Posted by & filed under Deck Ideas.

We are in the thick of winter,  and although, it sometimes feels like we’ll never be warm again, spring will arrive here eventually and a new barbecue is a great way to kick off the season.  You’ve done your research, you’ve chosen your heat source, perhaps even the brand you wish to purchase.  Now is the time to start shopping.

Where do you start? Deciding on a price point is a great start! This will inevitably narrow down your search. Knowing how much you can afford is always a good idea. Likewise, you may want to bear no expense when it comes to making your barbecue purchase.

Stainless steel may seem like the obvious choice in a barbecue, but not necessarily.  If you don’t know what you’re looking for in a stainless steel barbecue,  you could end up spending a lot of money on a product that doesn’t stand the test of time.  Stainless steel can rust, warp and discolour and so quality is essential when considering a stainless steel barbecue.



  • The thickness of the steel is one thing you’ll want to consider.  Will a magnet stick to it?  Any mixture of metals will enable the steel to be magnetic. The rule of thumb is, if the magnet sticks, don’t buy it.  The thickness of the steel will determine how long you will keep your new barbecue looking new.  While out shopping for your new barbecue, the simplest test of thickness is to press on the centre of the hood, it doesn’t budge, it’s probably sufficient in thickness.
  • A porous surface will attract moisture to your new barbecue.  Inspect the surface for any unevenness.  A smooth  stainless is one that will best resist the elements.
  •  A good stainless steel grill will be completely welded but this comes at a price.  Lower end models won’t offer this.

If stainless steel doesn’t interest you, barbecues made of enamel, cast iron or even sheet metal will give you the selection you are looking for. Always check warrantees and remember to register your new barbecue.




Posted by & filed under Deck Ideas.

No matter which side of the fence you’re on when it comes to grilling a great steak, you will inevitably have an affinity for charcoal, or gas. Being a proud griller will make you a prejudice griller. With the influx of gas barbecues in the 90″s, everyone was scrambling to get one.

Gas versus Charcoal

Now, just like vinyl records, the charcoal barbecue is enjoying renewed popularity. Sales have never been better for good old fashioned charcoal and lighter fluid. You wouldn’t be the first person to argue the virtues of charcoal and you won’t be the last. When you are in the market for a new barbecue, choose wisely. The neighbours are watching.


In addition to the glorious smell that comes from charcoal barbecues, it is believed that your steak will never taste better coming off a bed of red hot coals. Weather you use traditional charcoal, wood or a combination of both, these barbecues will take some time and elbow grease to clean.  Some think , the extra work involved is worth it. With the increased popularity of charcoal, your options in design and quality has also increased. Some of the new charcoal barbecues are down right gorgeous and a great addition to any outdoor space.


While charcoal may be where it’s at when it comes to your cooking experience, it can’t stand up to the convenience of the gas barbecue. Near instant and constant heat allows you to barbecue year round with less prep than heating up the oven. If you can shovel your barbecue out in the dead of winter,  you can enjoy a great cook out. For those who prefer charcoal they may also enjoy their gas barbecues and will keep both on hand.

Whether you decide on a charcoal barbecue or a gas barbecue,  this won’t be the only factor you’ll need to consider. Depending on your price point, your options for quality, size and design are endless. Keeping your personal taste in mind will help you narrow these options down. Next, we’ll look at different brands and levels of quality versus price.

Posted by & filed under Deck Ideas, Uncategorized.

All barbecues aren’t created equal and you’ve probably found this out the hard way.  Though all barbecues are designed  do the same thing, how long they last and how well they perform, vary drastically.  This can be a frustrating realization at best, but choosing a new barbecue doesn’t have to be. If you know what to look for.


Broil King, Napoleon and Weber are very reportable brands and represent the variety you’ll be looking for while deciding which barbecue is right for you. You will first want to determine what heat source will be used for your barbecue. You won’t want to purchase the best gas barbecue that money can buy only to remember that you don’t have natural gas at home. (Believe me, it’s happened.)  Keep in mind that most gas barbecues are convertible to propane.


Gas vs Propane Barbecues

While debating gas vs propane barbecues, note that there are pros and cons to both. While natural gas is economical and convenient, it represents a greater up front cost. The price of the barbecue itself won’t be greatly effected, but installation cost can climb if the gas company needs to be called in to install a line. Though the cost is increased, it can be considered an investment in your home. With a gas barbecue, there is no running around for fuel and your dinner party won’t be delayed because of undercooked meat. How many of us have found ourselves serving steaks that spent half their time on the barbecue and the other half in a frying pan. It’s a sin really and with natural gas, this will never happen.


Propane remains the most popular heat source for barbecues. Besides being economical, it affords the consumer the luxury of putting their barbecue together, (which can take days) and enjoying an awesome cookout right away. Propane is easy to come by and if a second tank is kept on hand, you’ll never have to be without heat. Simply switching the tanks out will keep the steaks cooking. Propane is a great alternative for those who don’t have access to natural gas. The price of propane can run between $20 and $30 a tank and last a considerable amount of time, depending on how often you barbecue.

