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It was with a lot of regrets and quite possibly a few tears, that you put the closed sign on your deck when fall arrived last year. Last call on the decking season and the upcoming cold snowy months that follow can leave you in mourning. The good news is, with a little investment of time, money and imagination your deck season can be expanded, testing the seasonal limits that weather throughout South Western Ontario throws at us.


deck with canopy


Put a log on!

Though the temperatures aren’t sub-zero anymore, they are still less than ideal.  Many hours, both day and night can still be enjoyed on the deck in the early spring with just a little heat. Patio heaters have been a big hit in Southern Ontario. Propane heaters come in many different sizes, covering various square feet of space.  Price points also vary. Depending on the size of your deck, more than one might be needed.


April showers bring May flowers but also make it a little difficult to enjoy dinner on the patio. When rain threatens to dampen your deck and your spirits, find shelter.  Awnings, sails, and umbrellas all provide protection from the frequent rains of spring and open up the decking season.

Stage that Deck

Longing to use a deck that still has covered  patio furniture, debris and dead plants?  This  just isn’t an inviting outdoor space. Stage your deck space early to ensure you are able to start enjoying your deck early in the season. If you have leftover annuals that have long since died in their perspective pots, get rid of them. Or better yet, plant a silk variation to add colour where there is none. Uncover and clean that patio furniture once the snow makes it exit. There is no reason to keep it in hiding.

Create Enjoyment

Think outside of the box. The pool isn’t open yet and nude sunbathing is still out of the question. Find ways to enjoy your deck that will delight you and your loved ones. Board games on the deck will undoubtedly create great memories. A rousing game  of twister will certainly get the heart pumping, helping you forget that it’s not summer yet. Grab a blanket and book. Nothing pairs better with a good read than fresh air.  If night time is your pleasure, take it to the deck for a little star gazing. All these options will extend your deck season.

Clean and Repair

Now is the time to put in a little maintenance. While working away on your deck may not necessarily constitute enjoyment, you will ultimately be increasing the time you spend on your deck. When temperatures do finally rise, you and your bbq and lounge chair and sunglasses will be able to hit the ground running. Don’t spend those perfect sunny, summer days scrubbing the deck. Get your work done now to expand your deck loving season.

To extend your decking season, you simply have to get creative. Here in Southern Ontario, we are not blessed every day with sunshine and moderate temperatures. Make the best of what you’re given and use your imagination. Turn a four month deck season into a six-month season with just a few changes and additions to your outdoor space.

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Building your own deck can be a daunting task.  Demolishing one, even more so.  Demolishing your old deck will exceed your expectations of workload, expertise and elbow grease. If after doing your research, you still decide to take on this project yourself, there are many things to consider to ensure your deck remains the only thing that ends up demolished. First, consider the cost.

  • Renting or buying tools such as a chainsaw
  • Renting a dumpster
  • The cost of delivering old materials to the landfill

If your existing deck is at ground level, haul out the chainsaw and hack away any which way. Be careful, though, not to cut into the dirt. This will damage the blade. Cut wood pieces between four to six feet for easier disposal.




If your deck is elevated, a ladder will likely be needed and now you have yourself a two person job. After the deck boards are removed, cut out the beams and joists separately, one at a time and carefully. They are heavy and can cause considerable damage to you and your home. Any old ledger that is attached to your house will need to be removed and this will require a considerable amount of elbow grease. Remove old posts holders. A sledgehammer will be required to break up any cement.  Some materials are recyclable, some dump worthy.




Do not exceed your level of expertise. Lumber is unforgiving. If you did not build your deck, you may not know the location of gas, electrical, phone and cable lines. Call your local utilities before you dig.

If, after all your research on the subject of deck demolition, you have decided to leave it to the professionals, choose wisely. Like any home renovation job, get several quotes, check references and ensure that any company you hire is properly insured.

The sooner demolition gets under way, the sooner you’ll find yourself enjoying your new deck.

Posted by & filed under Deck Builders, Uncategorized.

All customers of Hickory Dickory Decks are impressed with the quality and workmanship of their products.  Some are so impressed, they buy into the business. Welcome to Peter and Trish Gibson who have opened the doors of their very own Hickory Dickory Decks Franchise.




Hickory Dickory Decks is a locally owned and operated business specializing in designing and building low maintenance decks.  If you live in the Calgary southwest area you too have quality deck building at your fingertips.

After having their deck built by HDD, the Gibson’s were so impressed with the process and the product that they bought a franchise and are now well on their way to fulfilling the decking dreams of many homeowners throughout Calgary. Peter and Trish Gibson have lived in their Calgary community for more than 15 years and have chosen to raise their own family here. The Gibson’s now live and work in Calgary. The doors to HDD Calgary Southwest opened in January 2016.

The Gibson’s describe their experience in the decking business so far as “awesome. “All our customers need to do is tell us your ideas and we will help you visualize your dream outdoor space.” Although the Gibsons are new to the decking business, HDD is not.  Founded in 1987,  HDD boasts 60 locations.

If you’re more interested in spending your time enjoying your deck and want to leave the work to the professionals, give the Gibson’s a call.

