runs through the City of Vaughan and provides a variety of activities for the family to enjoy all year long.
The Humber River is situated in the great lakes basin and is one of two major rivers that are situated on either side of Toronto. The Humber River is 100 km long and passes through many towns including Vaughan. The Humber river trails provide an opportunity to take in the spectacular views of Vaughan while getting those steps in at the same time.
Boyd Conservation Area
This land preserve is owned and operated by the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority in the city of Vaughan. This is popular space for runners and is home to the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations. In the summer, the reserve is a busy place for picnics and hikes and acts as a beautiful backdrop for many a photo shoot. Bird watching and nature hiking are popular as well as outdoor concerts and sporting events. A great gem of a space in the middle of Vaughan. Though part of the GTA, Vaughan presents with its own flavour, culture and picturesque landscape and is one of many great cities to the province of Ontario. Visit Vaughan today.
You’ve made the commitment, completed the design and put down your deposit. Your new deck is on the way. Much of the project is now out of your hands. There are, however, some things you can do to prepare for your upcoming build.
Know your timeline
Life happens and even while your deck is in construction, life must go on. Knowing when construction will begin and how long it will take to build will allow you to work around the project. There will be considerable mess and disruption to your outdoor space at the time of your build. Now is not the time to host a barbeque.
Prepare your space
If you are having a couple of carpenters in your backyard for any length of time, having a clean and organized workspace will only benefit your build. Your deck builder will be better able to work in your backyard if clutter is kept to a minimum. This includes cleaning up after your dog. If your builder has to constantly be watching his/her step, productivity is bound to be negatively affected.
Ensure that access to the job site is easy. There will be lots of movement going on during your build. Loads of materials will likely be passing through your yard. Create and maintain entrance to the construction site throughout the duration of your build.
Get finances in order
Your budget was set, you laid down a deposit for the deck of your dreams. Now is the time to make sure paying for the remainder of your deck won’t be a problem. Many will not be paying cash for a new deck. Whether it will be your bank account or your credit card that takes that hit, ensure you will be able to finish paying for your project. Construction will likely be interrupted if payments become a challenge. Nobody wants half a deck.
If you plan ahead and prepare ahead of time, you will aid your carpenter in making the construction of your new deck a complete success. Being prepared will also make you feel as though you are part of this success.
A new deck may be your ultimate goal but your budget may be in the way. There are loads of repairs that can be done that will give new life to your existing deck.
While some repairs can be quite costly, others might represent only a small investment. Consider some of these small repairs to spruce up your deck.
If your current deck has no skirt, consider adding some. A trip to the Deck Yard can set you up with enough material to close in your deck. Skirting not only provides a nice finish for your deck but can keep critters from making the underside of your deck home. Consider using a complementary material instead of trying to make a match. You may hit a sale while adding flair to that old deck.
Again, if your deck edges are not already trimmed, consider framing your deck with trim boards. A deck that is trimmed will have that finished look and look professionally designed. This add-on is both affordable and easy to install.
Replacing Boards and Hardware
Take a good look at your deck. Do you have boards popping, rotting, splintering or softening? Take a count of the boards that need to be replaced and head down to the Deck Yard. Take this opportunity to inspect your hardware. Galvanized steel hardware isn’t what it used to be. If your deck has rust, it can really take the shine off your deck. Consider stainless steel hardware. It looks nicer and lasts longer.
Wash and Seal
Even if your deck isn’t shiny and new, it doesn’t mean it can’t look shiny and new. A good clean will go along way. Take a before and after picture. You’ll be amazed at the difference. If your deck is made of wood, consider using a sealer after you wash it. A good sealer will protect your wood and give you more life out of your deck.
Sometimes the band-aid solution is the only solution. Consider your budget and decide on the actions you can take to make your deck a beautiful living space once again.
While in the planning process for a new deck you will likely have some ideas about what that deck will look like, But what will make your deck a quality one might not be as clear.
Look down. The foundation of your project can make or break the quality of your deck. Make sure that your new deck gets a good start with a great foundation.
Colour, design, size. These are all things you have control over when building that new deck but what elements do you look for in assuring your deck is stable, sturdy and long lasting? The following four factors are important to consider when choosing your contractor. While low-maintenance decking products have increased the lifespan of the average deck, insist on a foundation what won’t compromise that longevity.
