Did you miss the franchise expo in Toronto? No worries. Hickory Dickory Decks has the low down for you, along with all the information you’ll need to make one of the biggest decisions of your life.
If you’re considering going into business for yourself, finding a great company to franchise with can make the decision a whole lot easier. Hickory Dickory Decks has been franchising for decades and the franchise show provided us a great opportunity to show potential franchisees what a responsible, talented franchised business looks like.
The 2016 Franchise expo did not disappoint. With more than 200 vendors, there was something for everyone. Canada’s largest “own your own business event,” displays many proven, money making businesses that are now expanding in Ontario. All the owners of these businesses were there to answer questions and got a whole lot of people excited about going into business for themselves.
With so many business owners there to shake hands, there was no shortage of options. Hickory Dickory Decks was among other successful businesses at the Toronto Franchise Expo providing the information needed to take that step.
Going into business for yourself is a huge, life-changing decision. One that can’t be taken lightly. If, after great consideration, you have come to the conclusion that the dedication and perseverance needed to experience self-employment is for you, getting the facts about what is available out there is key. The Toronto Franchise Expo fit the bill. With so many choices all under one roof, a visit to this year’s event was well worth the drive.
So why buy a franchise?
Well, buying a franchise takes some of the risk out of going into business for yourself. Buying into a proven business opportunity eliminates the hard work of building a brand. Buying into a business ensures that you are investing in a proven business model that has experienced success before you came along. Business owners can put you in touch with other franchise owners to share their experience. When you own a franchise, you will receive support and often training, all designed to help you succeed. Being a franchise owner can make the jump into self-employment just a little less scary.
Say it ain’t over. Summer is indeed coming to an end but if your deck season ends when the kids get on that school bus, you’re doing it all wrong.
Your deck is the centerpiece of your outdoor space. Centerpieces take time and money to create, so get out there, get creative, and enjoy your deck throughout the fall season. As the hot summer days dwindle and the leaves begin to fall, get the most from your investment.
Enlist some Fall Colour
Even though your colourful planters have served their purpose, they will soon meet their demise as cooler temperatures and shorter days move in. That’s no reason to give up the vibrant colour that breathes life onto your deck. A well-appointed planter or two can ground a space. Fall can provide a welcoming change of fresh and new colour. Consider replanting those pots with fall plants that will continue to supply colour to your outdoor space. Try mixing your fall mums with kale and swiss chard. This will give your planters height, colour, and texture. This combination will take you through the season and change colour throughout the cooler months, right along with those leaves. Many mums have found themselves peaking through the first snow.
When the sun fails to warm your deck, all is not lost. There are lots of ways to heat up your outdoor space. Getting creative will have you toasty in no time. Patio heaters have become popular for decks. They come in all kinds of shapes and sizes. When choosing a heater for your deck, consider the space. How much heat will you need? What kind of heat will work best for your needs? Some patio heaters double as visual effects as well. Creating a comfortable temperature on your deck even after the mercury has dropped, will keep you and your loved ones outside, longer. Consider placing some small throws over those loungers, creating a special place to read and enjoy a cocktail. Keeping the barbecue fired up throughout the fall will have you enjoying not just the colours of fall but the cuisine. An avid griller will find themselves shoveling around the barbecue once the snow flies. Your grill can add heat to your deck as well, helping to create that perfect temperature. The cooler months are ahead of us, bringing a little chill to the air but just think, no mosquitos.
Don’t pack it in
There’s no reason to let the post-summer blues take hold when there’s so much more enjoyment to be had on your deck, long after the heat of summer has left. Even if the temperature of your pool has dropped to the point where you no longer look forward to cooling off in it, consider postponing the closing of your pool. Nothing says winter like a pool with an ugly black cover on it. Your pool does a lot for the look of your deck. There is no harm in waiting a little longer to close up the pool. Planters, rugs, and furniture won’t mind a little chill either. Anything in and around your deck should remain in place until the first snow fall. Consider adding, not taking away from the look of your deck in the fall. Now is the time to change up the decor, add new, season appropriate accessories and take advantage of all the beauty fall has to offer.
