Trendsetters: Paul Lafrance

The construction industry became Paul’s career completely by accident. As a young, 22-year-old, counter-culture musician he suddenly found himself married with a mortgage. Paul, who had never used power tools in his life, was offered work with a friend, building wood fences in 1996! A year later, bored with building fences, Paul was invited to participate in a deck project and fell in love with the process. He quit his job, announced to his wife that they were opening up they own design and build company and Paul Lafrance Design (now The Lafrance Group) was born. Since that time, Paul has made a name for himself both as an expert in the deck building industry and as the host of numerous HGTV shows.

CHT: What sets you apart from the competition?

Paul: Well, I have an ADHD brain with a lifelong passionate interest in music, Lego, and people. How’s that for a non-conventional answer? Let me explain. While the false ADHD social stigma conjures up images of highly
distractible people, it is essential to understand that those people are only unfocused when trying to engage in activities that do not interest them. The blood is literally not flowing through the front portion of their brains. My wife can tell you all about this. *wink* However, the flip-side to this is if the ADHD individual IS interested in what they are engaged with, they become hyper-focused, and will typically outperform everyone around them. Therefore, since I have always loved how I can impact emotions through art, build whatever I can imagine like Lego, and through my focused attention, allow people to express their own personal stories… I have been able to bring all three elements into my design and build projects, which has led to some rather extraordinary results.

CHT: What’s new and exciting for you right now?

Paul: There have been many people asking where I’ve been over the past number of years, and now I can
finally tell you. In 2018, while still running my company and filming shows for HGTV, I began filming what was initially supposed to be a series of simple, product review videos on one of my larger backyard projects. It wasn’t long into initial filming that I realized I had the opportunity to make the show that I always wanted to make. A show that is 100% raw, authentic, and most importantly, shows the mistakes that happen on a project, not just the perfect results at the end. This was not possible to do in the 22-minute format of all my previous shows. So I put on my producer’s hat, my director’s hat, and my TV host hat (I mentioned the positives of ADHD. *smirk*). I worked with a brilliant one-man-show videographer named Matt Manteiga from SkyDefinition Motion Pictures to create a network-quality show called “Backyard Revolution.”

It’s a 14 episode series based on one wild project, and showcases new and innovative products from over 40
companies. It’s a series that is best described as “Decked Out meets Deadpool”. It’s unlike any renovation reality show you’ve ever seen, and allows for the viewer to get a much clearer picture of the homeowner/contractor relationship, while also getting to laugh their heads off watching me fall on my face a number of times. We decided to make the show available to the world on my new Paul Lafrance YouTube channel. We also have a goal to promote and inspire other independent filmmakers as we raise funds for Backyard Revolution Season 2! 

CHT: If you could go back 20 years, what advice would you give your younger self?

Paul: Your thoughts are not you! Chose what you think about. Don’t let that choice be made for you. Listen to your father’s advice when he said “Son, don’t let that rent space in your head.”

CHT: What is your favorite room in your house?

Paul: My living room. There is nothing better than having open conversations with our four daughters in the same room, while laughing at Cosmo the dog, and Tony Stark the cat play-fighting. But when that same living room overlooks a sunset on Georgian Bay? Yeah. Pretty awesome.

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Canadian Home Trends magazine gives you a personal tour of the most stunning homes and condos across Canada. You'll be inspired by a selection of accessible home décor products, trend reports, simple yet stylish DIY projects, and much more. In each issue, you are given the tools to recreate designer spaces you've always dreamt of having at home, in-depth renovation and design advice, colour palette and furniture pairings, and Canada's best places to shop.

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