Like your home, the foundation of your new deck is likely the most important part of the structure. There are many ways to lay the foundation of a deck, but many of those are not quality and won’t stand the test of time.
A deck built with posts directly on the ground or in the ground will always be a prey to frost and moisture. A foundation that is susceptible to all the earth has to offer. Mould and rot will not be far behind when the foundation of your deck lays in the ground.
A deck that sits on cement blocks is also at risk. The grade of your property can change. A deck that floats, is not the most stable structure, and will always fight to stay level.
If you are planning to have your deck installed with concrete footings, this will go along way in securing the foundation. Poured concrete footings go 4-5 feet into the ground, giving your new deck a substantially solid foundation. Though often messy and time-consuming, this is still a great way to anchor a deck.
Historically, helical, piers were reserved for commercial application. More and more they are being used in residential applications and for good reason. Helical piers are drilled at least 5 feet into the ground. They adhere to a torque reading provided by your engineer. Once that reading is achieved, your deck will be guaranteed never to move.
Like many things in life, a great foundation is a must. A new deck is an investment and a stable foundation will secure your investment and will give you years of enjoyment on your new deck. Likewise, a deck without a solid foundation will not last long. Make a great foundation the beginning of your quality deck building project.
When considering low maintenance decking products, the mind could boggle with the options. There are many great decking products out there and Veka Deck is one of them. Veka Deck has been manufacturing vinyl decking since 1969. This German company is the world’s largest vinyl, pvc extruder. Veka operates extrusion facilities out of 12 countries and has offices in 40 countries around the world. You could say Veka really knows the business. While not all low-maintenance products are made of vinyl, it is a leader in the industry for many reasons. While composite decking is known for its durability, vinyl is even more so. Veka manufactures their decking boards from 100 percent new pvc. This is the same material that your windows are likely made of. When you choose to build your deck with Veka, you’ll only build it once. Those Veka boards aren’t going anywhere! Veka deck is a cellular processed pvc deck board. Veka is impact and puncture resistant as well as being thermally reflective.These aspects provide a decking board that is both slip resistant and cool to the touch, even on the hottest day. Unlike many low-maintenance products in the industry, Veka deck is screwed down from the top. If you ask any carpenter, they will tell you that this is still the best way to lay a deck. Because Veka boards are screwed down from the top, and because of vinyl properties, shrinking and expanding will be kept to a minimum and your mitre corners will be the envy of the neighbourhood. With corresponding, colour matching stainless steel screws, your Veka deck will also be the most durable and beautiful deck on the street. Veka deck can be considered a high end low-maintenance decking product without the high end price tag. Veka has been extruding pvc deck boards for 50 years. Their efficiency is reflected not just in the quality of their board, but the competitive price point. What’s new at Veka? Over the last few years, Veka has come up with an amazing line up of colours. Veka finds itself right up there with their biggest competitors when it comes to colour choice. Some other selling points for Veka deck are:
- easy to clean
- environmentally friendly
- water resistant
- fire resistance
- splinter free
- resists fading
- 25 year warrantee
If you’re in the market for a new deck and you want the best, consider Veka. They are a leader in the decking industry for a reason. They have been consistently offering a high-quality deck board for more years than most other decking companies have even been in business. Put Veka deck on your short list in the planning of your new deck. You won’t regret it.
Feeling the winter blues? Wondering when you’ll ever be able to enjoy that backyard again? If the heat and sunshine of the spring can’t come fast enough, bide your time by making plans for a new deck.
Deciding to enhance your property with a new deck is a big investment so it’s worth the time and energy the winter months can provide. This planning isn’t only necessary but can be fun.
Doing research sounds like work but it doesn’t have to be. Start by looking at decks. Lots of decks. But don’t get caught trespassing in your neighbourhood. Take to websites such as Houzz, Pinterest, and decks.ca for your spring inspiration. You will likely only commission the building of a deck once, perhaps twice in a lifetime. It’s not likely that any of us knows the possibilities. Take a good hard look at all that can be done with your outdoor space. Through the evolution of design and the great expanse of products available, so many choices will need to be made. Take the time to educate yourself with the possibilities.