Posted by & filed under Deck Ideas, Patio Deck, Shade Structures, Uncategorized.

The Jetson’s probably had one. Other than that, you’ll have to see it, to believe it. Picture an outdoor roof for your patio that has more versatility than can be imagined. American louvered roofs bring exciting back to your patio with this cutting edge, revolutionary shelter.


louvered roof


American louvered roofs provide the meaning of luxurious living. Consider a roof over your patio, hot tub or barbecue area that behaves like a blind, providing just the right amount of protection when you need it most. A louvered roof can let in full sunshine when desired. It can also give partial protection when the sun is just too hot to keep your patio a comfortable place to be. Your louvered roof has the ability to completely close, giving you protection against rain. A louvered roof keeps you outside, enjoying the outdoors through rain and harsh sun. A louvered roof will also increase your property value, and have your neighbours talking.



There are different styles to match any taste and budget. Consider incorporating lighting into your American louvered roof. American louvered roofs believe in the principles that make an honest company with loads of integrity.  They have built their business one roof at a time. Speak with your contractor or decking specialist to find the right louvered roof for you. Visit the website of American louvered roofs and try out their interactive app that allows you see how a louvered roof will look in your outdoor space.

Outdoor spaces are continually evolving when it comes to design and comfort. American louvered roofs can play a big part in adding to your outdoor experience.  In Canada, we are always looking for elements that will increase the season and have us enjoying the outdoors more.  The comfort that American louvered roofs bring, does just that.

Posted by & filed under Deck Ideas, Shade Structures, Uncategorized.

gazebo-main-tab-vinylIf you’re in the market for a gazebo, you might consider Country Lane Gazebos. They specialize in one area of expertise and will bring their best to the table, ensuring your new gazebo will meet or exceed your expectations.

Country Lane Gazebos is a family-owned business founded in 1994 by Samuel Stoltzfus. They offer quality shelter for you and your loved ones. Gazebos are only a small part of what Country Lane Gazebos has to offer. Pergolas, pavilions, cabanas, and shades are all part of their excellent lineup.

Which ever you’ve decided on, you will no doubt be taking on this project out of necessity or a desire to improve the look of your outdoor space. If you’re having a gazebo or any other shade structure built on your property, you are looking for shade. If you are also trying to incorporate design elements into your existing outdoor space, the professionals at Country Lane can help you decide on the structure that will best suit you, your needs and your budget. 

Need shade but can’t decide on which shade structure to go with. Country Lane Gazebos can help you to make the right decision. Consider your space and the ambiance you want to create. If your outdoor space is limited, a smaller structure will surely meet your needs. If your property is larger, then preference will. be more of a determining factor. Look at loads of pictures and talk with your design expert at Country Lane Gazebos to discover all your options for shade. Having a custom designed and build shade structure will certainly bring more value than a kit or indeed, a do it yourself project. 

Any addition to your outdoor living space is an investment and deserves the best. This is precisely what Country Lane Gazebos has to offer.

Posted by & filed under Deck Ideas.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Everyone who enters your home this festive season can feel the spirit before they reach the threshold.  With a little imagination, your front porch can set the joyful scene for this holiday season.

Have a plan for your porch and pick a theme. When it comes time to adorn your porch for the season, your theme should represent both your tastes and your intent. The decor on your porch might be a continuation of the decorations you have chosen for the inside of your home. Do you plan to have a big boisterous Christmas? The way in which you decorate your porch should reflect this.


002 Azek front porch


Decide on the elements you will use. Be sure to choose lights that are certified for outside use. Considering colour and application will set the tone for your front porch holiday project.  Decide on one or two pieces of Christmas decor for your porch. This will give you a great start. Choose the colour of lights you will use and a great wreath will anchor your space. Everything else should complement these pieces.

Like any investment in your home, it’s important to consider your budget. Spending during this time of year can get out of control. Nothing will put a damper on your festive porch like a whole lot of debt. Deciding on a colour scheme will also keep your front porch holiday project on task.  You don’t have to buy everything at once either.  Year after year you can build up how festive your porch is, as well,you can buy new lights when they are on sale after the Holidays.

If you aren’t sure what it is that you want for your front porch this holiday season, do some research on what’s out there.  Someone else’s idea may become yours and provide you with a vision to move forward with your decorating.

Hickory Dickory Decks understands the improved quality of life that outdoor living can bring.  Putting up festive lights and spreading the holiday spirit is a great way to add warmth to the cold winter months! Some ideas, a little money, and loads of imagination can have your front porch matching your Christmas spirit this holiday season!

Posted by & filed under Deck Cleaning, Uncategorized.

Fall is upon us and winter will soon be here. Time to put your deck to bed.

Although you may find uses for your deck in the winter like barbecuing, your beloved deck or patio will soon be under a blanket of snow for months, taking it out of commission. Time to prepare for hibernation. While we all take the time to prepare our outdoor space for the winter, it is equally important to consider your deck as the cold weather nears.