If we try our best, we can pretend that summer isn’t ending. With a warm fall and lots of outdoor activities planned for the season, denial will be ours. We can’t, however, deny the fact that sunlight is at a premium and our days are dramatically shorter. With some great lighting, we can do our best to fake it. If your deck already has lighting, you know how important it is for safety. You are also familiar with the atmosphere that good lighting can provide for you deck. Fall, with its shorter days, is the time to take advantage of any lighting you already have. It’s also a great time to consider adding more lighting to your decking. If you’re not in the market to install more permanent lighting to your deck consider other, more temporary and versatile options. Solar lights make this easy and affordable. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes and price points. Patio lanterns, fairy lights, candles, and tea lights also provide a little light that can go a long way in keeping you and your loved ones outside, longer.
New found entertainment
While traditional entertainment in the summer might include, horseshoes, swimming, barbecuing and bocce, the fall should only add to this list of entertainment choices. Your deck can play host to family game night or a game of poker with the guys. If you can place a tv on your deck, catching a ball game under the stars is relaxing and unique. If you have a hot tub, fall is your season. Generally, the heat of a hot tub on the deck is more enjoyable when the air temperature isn’t rivaling the water temperature. Evenings in the fall with a drink in hand, enjoying a good soak while the sun sets, are epic.
Don’t let the end of summer be the end of good times on your deck. Use your imagination, get creative and expand your perception of what a deck can be used for. You spend good resources on the investment of a deck. Get out there and enjoy your deck this fall season. Our experts at Hickory Dickory Decks can help you prepare your deck for the fall and winter season, so you can enjoy your deck for longer. So whether you’re looking at preparing your deck for the fall, repairing your old and/or damaged deck, or shopping around to create a new deck for your backyard, contact us today and we’ll help you with all your decking needs.
You may find your dog enjoys your deck as much as you do. If you already own a pup but not a deck, now is your opportunity to Design Your Deck with your best friend in mind.
There are numerous factors that should be considered while trying to build a dog-friendly outdoor space. Your deck can be a welcoming and comfortable space for your dog.
When choosing the design and materials for your new deck, most of what you love, your dog will love also. Budget is just about the only factor your pooch could care less about.
Using nontoxic materials is a no brainier. Your dog will have more exposure to your deck materials than anyone else. Wood, paint, and stains should all be nontoxic, especially if you have a chewer on your hands. Pressure treated wood is not likely the best choice for Rover. If using a stain or paint ensure it is oil based. If your dog has an appetite for wood, there is a product on the market that can be applied to the surface of the deck and create an undesirable taste for you dog, leaving your deck intact.
Making a Deck Safe
A safe deck will have all the necessary railings. This is especially important if you are planning a high deck or multi-level deck. Dogs are not cats and can suffer a variety of injuries because of a fall off your deck. Make sure all the posts in your railing are properly spaced, ensuring your dog can’t fit through them or even get stuck. Ensure all plants that you place on and around your new deck are pet-friendly. Speak with your veterinary about any plants you plan to use to ensure that they are not poisonous for dogs. Don’t let your deck design become an unsafe structure for your dog.
Making Your Dog Comfortable On Deck
You may find it necessary to take your dog’s comfort into account when considering your deck design. Perhaps your best friend would enjoy built-in water dishes.Your dog will be eternally grateful for a friendly water station. Consider a low-maintenance deck and one that is perhaps a lighter colour in order to keep Rover’s paws from getting burnt in the hot sun. A lighter coloured deck will be a cooler one. Provide a mat for your dog to lounge on and if space permits, a little room to play.
Although it may sound funny, it might actually help if you get down on all fours so you can see things on their level, which makes it easier to detect and solve any problems before they become a safety hazard for your dog. A well-designed deck can be comfortable and safe for everyone, even man’s best friend.
If you’ve been looking into getting a deck for your home but unsure how to go about the process, Hickory Dickory Decks is the largest deck building company in Canada and has built hundreds of decks that take pets into consideration. See if there is a Location Near Your Home or take a look at some of our Previous Work.
If you’re like most, once you decide to build that dream deck, pina colodas on the lounger deck can’t come soon enough. In any busy decking season, the wait will always feel like a lifetime but with a little patience and delayed gratification, your new deck will be worth the wait.
