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Whether you are an employer or an employee, health and safety should be of great importance in your workplace. Thousands are injured every year in the province of Ontario alone. In fact, last year more than 150 workers lost their lives while on the job. Being able to return home from work each day, is not a privilege, but a right. There are a number of precautions that can be put into practice to ensure your workplace is a safe one.

 

Health and Safety Crew at Hickory Dickory Decks

The Hickory Dickory Decks crew at their monthly safety meeting.

 

Health and safety should be of utmost importance to all employers as the effects of downtime due to injury can be devastating to a company.

The responsibilities of the employer and employee are very different but equally important. Knowing yours is key to keeping the workplace a safe environment. There are many things an employer must do and some that are recommended in order to maintain a safe workplace. Policies and procedures include but are not limited to:

  • certification in CPR and first aid
  • working at heights certification
  • harassment and violence policies
  • first aid kits stocked
  • providing safety harnesses, etc. and making sure they are being used
  • maintaining a health and safety committee, ensuring that both employer and employees are represented
  • facilitate regular safety meetings with all employees
  • ensure all employees have their WHMIS
  • display in the workplace any safety literature that is relevant
  • maintain a proper reporting system in the case of an incident

Health and Safety in the workplace regulations can and will change, This is why having an active committee in place to keep informed of any changes, is so important. Without adherence to the Health and Safety code in your province, your company is at risk. Not to mention, all those that work there.

As an employee, you too have the obligation to do your part in ensuring a safe workplace. Here is a list of your responsibilities:

  • Exercise your rights and duties in a responsible manner.
  • Work in compliance with the Act and regulations.
  • Use any equipment, protective devices or clothing required by the employer.
  • Tell the employer or supervisor about any known missing or defective equipment or protective device that may be dangerous.
  • Report any known workplace hazard or violation of the Act to the employer or supervisor.
  • Not remove or make ineffective any protective device required by the employer or by the regulations.

If you operate a business or simply work in the province of Ontario, there are many resources available to you, to ensure a safe workplace for yourself and your employees. Visit: https://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/hs/

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Maybe you’ve been packaged off. Perhaps, you took early retirement. You might be struggling to fill all those work hours and just need a fresh start. Unretiring and starting a new career doesn’t have to feel like a job at all when you invest in a franchise.

Becoming a franchisee after retirement can fill a life-long desire to work for yourself. Unretiring with a franchise takes some of the headaches out of owning your own business, giving your new adventure a soft landing. Here is a list of reasons why franchising might be right for you, post-retirement:

retirement
 

  1. Without a lot of planning, retirement can reek play havoc on your mental health. All those free hours can leave you without purpose on a daily basis. After years of the 9-5 grind, retirement can be a shock to the system. Buying a franchise with a business that is already fully established can get you moving once again. Unretiring may not be something you ever thought you would be interested in but no one knows how they will respond to retirement until it comes. If you find that you are not the kind of person who can fill their days with hobbies, volunteering and traveling, buying a franchise will get you back in the game.
  2. If you’ve been packaged off from a company you’ve been with for years, a decent severance package can go a long way. Taking a package at 52 may not be ideal, and if you weren’t in the market financially to be without an income just yet, as a franchisee, this gap can be filled. If you need to work for financial reasons, why not work for yourself.
  3. Perhaps you spent your career in the corporate world but always longed to work with your hands, or in customer service. Now is your chance to fulfill this dream. With unretirement, being a franchisee, in the right business, can have you doing the work you always longed to do. Think of retirement as an opportunity to change careers. When you invest in a franchise, these new work hours can be on your own terms.
  4. After several decades of work, you likely don’t have much tolerance for stress and risk. If you are considering unretiring and going into business for yourself, you can reduce both stress and risk with a franchise. Owning a franchised business means less risk, as the brand is already established. A franchised business is one that comes with loads of support with both the start-up and the day to day running of your business.

Look at retirement as a new beginning. Get up off that couch and venture into unretirement. Be your own boss with a franchise and discover employment with a new purpose.

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Bamboo has become a mainstay in interior design.  Furniture and floors are being made from Bamboo.  It is durable, low maintenance, and comes from a sustainable wood source. Now, with Katana Decking, the beauty of bamboo can be enjoyed in your outdoor spaces as well.

kanata decking

 

 

Katana Decking

Katana Decking requires no dyeing, painting or sanding. It will stand up to extreme weather conditions and comes with a 25-year warranty. Katana deck boards are composed of thermally treated and compressed bamboo fibers, making these deck boards incredibly strong. Unlike other wood options, Katana’s bamboo decking has a tongue and groove features that eliminate most hardware, giving that clean, seamless look to your new deck.

Why does bamboo decking make sense? Bamboo decking is an ecological and durable alternative to tropical hardwoods. Katana has developed a patented treatment call Thermo-Density, making this decking choice one that is fire resistant and great for high traffic areas such as around pools.

The giant bamboo species, Moso, is one of the fastest growing plants in the world. It reaches its full height of 20 metres in just a few months. It can grow up to a metre a day. Talk about growing like a weed. It then takes 4-5 years for the stalks to fully mature and reach their full strength. Bamboo is a very renewable wood source for this reason.

Once the bamboo stalk is harvested from the plant, it does not die but regrows a new stalk. This is an incredible feature that eliminates deforestation. Bamboo provides an abundant and sustainable alternative to traditional hardwoods. A cedar tree, for example, can take more than 50 years to fully mature and reach its full hardness and density. Cedar and tropical hardwoods are increasingly sparse and therefore often more expensive. Bamboo continues to revolutionize the wood industry with its sustainability.

In fact, bamboo doesn’t even compete with other species of wood. Bamboo isn’t a tree at all. It’s giant grass.

