The year 2016 saw its share of momentous events, if you care to recall: Britain voted to leave the EU, Russia interfered in the US presidential election and North Korea conducted nuclear tests. At that time, the world was still in an economic expansion and Americans were still living their usual busy social lives — which in most cases meant a daily commute to work or school, shopping, eating out once or twice a week, and planning fun adventures for spring and summer vacations.
This past summer, my parents and I were talking about some of the latest home improvement projects that they had going on, and the topic of providing more shade for their backyard patio came up. For the last couple of years, they’d been looking into different ideas of what to do with this space, including sketching out on notebook paper layouts and particulars that would be nice to have. They’d tried portable patio umbrellas and various other ways to shade this area and had come to a decision that it was time to add a permanent structure that would serve as both a backyard shelter and an aesthetic complement to their home.
Every so often a homeowner tackling a new project will reach out to ask why their lumber doesn’t fit the connector. We sympathize. Lumber size can be confusing, especially when someone is first getting started with DIY woodworking. Nearly every single time this question comes up, it comes down to “nominal” dimensions of the purchased lumber.
It’s no surprise that with so many of us stuck at home for most of 2020, there’s been an increased interest in DIY projects. Homeowners have been using the time to build everything from desks to alternative dwelling units. That interest is reflected in where we see visitors going on our website. We’ve seen a significant increase in the number of people downloading free project plans and an especially high interest in free pergola plans.
In our first blog post in this series, we identified why older homes are more vulnerable than newer homes to earthquake damage. We described what retrofitting is and how it strengthens your home’s structure. And lastly, we posed five questions you should ask yourself when deciding if your home needs retrofitting.
One of the nicest outcomes of the COVID pandemic has been the reduction in commuting time for people who have shifted to working 100% from home. With less time in transit, many people have had to figure out how to work effectively from home.
Renegotiating time and space for work hasn’t been the only challenge, though. Not only did many places of employment close, but the businesses where people spend their time, like churches, salons, and gyms were also shuttered. When COVID restrictions began, most gyms were closed, and once restrictions were lifted and doors reopened to customers, only a small percentage of people could congregate inside at one time. For people whose workouts are a central part of their lives —stopping them altogether or waiting until things got back to normal just wasn’t an option. So, when my coworker described how she reimagined her family’s workout time, I was immediately inspired and couldn’t wait to share her story.
This summer we hosted a successful Builder Solutions Webinar series dedicated to highlighting innovative new product solutions to help get houses on the market faster. The thirdwebinar in the series lightly touched on our web-based material management and estimation logic software solution — Pipeline. Due to the popularity of the topic, we’re launching the Pipeline Webinar Series.
Each year, Simpson Strong-Tie teams up with the West Coast’s top earthquake scientists and preparedness experts to take questions from Redditors about earthquakes and tsunamis. The Reddit AMA is part of the Great ShakeOut, the world’s largest earthquake drill, where 55 million people drop, cover and hold on. The next Great ShakeOut is scheduled to take place at 10:17 a.m. on October 15, 2020.
October is Earthquake Preparedness Month, and October 15 is the Great ShakeOut earthquake drill. In this blog series, we thought we’d share some steps homeowners can take to help minimize the risk of damage from earthquakes. Depending on your location, you may find further information and resources at the end of each blog post, with links to local cities that participate in resiliency plans for homeowners and contractors.
If an earthquake were to strike at this very moment, are you confident your home is adequately constructed to withstand its forces? Continue reading “Protecting Homes Against Earthquakes — a New Blog Series”
So, you’ve decided to build a chicken coop for your yard — congratulations! But now you’re probably thinking, “Where do I even start? What materials do I need? How many chickens can I put inside?” Simpson Strong-Tie has partnered with the backyard chicken experts at Chickens and More to answer these questions and many more.
Building a chicken coop doesn’t have to be an intimidating or impossible project. As long as you have some basic woodworking skills (or a willingness to learn them), space, time, and determination, we’ll guide you through the rest!