Choosing to build in the fall, at first thought, might not seem like the optimal choice but an autumn decking project can bring loads of advantages that a spring or summer build can’t.
As you swelter on that rickety old worn out deck, you’d give just about anything for that new deck today. Although it may not seem like it now, building a deck in the fall has its advantages.
If you’ve ever contacted a contractor of any kind in the middle of their busy season, you know that time will not be on your side. Waiting for your start date can seem like an eternity while summer whittles away. If you can delay that new deck by even a few weeks, you’ll find that your wait won’t be as long and the completion date for your new deck will be just around the corner. With a fall build, weather can be optimal, providing just the right conditions for your carpenter to get in an out in record time. You will find yourself enjoying a late season barbeque that will not only fill the belly but impress the neighbours.
For any construction project around the house, budget is important. An autumn deck project will have your dollars going further and your new deck will thank you. Pricing of a deck that is in no hurry to be build can benefit from better pricing. Especially one that is booked well in advance. Keeping a carpentry team in business well into the cooler months can have your decking project bigger and better than you ever imagined.
More time equals better design.
Taking the time throughout the spring and summer to see what’s out there will help you design that dream deck. There is always something new in the decking industry and watching the neighbours forge ahead can put ideas in your head. This will leave you with a comprehensive idea of what exactly you want your future deck to look like. By the time the fall months roll around, carpenters and deck designers have had the opportunity to try out new products. Their education is your advantage. Many things can change in a deck design when a great visual and testimony is in place.
Better late than never.
It’s often not until you’ve spent yet another long hot summer on that wretched deck that your dream deck ideas can be ignited. If this is what it takes to get the project off the ground, then late is better than never. Your fall deck can certainly be enjoyed during the cooler months and you’ll be thanking your foresight as spring is just around the corner.
Take advantage of all that fall has to offer you and your future deck. Whether you choose to wait till fall or you simply didn’t get around to doing something about that tired and worn out deck until now, fall remains the perfect time for that new build.
Yes, it’s a thing. Hickory Dickory Decks wants nothing more than to show you just how cool and functional a grillzebo can be. If you haven’t already guessed, a grillzebo is the perfect combination of outdoor kitchen and shade structure.
Standard gazebos come in several different sizes. 6,’8,’10,12′, etc. Any size gazebo can be designed with an outdoor kitchen in mind. If you already have a great gazebo, consider yourself halfway there. Most gazebos or indeed any shade structure can be modified to include a cooking surface. A grilling area with a roof will have you barbequing all year round. Your grillzebo may be a permanent structure with a simple canopy. Whatever style is, your preference and your budget will allow you to introduce this new addition to your outdoor space as the grillzebo. Trust us, your friends and family will be properly impressed.
Grilling can be a lonely job. With a grillzebo, you can entertain and cook up those famous ribs without missing anything. You might choose a grillzebo design that doubles your existing seating or choose a design that is big enough for a barbeque and a few guests but one that can fit on your existing deck. The grillzebo keeps you in the middle of the action. Now that you’ve decided on a size and design, have a little fun choosing the accessories. Sometimes, all an existing gazebo needs to become a truly great grillzebo is the right accessories. Consider lighting. In this case, it’s not just for ambience. The right lighting will ensure safety while you grill. With your guests in such close proximity to your cooking surface,finding the right lighting is more important than ever. Some accessories add functionality to your grillzebo but also create design interest. Get creative with a wine glass rack or display shelves. Consider using low-maintenance materials so that these accessories will withstand the harsh elements of the outdoors. Gone are the days of sitting on the red cooler when seating is scarce. Consider incorporating built-in coolers that double as seating. Killing two birds with one stone is always a bonus when you’re dealing with small spaces. If you’re going to be grilling outside, won’t it be nice to have all the foodstuffs at your fingertips? The same can be said for cooking utensils. When everything else that you need is outside, having to run inside for a fork isn’t cool. Keep a great set of grilling implements on display to cement your gourmet status among all your guests. The outdoor kitchen is no longer just for the rich. With the creation of the grillzebo, everyone can enjoy the luxury. Besides, don’t we all congregate to the kitchen during a great party. Why not take it outside?