This isn’t all that bamboo has going for it. Aside from being one of the world’s fastest-growing, renewable resources, bamboo absorbs large quantities of CO2. Making the air we breathe just a little bit better.

Bamboo decking is very durable and will be enjoyed for many years. There will come a time, however, when it will need to be replaced. Bamboo is easily recycled and can be made into chipboard or burnt to create green electricity.

If you love the look of real wood on your deck but want to enjoy many years on your deck without splintering, warping, rotting or splinters, bamboo may be right for you. With its low maintenance needs, along with a warranty, Katana bamboo decking is changing the way the industry looks at wood decking.  

 

 

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franchise concept diagram

Want to own your own business? How about several?

Master franchising could be just the kind of business you’re looking for. Owning a master franchise not only allows you to be your own boss, but to invest in a proven business model that grows year after year on a global scale.

Master franchising is a franchising contract in which the Franchisor (the owner of the brand name) hands over the control of the franchise activities in a specified territory to a person or entity called the master franchise.

Master franchising is a form of the franchisee-franchisor relationship in which the master franchise essentially becomes a mini franchisor for a specific territory. Within that territory, the master franchisor recruits, trains and provides ongoing support to each of the franchisees they sign. In exchange, the master franchise receives a large percent of the initial fee and ongoing royalties, typically 50 percent but this can vary.

The master franchisee agrees to a development schedule which can include owning and operating their own units. Many “household” name brands have very successfully sold master franchises, allowing them to expand their business worldwide. Master franchising is commonly used to expand a business internationally. It works to build out a territory quickly. Tim Horton’s did just this in 2017 when they first opened their doors in the United Kingdom.

The top ten most successful master franchises in the world include:

10. Papa John’s Pizza

9. Circle K

8. GNC

7. McDonald’s

6. KFC

5. Auntie Annie’s

4. Pizza Hut

3. Subway

2. 7-11

1. Anytime Fitness.

 

While single unit franchisees represent the vast majority of those who choose to franchise, for those who want to become a master franchise, they are simply entering the game at a higher level. A typical master franchisor has some experience with the basic franchisee model and is looking to up their business game with further investment. While some master franchisees are investors, others may have a strong passion for a particular industry that drives them to pursue ownership.

Whatever the reason, master franchising continues to be a sound business model that takes advantage of a global market, a household name and the entrepreneurial spirit.

 

 

deck at head office

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If you can dream it, we can build it. From conception to completion, we have a process that will leave you feeling confident in your investment.  At  Hickory Dickory Decks we think this process should be an enjoyable part of the experience. Our process will guarantee you a deck project that is beyond your dreams but not beyond your budget.

HDD Trademark Logo 2018 (No Background)

Initial Consultation

Making initial contact with Hickory Dickory Decks is a must. We will not cold call you. Check decks.ca or call us at 905-689-4774. If your local sales representative is not at his/her desk, we will return your call within one business day.

An initial conversation about your project will be done over the phone. An appointment will then be set up for our representative to visit you at your home. From there, we will take measurements and pictures. We like to then sit down with you to discuss the particulars of the project.  It is here that we are able to uncover both your needs and wants in a new deck. Our goal for this meeting is to educate you on the benefits of low maintenance decking and to discuss budget and timelines. Some of our questions might have you wondering why we’re so nosey but our questions are designed to help us design the deck of your dreams. We like to answer questions too. If we don’t have the answer, we’ll get it.

Design

Your sales representative will then proceed to the office to design and quote your new deck. Unlike many of our competitors, designs are free of change. Often more than one design will be provided, giving you as the homeowner even more options.

View

Once designs are complete and quotes are finished, we will have you into our head office to receive these. It is here that the magic happens. Our outdoor showrooms feature an acre and a half of decks here at our head office. This enables us to show you multiple products in “deck form.” We consider this superior to the usual four-inch sample. Here you will be able to see how these low maintenance products age, as many of our decks are more than 5 years old. Everything deck related can be found here at head office. From rails to gazebos, Hickory Dickory Decks will provide the visuals needed to make the important decisions.

Your sales representative from Hickory Dickory Decks will go through your quote, line by line and answer any questions you might have in regards to pricing. Our quotes are fashioned in a way that allows us to show you many different products, allowing you some control yourself for staying on budget. This second sales call will take about an hour and we like to refer to this time spent as an experience, not an appointment.

Schedule

If you have decided on a Hickory Dickory Deck, a deposit of 30 percent will be taken. This gets your deck project into the schedule, your permit applied for and materials ordered.  A second payment of 30 percent will be due the first day of construction and can be given to your builder. Our carpenters only build one deck at a time and will be onsite until the project is complete. A third payment is due the day the floor of your deck is complete. The final 10 percent is held back until you are completely satisfied and can’t live without your new deck.

Throughout the sales process at Hickory Dickory Decks, communication is key. Never hesitate to give a call with any questions. We hope you enjoy the process as much as the deck and look forward to working with you in the future. And don’t forget to enjoy life…outdoors.

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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.

 

franchising in ontario terms

 

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.

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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 Vaughan attractions that will keep you coming back.

Canada’s Wonderland

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

DmRPpbDXgAAak-6 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.

Humber River

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. hero-humberbridge

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.

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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.

 

Blog

 

Know your deck construction 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.

Access

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. Deck 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.

 

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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.

McMeekin (45)

 

While some deck repairs can be quite costly, others might represent only a small investment. Consider some of these small repairs to spruce up your deck.

Skirt

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.

DSC_0131

 

Trim

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.

Clean deck side after being cleaned Clean deck siding after being cleaned

 

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.

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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 deck 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 that 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 deck 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.

deck blockA 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.

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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 deck foundation the beginning of your quality deck building project.