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 special full service experience to transform your bare balcony, then we’re for you. We're not for everyone. If you are seeking a unique and beautiful end result that is an alternative to ordinary, common click flooring, we are 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 are you Different from conventional decking companies?
The most important difference between Garden Connections and is that conventional decking companies are unfamiliar with the challenging conditions and stringent rules of building outdoors on the side of high-rise buildings. Our finishes are fabricated offsite, and our installations are fine-tuned assemblies, using levels and screwdrivers, rather than shovels and saws.
What's more Garden Connections offers professional designs scaled to your location. You are guided through a simple systematic process to help you choose from an array of design layout configurations, materials, accessories and furniture to create a harmony of parts that reflect your style. We're there for you throughout the whole process, from imagine to install.
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 in low-rise town house condo communities to the top of some of Canada’s highest high-rise luxury condominium buildings.
WHICH designers work with GARDEN CONNECTIONS?
Our designers are talented professional landscape architects, architects, interior designers fashion 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 however there is a 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?
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. You can start here!
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 your 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 will...
- help you define your vision for the transformation of your balcony or terrace
- help you confirm your style preference
- explore and identify possible design layout configurations and finishes to match your style
- 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 Condominium Board or Strata Council 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 in the 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 application agreement and to pay a non-refundable fee to prepare your design and the application documents for presentation of your balcony upgrade proposal to your Condo Board or Strata Council for 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. 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 or Strata Council.
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 milled and 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 TO COMPLETE?
The fulfillment of your balcony or terrace upgrade is a 3-part process.
Part A: Design Concept Development and Approval can take from a few days 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 or STRATA 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 AM not in one of the communities you currently serve?
Absolutely yes! You can access our balcony and terrace transformation services from wherever you live provided you have an internet connection. Whether in-person or by video, our offering to you starts with a face-to-face consultation meeting. 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. We can even give you a ball-park idea of what it will cost.
However it will be up to you to engage the contractors who build your balcony for you and negotiate the price. We are not able to recommend fabricators or installers in your community. When you are choosing contractors, remember that they will have to ensure their installation meets building code, as well as comply with all of your condominium rules.
You will also have to prepare your application to your Condo or Strata Board, and manage the project yourself.
How DO YOU USE MY INFORMATION?
Will my Strata Council / Condo Board have to approve Garden Connections’ Balcony or Terrace flooring system?
Maybe, it really depends on your Condo Board / Strata Council and the rules and regulations of your condominium community. The main concern Boards and Councils have with the addition of ‘patio’ type outdoor flooring, that is primarily design for ‘ground level’ applications, is exposure to risk and liability brought on the condo community by condo owners and residents who disregard the condo communities' rules and regulations. Some owners go rogue and make alterations, improvements and additions to their balconies or terraces without consulting the Board / Council property management. Most owners are unaware of the concerns for structural loading, flammability of the decking materials, interruption of water and air flow under the flooring surface and concerns for penetration of the concrete slab and degradation of the concrete surface protective coating. There is a lot more to it than meets the eye.
Garden Connections’ balcony flooring system has been designed to address these concerns and meet Condo Board or Strat Council rules and regulations. The Garden Connections decking system is a ‘floating’ assembly system of interlocking non-flammable components that is not attached to the concrete slab in any way. All components of the system have been reviewed by structural engineers and building code consultants. Rain water or surface water is not permitted to accumulate or ‘pool’ in any way. The floating decking system is designed to enable water to flow through the decking materials and panels across the concrete slab surface to the edge of the balcony. Air is able to circulate and evaporate above and below each panel to maintain a dry and odour free surface. Each Condo Board / Strata Council have their own unique rules and regulations that may vary from building to building. We strongly suggest before you make any modification, alteration or improvement to your balcony that you discuss your proposed balcony upgrade with your condo property manager and consult the by-laws of your condo community prior to making an application to upgrade your balcony. Roof terraces upgrades require a unique system that is different from that used on balconies. Garden Connections balcony and terrace products have been designed to meet National, Provincial and Municipal building codes. We would be delighted to provide any condo Board or Strata Council with a complimentary estimate to have all balconies, terraces and patios transformed for an overall uniform appearance to match the visual and architectural standards of a condominium community.
