Why should I use Garden Connections?
It’s simple. You see that bare, barren balcony or terrace every day as a complete and uncomfortable contrast to the beautiful interior of your home. And you want to do something special out there that reflects who you are and your style preference. You’re a very busy person and don’t have the time to figure it out yourself or you recognize that design isn’t your strong point.
If you are the kind of person who is seeking a full service experience to help you transform your bare balcony, then we’re for you. We do the heavy lifting for you. You don’t have to go hunting all over the internet trying to find the ideas, accessories, trades people, and furniture to transform your bare balcony.
We can manage the complete transformation of bare balconies and terraces starting with design, getting condo Board approval, selecting accessories and furniture, and the fabrication and installation process that will make your balcony - terrace a favourite place in your home. Whatever you need for your balcony or terrace we’re here to help you get it!
How is Garden Connections different from traditional design or decking companies?
Garden Connections is an early stage web-based platform that’s changing the way condo owners like you think about their balcony or terrace. Whether you wish for help in finding accessories and furniture or to completely transform and upgrade your bare outdoor space, from design to installation, your Design Concierge is there to help you. We manage your project every step of the way.
What kind of outdoor spaces does Garden Connections design?
We’ve designed and transformed balconies and terraces of every conceivable shape and size from just above ground level to the top of some of Canada’s highest high-rise luxury condominium buildings.
What kind of designers work for Garden Connections?
Our designers are talented professional landscape architects, architects and interior designers who are fully conversant with our systems and processes to help you get the balcony or terraces transformation of your dreams.
What is the difference between a balcony and a terrace?
Many people use the terms interchangeably and mostly misunderstand the difference. Here are definitions that will set you straight for discussion at your next party!
A Balcony is a concrete slab that projects out from the exterior wall of a building and is surrounded by a railing or a balustrade. It may be surrounded on three sides by the protective railing or balustrade, or partially or completely recessed into the building with the protective railing along the front edge. The size and shape of the balcony can vary depending on the design of the building.
A Terrace is a section of the roof of a building that has been made accessible for use and is surrounded by a railing and / or a parapet wall. It has direct and unobstructed exposure to the sky with no overhead soffit or partial soffit above the outdoor space. Transformation of a terrace calls for a unique design, fabrication and installation process that is different from what is required for a balcony.
How do I get started?
You can start here! Request a complementary consultation and we’ll get back to you with some suggested dates and times. Once we connect, the first thing we do is assess if we are the right fit for each other.
What is covered in my complimentary consultation?
Your complimentary consultation lays the foundation to create the beautiful balcony or terrace of your dreams, which will add lasting value to your lifestyle and your real estate investment for years to come.
The complimentary consultation is a 2-step process.
Step 1: we schedule a 10 to 15-minute Introductoruy Call conversation to ensure that we are the right fit for your needs. We will discuss the upgrade process and your expectations. If we are a good fit, then:
Step 2: is the 60-minute complimentary consultation with a Design Concierge. We’ll make an appointment to meet you in your home, or by Skype (etc.) to explore your desires, needs and challenges for transforming your balcony-terrace.
There is No charge and No obligation for the Introductory Call or Complimentary Consultation.
In your complimentary consultation your Design Concierge
- helps you define your vision for the transformation of your balcony or terrace
- identifies your style preference and possible layout configurations and finishes for your new outdoor space
- matches the preferences and desired activities you wish to accommodate, with the characteristics and size of your balcony
- discusses the application and approval process that your property manager requires you follow when seeking permission to upgrade your balcony-terrace
- reviews the approximate costs and the process to have your new balcony or terrace designed, fabricated and installed, be it winter, spring, summer or fall
At the end of the consultation meeting we will ask you to make a decision, yes or no if you wish to proceed. If "Yes" you will be requested to sign a design and administration agreement and to pay a non-refundable fee to prepare your design and submit your project for Condo Board approval.
How should I prepare once I decide to proceed?
Once you decide to proceed we will send you a Starter Kit for you to fill out your project details, or later on your Dashboard page. Include any photographs of outdoor spaces or gardens that you find inspirational, or a Pinterest Board link.