Next, we’ll discuss electric, charcoal and portable barbecues.


Posted by & filed under Composite Decking, Fences.

Deciding on and erecting a new fence is not easy. With municipal by-laws to adhere to and endless options in design and materials, putting up a fence in no small endeavour. If you have neighbours within a stones throw, having a fence is not an option.

nice fence

Whether you’re putting in a new pool,spa or simply need to replace an existing fence, the process should start at city hall.

Fencing isn’t cheap and having to remove one because it doesn’t meet inspection will put a dent in your wallet and will leave your privacy at risk. Keep in mind, that while you don’t want your neighbours to know your every move, these neighbours can be a benefit to your fencing project. Your neighbours may be in the market to share in the cost of the fence and indeed many municipalities require it. Municipal by-laws vary from town to town and it is important to know yours ahead of time.  This should always be your starting point in any fencing project. For instance, in the city of Hamilton, fences that are built around pools have many regulations. They must be at least 5 feet and four inches high.  They must be self locking and must not be within six feet of your pool.  Your local town hall will see you through the process.

Now it’s time to decide on the parameters and materials of your new fence. Options in materials include, cedar, pressure treated wood, composite, metal, cement and even glass.  These are only some of the choices out there.  If you are replacing an existing fence,  you may be able to use the existing post holes. This will save your time and money.

Fencing can be erected piece by piece or in panels.  You may choose to build your own fence or have the professionals do it. either way, you will want to know your estimated cost before you begin.

The design of your fence may compliment already existing structures. Your fence will be one of the most versatile elements of your outdoor space. Your fence might include lighting and a  sturdy fence can hold planters. and may be an excellent choice for vines and gardens. Your fence doesn’t need to be simply functional but a beautiful addition to your backyard.

In the end, it’s important to remember that neighbours are only as good the fence that separates them.

Posted by & filed under Deck Ideas.

If your patio furniture is outshining your living room furniture, you likely got it from Jordan Cast and Wicker.

With locations in both Oakville and Woodbridge, Jordan Cast and Wicker has become a leader in upscale patio furniture. With leading trends and quality designs, Jordan Cast and Wicker has what you’re looking for. At Jordan, elegance is taken out of the home and into your outdoor space, transforming it into a luxurious and dare we say, “sexy” space.


Dune group patio furniture


Whether you’re looking for a pergola, tiki bar or patio furniture. Whether your needs are for aluminum or wicker furniture, Jordan Cast and Wicker, offers it all to it’s southern Ontario customers. Catering to the unique needs that our Canadian weather brings.

All weather wicker fits the bill in southern Ontario and at Jordan Cast and Wicker, the selection in design and colour are endless. Paired with Sunbrella Fabric, this choice is an easy one.




Perhaps, you’re not in the market for all new furniture but need a little something to change up the atmosphere of your outdoor space. A fire pit or umbrella will do the trick and at Jordan Cast and Wicker, they offer everything for traditional to unconventional, all in one showroom. The showroom at Jordan Cast and Wicker has seen a make over itself this year and now offers their customers an array of design option for their backyard space.

When you walk into the showroom you will be amazed at the selection of furniture. This kind of selection is different than the kind some of us already have in our backyard, like four different chairs from four different patios sets purchased over the years. From outdoor dining sets to customizable sectionals, you won’t be able to take your eyes off this stuff. Patio furniture has come along way and Jordan Cast and Wicker will take you there. Make a day of it as this experience is worth the drive.


Posted by & filed under Low Maintenance Decking, Uncategorized.

After enjoying your deck this summer, you might find  it’s seen better days. The fall months are an excellent time to consider having it cleaned. Hickory Dickory Decks and Seal Once has the solution for you.

While we may not notice the wear and tear on our deck during the summer months as we are generally too busy enjoying our outdoor space. Once the patio furniture goes away, you might be disappointed in the look of your deck. Water is the enemy and after years of being exposed to the elements, a professional cleaning may be in order.


before using seal once around a poolafter using seal once around the pool


If you’ve already been down this road before, you’ll know what an ordeal it can be. Seal Once really lives up to it’s name and the professionals at Hickory Dickory Decks agree. Hickory Dickory Decks and been using Seal Once for years to clean their customers deck surfaces and they swear by it.


before using seal once on a deckafter using seal once on a deck


Seal-Once eco-friendly coating products are water-based, contain no VOC’s, are non-flammable and without toxins or irritants. It is a multi surface waterproofing formula that can be used on concrete, wood, composite decking and masonry surfaces.  The cleaning solution is applied and left to set.  Dirt and mildew are then power washed off. The professionals at HDD will then apply a fear or tinted formula. After Seal Once is used, your deck can still be stained or painted.

Seal Once provides deep penetrating protection against water, mood, mildew and UV damage for up to ten years on vertical surfaces and six years on horizontal surfaces.

Make this the last time you clean and seal your deck.


Posted by & filed under Deck Design, Pool Decks.

Filmed and edited by Drew Cunningham of Arrested Images, we have a new video that showcases a beautiful elevated deck and pool deck from the air.