Know your needs
Now that your mind has been filled with images of what your future deck might look like, It’s time to consider your needs. Regardless of what you may want in a deck, make a list of your needs. Consider things like, how big are the groups of people who will enjoy your new deck. You may be surprised by just how much square footage you actually need to have a useable space. Will your family be dining on the deck? Will you be cooking or entertaining on your new deck? What kind of furniture will you be placing on the deck? All good questions that will need an answer before the final design of your deck is established?
What are your limitations?
Along with knowing your needs comes knowing your limitations. Inspiration is only a great tool when it’s paired with limitations. You may dream about a multi-level, 500 square foot deck but have a home that sits on the 22-foot lot. You might put a call into your local building department and ask a few questions in regards to setbacks and permit processes. Height restrictions, stair rises, and rail heights will be determined by city building codes and regardless of preferences, these limitations will be a determining factor in the final design of your new deck.
Set your budget and save, save, save. If you haven’t built a deck in a while, your likely aren’t sure of the cost. Like any investment in your home, you will want to set a budget and begin the process of deciding how this project will be financed. Though you may not have the cash on hand now, the colder months that lay ahead might give you the opportunity to put some money away for this new deck of yours.
Most everyone wants their new deck built in time for the warmer months. You may, however, have plans to be at the cottage or on vacation for the month of July. This may very well be an excellent time for your build. Going away on vacation and coming home to a new deck might be your best case scenario. No fuss, no muss. Of course, if you’re the kind of person who likes to keep an eye on things, a spring build might suit you better. Having all your ducks in order will ensure you get onto your new deck sooner than later.
Ask the Pros
Consult with the professionals. When you are already to start gathering quotes, consult with more than one professionals. Not only to get more than one quote, but more than on opinion. Many ideas and much inspiration can be unearthed when considering the nuts and bolts of building a deck. Take great advantage of their experience and their knowledge and their wisdom. There is no reason to go it alone when planning your new deck.
Getting a new deck is a big deal. Winter is a great time to get spring inspiration. Be sure to give your project the time, energy and money it deserves. Your new deck will be greatly enjoyed when you take an interest in all aspects of your spring build.
Too cold for a cold one on that beautiful deck of yours? Bundle up and get out of the house. In this winter wonderland we call Canada, there’s no excuse not to make the most of the cold weather and all that white stuff. There is something for everyone. Winter can truly be something to enjoy, not just tolerate. Try one of these 6 winter wonder escapes and make the most of these frigid temperatures.
Ottawa’s Rideau Canal
A skate on the 7.8 kilometre skate way is one excellent way to get the blood pumping during the winter. In fact, winter is the only time to enjoy this unique venue. Open from January to February, a canal skate in the Nation’s capital doesn’t get much more Canadian. A skate on the Rideau canal will also put you right in the middle of many tourist attractions such as the parliament buildings.
LaBodega Ice Bar, Regina
We want to bet most of you have never even heard of this one. The LaBodega bar is made completely of ice blocks. You won’t find a colder drink in Canada. This bar is created each year on the patio of the existing bar. Because it is staffed by volunteers and sponsored by local businesses, all proceeds go towards a scholarship for a Saskatchewan student to study gastronomy in Italy. Now that’s a uniquely Canadian winter wonder.
Whistler, British Columbia.
Of course, if you are a skier, the slopes of Whistler have to be on your bucket list. People from all over the world travel to B.C each year to enjoy the spectacular experience, of skiing in Whistler brings. Whistler was created more than 50 years ago, when a group of local businessmen stumbled across the London mountain in B.C., while on the hunt for a suitable mountain to host the winter Olympics. Although their bid to host the 68′ games failed, Whistler mountain was born. Whistler did host the Olympics in 2010 and is ready to host you on your search for Canada’s best winter wonder.
Quebec Ice Hotel
If leisure is more your thing, pay a visit to the Quebec ice hotel. This hotel is a site to be seen. With cathedral ceilings, the hotel is made completely of ice. Even the furniture. The hotel is rebuilt every year of course and is made of 4 foot thick walls and 18-foot ceilings. Despite the cold, the temperature inside the hotel is quite comfortable. Whether you visit just for a drink or stay over, the Quebec ice hotel is certainly an experience you will never forget.