What is the Garden Connections Warranty Policy?
Garden Connections Inc. (hereinafter referred to as “Garden”) warrants to the original purchaser that its products shall be free from material manufacturing defects for two years from the date of original purchase, under normal use and service conditions.
If a manufacturing defect appears within the warranty period, you must notify Garden Connections in writing by sending a description of the claimed defect including quantity affected, photographs of the defects and entire area, a sample of the defective product, along with proof of purchase to:
Garden Connections Inc., Box 70607, RPO Junction Gardens, Toronto, On, M6P 4E7
After confirmation by an authorized Garden Connections representative of the defect, Garden Connections sole responsibility shall be, at its option, to either replace the defective item or refund that portion of the purchase price paid by the end user for the defective item, not including the cost of initial installation.
This warranty shall not cover costs and expenses incurred with respect to the
removal of defective products or the installation of replacement materials, including but not limited to, labour and freight.
Garden Connections does not expressly or impliedly warrant against, nor is responsible for, any product failure, product malfunction, or damages attributable to:
Improper installation of Garden Connections’ products and/or failure to abide by Garden Connections’ installation guidelines, including but not limited to, failure to install the panels on a solid, gently sloping surface or a surface that is not properly drained;
Any cracking, breakage or other damage occurring during or after installation, if not installed by Garden Connections;
Use of Garden Connections products in an application not recommended by Garden Connections’ procedures, instructions and local building codes;
Movement, distortion, collapse or cracking of the surface or the supporting structure on which Garden Connections products are installed;
Any act of God, such as but not limited to flood, hurricane, earthquake, lightning, fire etc., environmental conditions, such as but not limited to air pollution, mold, mildew, etc., or staining from foreign substances, such as but not limited to dirt, grease, oil, etc.
Natural imperfections or variations in the wood, stone or synthetic grass; Natural weathering of the wood or wood composite or any other material including but not limited to fading of the wood or wood composite, stone or synthetic grass colour;
Improper handling, storage, abuse or neglect of Garden Connections products; and
everyday, regular wear and tear.
You are solely responsible for determining the effectiveness, fitness, suitability and safety of the Garden Connections products in connection with its use in any particular application. No person or entity is authorized by Garden Connections to make any statement or representation as to the quality or performance of Garden Connections products other than as contained in this warranty and Garden Connections shall not be bound by any such statements or representations. This warranty may not be altered or amended except by means of a written document signed by an authorized representative of Garden Connections.
UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES WILL GARDEN CONNECTIONS BE LIABLE OR OBLIGATED FOR ANY INCIDENTIAL, CONSEQUENTIAL, INDIRECT, SPECIAL, PUNITIVE OR ANY OTHER DAMAGES OF ANY KIND WHATSOEVER (INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, LOST PROFITS, LOST SALES, LOSS OF GOODWILL, STOPPAGE OF WORK, OR IMPAIRMENT OF ASSETS), WHETHER FORESEEABLE OR UNFORESEEABLE, ARISING OUT OF BREACH OR FAILURE OF EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTY, BREACH OF CONTRACT, FRAUD, MISREPRESENTATION, NEGLIGENCE, STRICT LIABILITY IN TORT OR OTHERWISE, EXCEPT AND ONLY TO THE EXTENT THIS LIMITATION IS SPECIFICALLY PRECLUDED BY APPLICABLE LAW OF MANDATORY APPLICATION. GARDEN CONNECTIONS’ LIABILITY WITH RESPECT TO DEFECTIVE PRODUCTS SHALL IN NO EVENT EXCEED THE REPLACEMENT OF SUCH PRODUCTS OR REFUND OF THE PURCHASE PRICE, AS DESCRIBED ABOVE.
This warranty shall only be applicable and enforceable in Canada and the United States of America.