If you’re interested in getting a grillzebo of your own, or just looking for someone to build a dream deck of your own, then look no further then Canada’s largest deck building company Hickory Dickory Decks! Check for a Location Near You!
Believe it or not, just about anything you love to grill, can be smoked. Even Ice Cream. Smoking is the hottest trend in outdoor cooking. It’s easier than you think and tastier that you would ever imagine.
If you’re new to smoking, there are just a few things you need, to get started. Imagination is at the top of the list.
Your new smoker will cook food with less heat and more time. It uses heat generated from the smoke it creates, instead of from a fuel source. Depending on what is on the menu, your food can take between three and 12 hours to cook. Getting your hands on a smoker will likely be your first step in this new endevour. While a cedar smokehouse built in the backyard may be your best bet, most of us aren’t in the market for this commitment. Smokers can cost anywhere from $100 – $10,000. So depending on your budget, there is a smoker out there for everyone. Talk to the pros before making that purchase. They will line up your needs with the perfect smoker.
Naturally, smokers primarily use wood that ignites and adds flavour to your food. Wood can be divided into three different categories:
- Exotic wood such as olive, and pimento
- Orchard wood like cherry and apple
- Forest wood such as cedar,maple and pecan
There are also non-wood materials that can be used to smoke. Materials such as berries, spices and charcoal. A good smoking cookbook will help you get started.
Technique is important in a good smoke. When to add the wood, how much and what kind will all create a variety of smoke. It will depend on what you are smoking. Remember that the possibilities are unlimited. While everything can’t be grilled, virtually everything can be smoked.
This brings us to our final tip. Once you’ve made your smoker purchase, start experimenting. Start by picking your favourite foods. Pair them with the right smoke and stir your taste buds into a frenzy. A great smoke will enhance your food, bring out new flavours and reinvent the foods that you already love. Don’t forget to try your favourite ice cream in that new smoker. We’re not kidding. Your smoking experience is only limited to your imagination. Think outside the box, (or grill).
Your outdoor space should reflect your personality. It should also reflect your budget. While decks and pools are on the higher end when it comes to outdoor living expenses, there are loads of design elements that will have you to keep up with the trends Let your personality shine through with some deck bling.
Bedazzling your deck might be taking it too far. Consider some of these elements to add character and functionality to your outdoor living space.
Cool down Bling
Found mainly in the south, misters can certainly turn a very hot and sticky deck environment into an oasis of comfort. Misting systems and misting fans are designed to increase your enjoyment of the outdoors. Misting systems are typically made of stainless steel and are low, mid or high pressure.
Warm up Bling
On the flip side, summer evenings in southern Ontario can drop substantially at night. If your facial hair takes on the consistency of shredded wheat due to drastically fluctuating temperatures outside, it might be time for a patio heater. Outdoor heaters can be found at just about any home improvement and hardware store. Knowing how much heat you’ll need will be the bigger question. Coverage is measured in square footage. A bigger deck may need more than one heater. Patio heaters can be propane fueled or natural gas and how many BTU’s will determine how much heat it will create? The patio heater should indicate what square footage it will cover. Simply choose which design best suits your taste and you and your loved ones will soon be toasty again.
Deck bling may mean adding some colour. Most decks are constructed with materials that are very neutral in colour. Add that to the neutral tone of your house, and a little colour is likely needed. How you add that colour can be as simple as a few plants. Pots come is a variety of sizes, colours and shapes. These are easily planted and then stored for the winter. Depending what your pots are made of, they are likely very easy to clean and can be moved around. If planters are your preference, you’ll find many varieties to choose from. Many will hang from railings and face in or out. Be sure that your railings are strong enough to hold the weight of a planter.
There are so many ways to incorporate fabric into your outside space. Your deck may play host to cushions that can spruce up some dated patio furniture. Outdoor fabrics have come a long way in both visual appeal and durability. There are literally thousands of outdoor fabrics out there. Choose a colour scheme and stick with it. Outdoor fabrics tend to have more colour and bigger patterns that their indoor counterpart. Be sure not to create a circus of colour in a space that is supposed to be calming and relaxing. Fabrics can be displayed in umbrellas, sails, rugs, tableware and awnings.
