Posted by & filed under Deck Cleaning, Uncategorized.

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.

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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.

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.

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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.

Posted by & filed under Low Maintenance Decking, Uncategorized.

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.

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 foundation the beginning of your quality deck building project.

 

 

Posted by & filed under Composite Decking, Low Maintenance Decking.

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. veka 1   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. veka3   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:

  • lightweight
  • easy to clean
  • environmentally friendly
  • water resistant
  • fire resistance
  • splinter free
  • resists fading
  • 25 year warrantee

veka2   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.

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

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.

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Research

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.

Budget

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.

Timeline

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

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.

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by & filed under Low Maintenance Decking.

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.

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Mold

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.

Choices

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.

Quality

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.

Cost

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.

Posted by & filed under Deck Cleaning, Uncategorized.

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.

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Declutter

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.

Inspect

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.

Clean

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.

deck franchise owner texting

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

Are you tired of being managed?  Sick of answering to someone else? Might be time to become your own boss.  But this can be easier said than done.

If you’ve decided to make the leap from employee to entrepreneur, and you’ve decided that a franchise is the way to go, realizing your dreams will only come after you decide what kind of business you want to be in.

Deciding to go out on your own can be both terrifying and exhilarating.  Being your own boss can mean more freedom and flexibility. You can work parttime or fulltime, often determined by how much you want to make. You will have no one to answer to other than yourself, and building your own business can give you new drive to succeed.

When choosing a franchised business as your new venture,  you will have the benefits of buying into a business that is already established. Typically, when buying into a franchise, you will receive training, set up materials and marketing assistance. You will also reap the benefits of being involved in a business with an established brand and reputation.  All of these aspects of a franchise business will make your grand opening a whole lot easier and those lean first couple of years a lot less lean.

So which franchise should you buy? There are many factors to consider when making this decision. All these factors will help you to narrow down your search so that you can be confident that the franchise you buy is a great fit.

Interests

What do you love to do? If you are going into business for yourself, it’s likely at least in part because you don’t enjoy your day to day and want a change. Now is the time to do what you love. Turn that hobby into a money-making machine. If your work experience is in service but you hate the service industry, now is the time to get out. If you’re a handy person, you might consider getting into the construction industry. Do you love numbers? Commerce might be the way to go. Love children? Consider getting into the ever-growing childcare arena. Whatever your passion is, there is a likely a franchise opportunity waiting for you.

Budget

The price of a franchise can vary dramatically. Location, size of the business and the start-up package of any given franchise can all affect the buy-in. First, consider your own financial comfort level. If you’re paying cash for your franchise, there will certainly be less stress but in lieu of this, a payment plan can often be established with the business you’ve decided on and banks are happy to lend money to established businesses. You must weigh what you pay, against what you get and also make sure to factor in the cost going forward as you build your business. Ongoing fees will include franchise fees, marketing fees and overhead such as employees and vehicles.

Location

You may already know what kind of business is in your future but location can put a damper on your enthusiasm when you find out that there are no units available in the town you live in. If you are willing to relocate, this may not be a determining factor for you. If you’ve decided to be your own boss, you don’t likely want to add or continue with a long commute.  Being stuck in traffic for hours a day will certainly take the shine of your new venture in a hurry. Sometimes if you are interested in a territory that is already taken, a rebuy can be made, putting you into your desired location.

Choosing the right franchise for you is a big decision. Visit franchise shows to get ideas. Sit down with CEOs and other franchise owners to gather lots of information and most importantly do your research. Owning a franchise compared to starting from the ground up should provide less stress, not more. Take your time and give this often once in a lifetime opportunity the consideration it deserves.

If you are interested in a deck building franchise, please visit our Franchise site.

Posted by & filed under Deck Ideas, Dream Deck.

Your deck is an extension of your living space. When conditions are just right, it can be your favourite place to spend time. Why not expand on the activities you enjoy on your deck and increase the time you spend in the great outdoors.

We all know that barbeques and pool parties are made better with a great deck. We’ve all enjoyed beveredges and conversation on the deck.  There is a whole lot more that can be enjoyed on that great deck of yours and here are eight crazy and fun things we bet you never thought of doing on your deck.

a home deck in the fall

Live Music

Anyone can place a Bluetooth speaker on their deck and enjoy their favorite tunes during a hot summer night but why not bring in a live band.  Whether it’s your brother with his guitar or a full 6 piece band, a deck, especially an elevated deck makes for a great stage. Your friends and family will enjoy this unique experience and your party will certainly be a memorable one. Just make sure to invite the neighbours before the concert begins.