Frozen Niagara Falls
The only to rival this wonder of the world is this winter wonder of the world. Niagara Falls in the winter is spectacular. All three falls will freeze during any given cold winter and the result is a naturally occurring piece of art. This winter wonder attracts just as many visitors in the cold months as it does during the warmer months in Southern Ontario.
Marble Mountain, Newfoundland
Newfoundland has a secret. Some fantastic skiing can be enjoyed near at the foothills of the Appalachian mountains just outside of Corner Brook which is the snowiest place in Canada. Marble mountain boasts the highest slope in all of the Atlantic. Marble mountain provides the most relaxing venue for other winter recreation as well such as snowboarding, tubing and dog sledding.
Don’t hibernate this winter. Get on those boots and gloves and get out there into the great white north. This is Canada’s season.
Low-maintenance decking is no longer the “newest thing” in the decking industry. Though the industry continues to grow, low maintenance decking has been available to the consumer for more than 20 years. Despite its history, there remains many misconceptions about these products – misconceptions that can have people turning away from the option of low-maintenance.
The question of mold is one that gets asked often. A good low-maintenance composite or vinyl board will not take mold into the boards. While moss and/or mold can grow on the board. (especially in damp and shady areas) the substance, along with the other stains, will wash off. Some boards can be easier to clean than others but any mold that grows on the boards should not grow in them.
When we think of low-maintenance decking, only one or two names come to mind. There are, in fact, dozens of manufacturers of low-maintenance decking. On top of these choices are hundreds of colours. When choosing the right deck for you and your family it’s important to consider several options. You aren’t looking for the best product, you’re looking for the one that’s right for you.
Low-maintenance, not No-maintenance
Many years ago, when the low-maintenance industry was in its infancy, one of the largest manufacturers advertised their composite boards as maintenance free. This was a misconception. This did not sit well with the consumer. These decks didn’t get washed and grew mold. It is important to remember when considering low-maintenance decking that it is just that. Manufacturers guidelines should be followed when it comes to the care and maintenance of your low-maintenance deck.
There are many misconceptions about the quality of low-maintenance decking. Quality, like any manufactured product, can vary. Most low-maintenance products fall into three categories. Composite boards are simply that. They are comprised of a combination of wood and plastic. Sometimes these materials are new and sometimes these are recycled. Some manufacturers have chosen to wrap their composite boards in vinyl. This has gone a long way In making these products easier to clean. Vinyl decking is typically longer lasting. Vinyl boards are made from 100% vinyl. They also often come with a higher price point.
There are misconceptions about the cost of low maintenance decking products. Low-maintenance products generally have a higher price point. That said, because low-maintenance decking typically lasts substantially longer than its wood counterpart, owners of low-maintenance decking can make their money back when they aren’t having to replace their deck earlier and don’t have to spend money on maintenance for things such as cleaning, sanding and staining.
Like any investment in the home, due diligence needs to be done. If you think low-maintenance decking might be in your future, explore your options and displace any misconceptions.
After a fun-filled summer on your deck and the outside space it provides, the leaves will soon begin falling. Your deck might need to take a hibernation of sorts and getting your deck ready before the snow flies will make the spring cleaning of your deck a whole lot easier.
Take a step back. Take a good look at your deck. Look under it. You may find a collection of things that don’t belong on or under or around your deck. Now is the time to tidy that space. Pool noodles, towels, bbq utensils, and goodness knows what else might have gone unnoticed throughout the summer months.Everything has a home but isn’t necessarily your deck. Take this opportunity to declutter your deck so that you can start fresh in the spring.
Take this opportunity to have a good hard look at the condition of your deck. Get down on your knees and get a good hard look. Inspect the surface, the trim, the skirt and the substructure, if possible. Some of the things to look for should include warping, splintering, fading, instability, and rot. Identifying problems now will give you the winter to consider solutions.
Get out your bucket and mop. Give your deck a good scrubbing. Whether your deck is made of wood or a low maintenance product, it needs to be cleaned a couple times a year. Now is the time to also give that patio furniture a good scrub. Be sure to dry each piece thoroughly before storing it all away for the winter. Don’t forget to wash those cushions. Putting the work in now will give you a clean slate in the spring and will make the upcoming season a whole lot easier.
Show your deck a little TLC this fall. When the warmer weather is upon us again, your deck will be sure to return the love.