Beverages with appeal
If reaching for a cold one means lifting the lid of that unsightly red cooler that has seen better days, your deck is likely crying out for something a little more civilized. Coolers can reflect beauty and functionality. Consider having that cooler built right into your new deck. Your standard cooler can be covered in similar or complementary materials as that of your deck. These covered coolers can double as additional seating while looking attractive instead of being an eyesore.
Bring on the game
Why be stuck inside for the big game? Outdoor tv’s are the ultimate in deck bling. Why not bring the game outdoors with a tv on the deck. If you choose to use a regular indoor tv outside, it will need to be sealed off from the elements while still allowing it to release heat. If you are in the market for the investment, an outdoor tv can be purchased. These can be pricey but perhaps not as pricey as having to replace the tv from your living room because you’ve subjected it to a typical Canadian snow storm.
Deck bling can make you outdoor space come alive. Personalized deck bling will increase enjoyment of your deck and bring a smile to your face each time you venture outdoors. Deck bling is the icing on the cake.
If you’re interested in getting a deck for your home to add deck bling to Contact Hickory Dickory Decks today!
Join Hickory Dickory Decks at their 9th annual Charity Golf Classic. Every year Hickory Dickory Decks raises money for three awesome charities. The ALS Society, Sleeping Children Around the World and Youth Unlimited Youth Centre in Waterdown have been benefiting from your generosity since the tournament’s inaugural year in 2008. The 2015 tournament raised more than $36,000 and they look forward to having even more fun, raising even more money this year.
On June 23, Sleeping Children Around the World will once again be one of the three beneficiaries of the HDD golf classic. SCAW has made it possible for 1.4 million children in developing countries to get a good night’s sleep. SCAW is 100 percent nonprofit. They provide bed kits that cost $35 and include a mattress, pillow, sheet, blanket, mosquito net and school supplies. These kits are distributed throughout the world to children in need because getting a good night’s sleep shouldn’t be out of reach.
Close to the hearts of those at HDD is the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) society. This disease is a progressive motor neuron disease and is fatal. In Canada 2500-3000 people are presently living with ALS. 80 percent will die within 5 five years. Monies raised help to fund both research and assist the living in managing the disease. There is currently no treatment options available to prolong life and there is no cure for ALS. With your help, this can all change.
They knew if they built it, they would come. And they did, and they do and YFC/Youth Unlimited in Waterdown couldn’t be happier to finally have a youth centre right in the heart of Waterdown. The community did this. The community built this centre so that many teenagers from Flamborough could come daily to feel accepted and loved and safe. For over 60 years, beginning with Billy Graham in mid-’40′s, Youth for Christ has delivered programs focused on positive youth development. As a faith-based charity, YFC/Youth Unlimited exists to help young people strive to reach their full life potential. Running a facility like the one on Parkside Drive and Hamilton Street in Waterdown, costs money. Without any public funding, it is through the generous donations of the community and fundraisers like the HDD charity golf classic that enable the centre to keep it’s doors open.
This year’s HDD Charity Golf Classic takes place on Thursday, June 23rd. Check in is at 10am and tee-off is 11am at Flamborough Hills Golf Club located at Hwy#52, Copetown. The cost for entry, which includes green fees, cart rental and a steak dinner is $175 per person or $650 per full foursome.
There are so many ways you can help with his years’ tournament. Just to name a few:
- Donate a door prize
- Donate a silent auction item
- Buy a foursome
- Be a tournament sponsor
- Sponsor a hole
- Make a donation to the tournament
- Make a donation to one of the three charities
- Hole in one Sponsorship
- Learn about Breakfast, lunch and dinner sponsorship
- Purchase just the dinner option
There’s nothing like a new deck to get us excited for the season. Quality in workmanship and product is a must, but the design should not be overlooked when deciding on the deck that’s right for you. Multi-level decks give versatility and design quality that cannot be beaten and will have the whole neighbourhood worked up.
Choosing to build a multi-level deck, even if it’s out of necessity, will open up many design options that wouldn’t otherwise be available to you if you chose a flat deck. One of the misconceptions out there about multi-level decks is that they are always more expensive. This is untrue. Sometimes deciding on a multi-level design for your new deck, can save you money.