Nice deck without railings

Removing or covering your outdoor furniture is a must. When the white stuff starts to fly, you may need to shovel and having too many obstacles will make this task harder. Take in plants or remove from your deck. Leaving pots to stay on your deck through the winter may stain your deck boards and can encourage the growth of mold. If you have deck lighting, keeping them clear of snow will allow any pet who ventures outside during the cold months of winter, more manageable.  This will also help light your way when you do need to shovel or want to barbecue.

Clear away any debris including leaves and pine needles that may have found a home on your deck during the fall. Now is a great time to give your deck a good washing. There are loads of products out there to make the job easier.  Be careful to use one that is suited for the materials of your deck.  Keep a shovel handy for digging a path through the snow for your dog.  Making it more difficult for Rover to reach the grass will leave you with yellow snow, or worse, on your deck surface. Take care when using a shovel on your deck.  Scraping your deck surface will leave unwanted scratches and could possibly gouge your deck.

Spring cleaning of your deck will be a whole lot easier if precaution is taken in the winter.  Spend a little time on your deck now, so that when the temperature begins to rise. You will be able to hit the ground running and start to enjoy your deck as soon as the first crocus arrives.


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

If you’re looking for a deck that’s easy on the eyes, pocket book and time, EZ deck products are the solution for your next decking project. EZ deck lives up to its name.


hickory dickory decks mascot


EZ deck made it’s way to Canada in 1992 and has been offering a great alternative to wood ever since. EZ deck is made from fibreglass reinforced composite. This unique fibreglass blend makes it a versatile decking material. Unlike much of the competition, it is made from all new materials and is easy to install.  Each board is snapped into place after a clip system has been installed. When installed properly, it’s strength rivals even the best grade clear cedar.

While elements in your outdoor space take a beating all year round, decks are especially susceptible to  the extreme weather conditions, not to mention the abuse they receive while we enjoy them year after year.  EZ deck will have you sitting pretty for a long time with it’s durable materials. The life span of an EZ deck deck is on average, 20 to 30 years, and is competitively priced among other low maintenance decking materials out there.  Builders love working with EZ deck because it’s simple to assemble and versatile in it’s application.

EZ deck now offers a product that includes a traction coating that makes this product ideal for around pools, docks, hot tubs and wheelchair ramps. Among other features that make EZ deck unique is it’s rail system, made from the same materials.

The look and feel of EZ deck materials is unique and provides the consumer something different in the the low maintenance decking industry.  A great choice for any new deck project.

Posted by & filed under Deck Design, Deck Ideas.

Fall is wonderful time to decorate. With Halloween and Thanksgiving, our autumn season is filled with colour and our decks and patios are a great canvas to display our joy for the season. We’ve cleared off the plants and we’ve swept and scrubbed down the deck as we consider the upcoming hibernation of our outdoor space. While three feet of snow may make our deck unusable for the most part, until that time, we can still get lots of use out of our decks, gazebos, and patios.


Armadillo decking

Use your imagination and with the natural backdrop of awesome colour that fall provides, your outdoor space will take on a beautiful atmosphere that will rival any summer afternoon.

Outdoor lights will adorn railings and add to any already existing deck lighting that you may have. There is still loads of warm evenings in the early fall and without the threat of mosquitoes, sitting outside under the stars will have you enjoying your deck longer. Patio heaters can be used as well to lengthen your deck season.

Think, fall flowers. While many of the plants from summer have died off,  there are many that will survive and even thrive during the fall months. Mums and decorative grasses will make a statement and anchor your outdoor space. You can even re-purpose your summer planters.

Consider changing up the decor of your outdoor space. Invest in a fall line up. If the cushions on your patio swing are bright and beautiful for summer, consider switching up your colour scheme for the fall. Invest in new cushions, change the wreath on the door or lay out a new fall inspired rug. Extending the use of your deck will be worth the investment when company arrives and you’re able to take the party outside where the leaves are turning and the sun is shining.

Our decks are an investment and we want to maximize the time we get to enjoy them.  Whether you’re spring cleaning or preparing for winter, always consider your outdoor space.

Posted by & filed under Composite Decking, Deck Design, Dream Deck, Uncategorized.


It’s never too late to start that deck project. There’s nothing worse for a homeowner than deck regret after a great summer. You didn’t have that new deck built and although you enjoyed the summer, you could have done without the splinters. Well, it’s not too late to get that deck of your dreams.


Procel and hardwood deck


Fall is often a great time to book your favourite deck designer. Though not officially an off-season, many decking companies will offer discounts for fall builds, which allow them to fill their calendar and spread out their projects. Having a deck built in the fall will have you enjoying your new deck before the snow flies.

There is a perception out there that the best time to build a deck is in the spring and summer. Indeed, the best time to build your deck is when time and budget best suits you. Having a deck built in the fall will ensure that your new outdoor space is fully ready when spring hits. You won’t lose good weather days to construction.

Lead times in the fall may also be greatly reduced. Your project time frame can be greatly reduced for this reason and instead of waiting 8 -12 for contractors to arrive, a new deck build in the fall can see completion in a few short weeks.

The weather conditions of fall are generally more predictable than that of spring. This will help with your timeline as many deck builders will work when the snow flies but not in the rain.

Don’t spend another summer wishing you had built that deck of your dreams. Think ahead and build this fall. When April showers bring may flowers, you won’t regret it.