We do the rest of the work to prepare a Design Concept for you to review and once the details are settled, we will present you with a quotation to fabricate and install your new balcony or terrace assembly. Your Design Concierge will review the quote with you and you can then either approve the quote as-is or, request changes (extra fees may apply if your changes are extensive).
Finally, we ensure your application is complete and submit it for approval by your Condo Board.
How does my project get created?
Whether it’s a complete start-to-finish transformation, or phased over time, your Design Concierge works with you to clarify your needs, review your options, and come up with a personalized design concept for your space. The fulfillment of your design concept starts in the controlled environment of a fabrication plant. There the raw materials are transformed into the finished assembly components that are shipped to your building. Our skilled installers take it from there and assemble the components on your balcony or terrace.
How long will my project take?
The fulfillment of your balcony or terrace upgrade is a 3-part process.
Part A: Design Concept Development and Approval can take from a week or up to a month to complete, depending on changes you choose to make to the design, and then the administrative approval process of your condominium Board.
Part B: Fabrication for balconies and small terraces can take one to two weeks. Terraces over 400 sq. ft. require more time. Your Design Concierge will provide a time frame to complete when you receive your quotation. At the same time, purchases of accessories such as lighting and heaters are made, so everything is ready prior to booking the installation date.
Part C: Installation can take 2 to 5 days for a balcony and a small terrace less than 400 sq. ft.. Terraces over 400 sq. ft. require more time to install.
Normally, a project up to 400 square feet can be completed, from condo Board approval to installation within 4 weeks, depending on the complexity and size of your balcony or terrace.
Things are moving too slowly!
Design, fabrication and installation are all processes that includes several steps. Large projects take longer than small projects. By talking about your time expectations up front with your Design Concierge, disappointments can be avoided and your project will be kept on track.
You can always email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get back to you within 24 hours.
WHY DOES MY BALCONY or TERRACE UPGRADE REQUIRE BOARD APPROVAL?
Every condominium community has rules about what you can and cannot do on the balcony or terrace of your suite. That's because these outdoor spaces are, in legal terms, "exclusive-use common areas" : although only you can use them (exclusive-use), they belong to the building and are managed by your Condominium Board.
Balconies and terraces are built to meet building code, and can include extras, such as water supply, gas lines or lighting. The Declarant Documents you received on purchasing your condo should outline any restrictions related to how the balcony or terrace was built.
As a condominium owner, if you want to alter or improve your balcony or terrace, you need Board approval. Its their job to ensure the building remains safe for all residents, and that nothing is done that could damage the intergirty of the building itself. Garden Connections™ has years of experience addressing the questions and concerns of Property Managers and Condominium Boards.
We provide you with the checklist of items required by your Property Manager and, we provide the administrative documents to ensure that every application for a Garden Connections™ upgrade is thorough and complete. All our ideas and work meet, and often exceed, Board requirements which means your application should be processed faster.
I am A TENANT - How Can I Get a Garden Connections Balcony or Terrace?
Only condominium owners can apply to modify, upgrade, or improve an exclusive-use common area balcony or terrace. If you're a renter, contact us. We may be able to give you some guidance about how to ask your landlord to consider a Garden Connections upgrade to the home you rent.
Can I use Garden Connections if I don’t live in Toronto?
Absolutely yes! You can access our balcony and terrace transformation services from wherever you live provided you have an internet connection. Whether it is in-person or by-video what we offer starts with a face-to-face consultation meeting. We use: Skype or FaceTime. Once you've decided to go ahead with us you be connected with one of our Design Concierge to complete the design process by video, phone calls and emails. You will still have access to The Beautiful Balcony Solution Program™ where you can select your style preference, personalize a design and layout configuration matched to your style preference.
Your Design Concierge will assist you in suggest materials, picking accessories and furniture. We can even give you a ballpark figure of how much your balcony transformation might cost.
However it will be up to you to engage the contractors who build your balcony for you, negotiate the price, prepare your application to your Condo or Strata Board, and manage the project.
At this time, we are not able to recommend fabricators or installers in your community and they will have to ensure their installation meets your local building codes, as well as complies with all of your condominium rules.
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