If you are considering other design effects such as lighting or curved stairs, a multi-level design will highlight these elements, getting you, your money’s worth. A multi-level deck will allow you to incorporate that hot tub, pool or outdoor kitchen. A multi-level deck will set up separate designated areas on your deck, creating a home for each. Your eating area can replicate the feel of an indoor dining room. Having the pool on a different level than your seating area keeps water and all the mess that can come with a pool, removed from the rest of your deck. Multi-level decks will also open up the design choices for colour and shape.
Visually, a multi-level deck can’t be beaten. Different levels can be created specifically for the customer and often the outcome is a one of a kind deck design. Trying to hide from the neighbours? Privacy screens are great but if you design your multi-level deck with sight lines in mind, the neighbours won’t be privy of your seasonal skinny dipping polo club.
A multi-level deck can reduce or eliminate stairs. If your property is sloped like so many are, you many need to build many steps to have you off your deck and onto the grass. With more than one level, the height of your deck can be reduced before the stairs come into play. This scenario can visually be more appealing and fewer stairs can increase safety especially around water. Lighting will also greatly increase safety and accessibility when building a multi-level deck.
You likely will only go through the design process for a new deck once or twice in your lifetime. Take the time needed to consider all the options. A little imagination will take your standard square deck into a whole new world. A multi-level deck will become the conversation piece of your outdoor space.
Spring cleaning is bound to spill into your outdoor space. While cleaning away the cobwebs, don’t forget about your deck. Once you’ve decided your deck needs a good cleaning, avoid making these common mistakes. Mistakes can have your deck looking worse than when you started.
Too much elbow grease
Throughout the process of cleaning a deck, a power washer will no doubt be utilized. Regardless of whether you have a pressure treated wood deck or low maintenance deck, a power washer can be your best friend or your worst enemy if you don’t handle it with care. Too much pressure can create an uneven result. For a low maintenance deck, this can create variations in colour. For wood decks, too much pressure can actually ruin the surface of your deck. Too much force will splinter wood, leaving your clean deck with bigger problems.
Using the wrong products
Don’t be fooled by natural cleaners and their ability be harsh on your deck. While vinegar and baking soda are great choices for a light deck cleaning, many household items you find in your cupboard can actually be damaging to your deck’s surface. If you aren’t entirely sure if that box of borax is indeed harmless, it’s important to consult with the manufacturer of your deck boards. Consider the environment when choosing your deck cleaner. While bleach, for instance, is affordable and is very effective in killing mould, it also happens to one of the worst options for the environment. Commercial cleaners are generally stronger and provide a deeper clean. Be careful while handling these as they are often toxic. Without the proper precautions, these cleaners can even cause you or your loved ones harm. Everything from eye irritation to chemical burns has been reported.
Not cleaning often enough
Your deck should really be giving a good cleaning twice a year. Fall and spring are great times to get this done. If you’ve cleaned your deck properly, and often, it doesn’t have to be as arduous job. Regular cleaning will prevent mould from taking hold on your deck surface and dirt from setting in. If you own a wood deck and are considering a stain for the first time, it is important that you first clean your deck thoroughly. Both the deep clean and the stain will prolong the life of your deck.
Not knowing when to call in the professionals
Deck cleaning takes time, patience and considerable effort. If you aren’t in the market to make the investment it takes to get the job done right, leave it to the professionals. A botched deck cleaning is worse than a dirty deck. Bringing in the professionals not only ensures the job gets done right and in a timely manner, but that it gets done with a warranty. Ensure your deck cleaning specialist offers a warranty and a guarantee of satisfaction. Often a professional deck cleaner will cost you more, but a professional deck cleaning will also be better quality and last longer.
Why do our decks need to be cleaned? Besides wanting to preserve or return the pristine look that your deck had when we built it. a good cleaning can actually increase the life of your deck. A deck sits horizontally, exposing it to the elements at all times. The only washing your deck gets throughout the four seasons, is precipitation. Rain is acidic and isn’t doing your deck any favours. Giving your deck the TLC it deserves with a good cleaning will.