This grand project was built by Mississauga deck builder Geoff Aucoin, owner of the Mississauga franchise of Hickory Dickory Decks.


Posted by & filed under Shade Structures.

At Sunspaces, three season rooms become a reality for you and your home. With more than 4000 projects under their construction belt, you can go forward with your dream of that unique addition.

Another glass 3 season room with table and chairsWhile a new deck, barbecue or gazebo may be part of the plan for your outdoor space, don’t rule out a sunroom. These functional three season rooms have come a long way and Sunspaces will show you how to seamlessly incorporate this new addition into your excisting structures.

Your three season room is going to add to your living space and planning is key when considering what your project should look like. What will you be primarily using your new room for?  A new game room, a home gym, home office , added kitchen space, craft or hobby room, home office, indoor garden room, spa or pool enclosure? If you can imagine it, Sunspaces can create it. How will it connect to your existing home?  Will it flow onto your deck or any other outdoor space?  A south facing room will ensure plenty of sunshine but is this something that you will enjoy? Perhaps some shade is in order. Placement of your three season room is very important to consider carefully in the planning process.

Beaautiful 3 season sunroom all glassWith Sunspaces, you have three options when it comes time for installation. Sunspaces is fully equipped to take your three season room from design to installation.  If handing the keys over to you upon completion is the only phase you are willing to be involved in, then Sunspaces can provide this effortless experience. However, if you’d like to stretch your budget, Sunspaces will deliver the manufactured product, to be installed by you. There is assistance available if needed. Sunspaces can also meet your budget half way by delivering and installing your three season room onto an existing structure.

Regardless of what decisions you make in design, size and location, your three season room will undoubtedly be the most unique addition to your home. Have fun with it and let Sunspaces give you the confidence to see your vision come to life.

Posted by & filed under Pool Decks.

SoftCreteIf the concrete around your pool has seen better days and the expense of replacing it makes you want to fill the pool in only to pretend it was never there, take a look at SoftCrete. Their motto is, “don’t replace it, resurface it.”

SoftCrete by Sakrete, is a propriety blend of rubber surfacing, used for top coat and repair of Pool Decks. SoftCrete is highly decorative and safer for the family than traditional concrete. It’s durable and long lasting. SoftCrete is not just easy on the budget, but the feet and joints as well. Dropping your phone on a SoftCrete surface will have a happy ending and applying SoftCrete to your pool surround will add a element of safety that you could never have with concrete.

It’s slip resistant and because rubber is elastic, it is crack resistant. SoftCrete is low-maintenance and cleans up with soap and water.  It comes in multiple colours and endless combinations. You may be considering SoftCrete for a new project and SoftCrete is also an excellent, and cost effective alternative to replacing the concrete around your pools or anywhere else you may have aged and deteriorating concrete. If you’ve ever tried patching concrete, you know that this is an inferior solution to a common problem. With the drastic change in climate throughout the year, concrete simply can’t keep up.  Snow, ice, heat, and moisture all take their toll on this rigid yet porous substance. SoftCrete is made of rubber and really is the only choice in resurfacing concrete.  With a ten year warranty, it’s an easy choice.

Elite Surfacing are innovators and applicators of SoftCrete.  When you surface or resurface with Elite Surfacing, you are buying direct from the source.  They are fully insured and provide quotes that are free, in writing, and with no obligation.

Rubber Pool Deck Surfacing

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

If your deck sometimes feels like a fish bowl, you might be in the market for a privacy screen.

Do you enjoy  skinny dipping in your hot tub? Do your neighbours keep inviting themselves to dinner because they can’t resist your gorgeous deck and scrumptious bbq? A privacy screen can be a decorative and relatively inexpensive solution. A nosy neighbour may be the thing to put you in the market for a privacy screen, but not the only thing.  A raised deck, a hot tub or pool, and proximity to noise are some of the aspects of life that made a privacy fence just the thing to complete your outdoor space.



If your privacy screen is being built in conjunction with your new deck, the materials you use  to build your privacy screen may be elementary.  It will likely be made from similar or complementary materials so that your privacy screen reflects the design of your overall space.

Regardless of whether you are building your privacy screen while you construct your outdoor space or after that space has already been built, your privacy screen should complement the overall look.

There are so many options when it comes to design and materials.  Gone are the days when privacy screens were made of pressure treated wood with lattice as the most common design. Cedar, pvc, glass, aluminum,  concrete and composite are some of the options available to you now and design options are endless.  Often, a combination of materials is what works best for a project.  Some privacy screens can actually be cultivated  from nature.  With the right foundation, foliage can become the thing that provides you solitude. Your privacy screen is quite literally your horizontal deck and durability needs to be considered when making choices in design, materials and even your contractor.

Privacy screens can do more that just provide seclusion.  They can be used to create new garden spaces and to separate old ones.   Privacy screens can also serve as a noise barrier.  When a fence just doesn’t cut it, a privacy screen can add that extra layer of seclusion in your very own retreat.

Today’s outdoor space is an extension of your indoor space and deserves the same attention.  A privacy screen will bring the ambiance that you’ve come to expect from your entire home.