Sleepover

Kids love a sleepover. Sleeping bags on the deck, under the stars or even better, under a fort on the deck will no doubt impress the kids. Deck camping can be a little more comfortable than the ground and keep the kids close. Add in a lots of blankets, pillows and snacks and your children will have a spacious area to host the whole class.

Ice It

Time spent on your deck in the winter is not out of the question when you install an ice rink. A level deck is a great space for a little home made pond. Fastening a tarp and making a few inches of ice will keep the kids busy through out the colder months without having to travel too far. Pair this unique skating experience with a cup of hot chocolate and you’ve got yourself a great winter activity for all the neighbourhood kids.

Toboggan

If deck hockey isn’t your thing, try a little winter tobogganing. If your deck has a few stairs and you’ve just experienced a great snow fall, put your shovel to use by piling snow on the stairs.  A well packed snow pile will make for a great hill and if you have little ones, might just be enough to provide a thrill right in your own backyard.

Games Night

Consider hosting your family games night outside. Your deck can provide the perfect space for spin the bottle or perhaps something a little tamer. Twister might be a little sweaty but there are so many games that can be enjoyed outside and your deck provides a great opportunity to take the fun outside.

Dance Party

Nothing like a great night of dancing.  Decks make a great dance floor. With the right lighting, your guests won’t be able to help themselves.  Picture a snowball dance right in your backyard.

Movies on the Deck

Night time is great time to watch your favorite flick. A projector and screen on your deck will make the coziest of spots to be entertained. Fire up the popcorn maker, and bring out a couple mattresses. Your deck will rival any drive-in experience.

Remember, your deck isn’t just for sitting on. It is a valuable extension to your outdoor space and should be utilized as such. Expand your horizons and give these ideas a try.

Check out some of our other blogs to get great deck maintenance advice.

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If you are in need of a new deck, your budget will certainly be a big factor when it comes time to make decisions on what that deck might look like. Many of us will only have a deck built once or twice in a lifetime. For this reason, alone, it is difficult to get a handle on price. The market is ever changing and choices in deck products are constantly increasing. Getting some idea of the cost will put your mind at ease and bring you one step closer to that fabulous new deck.

What are some of the factors about your new deck that might bring the price up? Well, size is the first thing. Obviously, the bigger the deck, the bigger the price tag. This doesn’t mean you need to scale back your project. Ask the professionals. They can help you determine how much space you will need according to the usage of your deck. For instance, if the average group of people enjoying your deck at one time is two, you won’t likely need more than a couple hundred square feet. If however, you plan to have a hot tub on your deck, space might need to be expanded upon. Also, keep in mind that many deck boards come in standard lengths. Keeping the length or width of your future deck to 12′, 16′ or 20′ will reduce waste and therefore bring down the cost of your deck even though the square footage is the same as another design might be.

036 Clubhouse deck in Ancaster

If your deck is a high deck, it will cost you more. High decks take longer to build, the substructure is more extensive and labour costs go up on a high deck. Anyone working on your high deck will need to be tied down. Lots of time is spent on a ladder and danger increases when building a high deck. All these things will bring the price up on your deck budget. Consider anything above 6 feet, a high deck, and budget accordingly. A low deck will bring a heavier price tag as well. but for different reasons. If the deck you plan to build is below 16″, trenching may need to happen. Digging out enough soil to fit the substructure of your new deck is must but again takes time.

0191 Clubhouse deck with pergola in KW 2015 (3)

Your choice of decking material will affect the bottom line. Many wood products have lower price points than low maintenance products. Keep in mind, when choosing wood versus low-maintenance, there is no warranty on wood, whereas most low maintenance products carry 20 and 25-year warranties. Whether you choose aluminum or wood rails and if your deck will have skirting are all things you need to be considered when planning and budgeting for your new deck.

Knowing what your deck will look like will go a long way in determining what your deck will cost. If it’s out of your budget, you have options. Change the design or save for a deck next year. Speaking with the professionals at Hickory Dickory Decks, will bring you a lot closer to knowing the price and get you that much closer to your dream deck.