How to Beautify an Old Porch Using Outdoor Accents

Over the last year we’ve shared dozens of examples of how to use the Simpson Strong-Tie® Outdoor Accents® line of decorative hardware for adding strength and style to your new do-it-yourself projects. Have you considered using Outdoor Accents to enhance existing structures or backyard furniture? We’ve been waiting for such a project to come along, so when Pneumatic Addict’s Elisha Albretsen told us she wanted to use Outdoor Accents to redo her porch, it was an easy sell. Over two days, the DIYer swapped out her ugly support straps for our sleek strap ties and washers. The end result is night and day. See how she did it below, and check out her blog for more projects.
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Announcing: Give It Your Best Shot! Outdoor Accents Photo Contest

Have you built a pergola or backyard furniture using Simpson Strong-Tie® Outdoor Accents® decorative hardware? If so, this message is for you. We’re excited to announce the Outdoor Accents photo contest. If your project used any Outdoor Accents products, you’re encouraged to put your best photo forward.
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Simpson Strong-Tie Connectors and Fasteners Make the Strongest Partners

Parts, however solid and sturdy they are, won’t hold themselves up. They have to be fastened in place. That’s why we offer a complete line of fasteners that are designed and tested specifically for use with our connectors. However, not every fastener can be used with every connector. Here’s how to identify the right fastener-connector combination for your next project.
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It’s Alive! Self-Healing Concrete, Materials Science and Other Evolutionary Developments

Legions of catatonic organisms lie asleep in the matrix, waiting only for momentary exposure to water and oxygen in order to awaken — whereupon the organisms immediately germinate, grow and fulfill their destiny, sealing the cracks in the fabric of their universe before falling dormant once again.
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DIY: How to Build a Faux Barnwood Dining Table

The farmhouse table: it’s a classic that’s been around for ages, built out of necessity using the same rough lumber farmers used for their barns. Planed and constructed using hand tools, these primitive barnwood tables were the center of the home, where all of the meals were prepared and served. Fast forward hundreds of years and that classic farmhouse table is still going strong. Many farmhouse tables are now being built from reclaimed barnwood, which is a wonderful way to repurpose this old lumber. This trend has become so popular that old barnwood is now scarce and can be costly, as homeowners desire to use it in many furniture designs. In this post, DIYer and Simpson Strong-Tie Brand Ambassador Jaime Costiglio shows you how to create a beautiful faux barnwood table.
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Engineering with Kids: Popsicle Sticks, Spaghetti and Marshmallows

Back in March, a few colleagues and I were discussing how to prepare kids for college. With that subject in mind, I wanted to do something fun and meaningful for the kids in our community. So I organized some workshops in my back yard focused on engineering with kids who might be interested in exploring structural engineering — and summer was the perfect time to do it! We had a group of 12 kids, aged 7–11, who signed up and were all set to explore some engineering concepts. It was a learning experience for me, as well!
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BIM Inception: The Construction Language of the Future

Robots. Drones. 3D printing. Self-driving bulldozers. If residential construction is ripe for so-called disruption (and sweeping advancements already made by commercial and industrial builders says it is), then most technologists, forward-thinkers and first adopters agree we’ll need a native, digital, data-based language to help run it all. Continue reading “BIM Inception: The Construction Language of the Future”

Girls Inc. Visits Simpson Strong-Tie Lab

On July 6, the Simpson Strong-Tie home office in Pleasanton, California, welcomed girls from Girls, Inc. of Alameda County. This visit provided an opportunity for the girls to hear from and interact with the many women leaders of Simpson Strong-Tie.

The construction and manufacturing industries continue to be male-dominated fields. The visit provided the girls the opportunity to meet several of our women leaders and also learn about other career paths that might not be automatically associated with the manufacturing industry. Our leaders — including Jacinta Pister, senior vice president, Worldwide Manufacturing; Jennifer Lutz, vice president, Human Resources; and Shelby Short, director, Global Quality Systems — shared stories of their personal success and professional growth at Simpson Strong-Tie.
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Little Locales Using Big Data to Prevent Bridge Failures

Situated on the northwest coast of Oregon, the resort town of Seaside — population 6,685 — seems an unlikely place for advanced seismic and tsunami simulations. But just offshore Seaside’s charming 1920s boardwalk and its broad, sandy beaches famed for razor clamming, the Juan de Fuca tectonic plate is slowly sliding underneath the behemoth North American plate.
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