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.
The DIY bug has even infected our employees. Outreach and Training Specialist Jackie Flemming found herself without a gym due to the pandemic shutdown in her region. She took advantage of the unfortunate circumstances to build a do-it-yourself gym in her garage.
And this summer, Fasteners product marketing manager Robert Shirley improvised with the Simpson Strong-Tie WBSK Workbench and Shelving Hardware Kit to build a rustic potting bench. You can read about his finished project here.
Of course, we’ve also continued our relationships with some of our favorite DIY influencers.
Elisha Albretsen, aka Pneumatic Addict, has been working with Simpson Strong-Tie products for more than half a decade. In years past she’s done everything from creating a DIY candle wall sconce using PGT Pipe Grip Tie® connectors to upgrading a patio cover with our Outdoor Accents® decorative hardware. But those projects were small potatoes compared to her plans for 2020. Elisha decided to tackle her lifelong goal of building her dream house.
Elisha documented the entire process including unexpected challenges and budget miscalculations. And, despite the additional pressures of a global pandemic, Elisha was able to close out the year with a new house in which to hang her hat (and other belongings). The entire series is an engaging watch. We’ve posted episode three below.
This was our second year working with Sadie Mae Johns, whose social media handle is The Awesome Orange , and she hasn’t failed to impress. She started off the year helping a neighbor who needed privacy screens. It was an impressive use of our FBFZ Fence Rail Brackets.
Much like our colleague Bob Shirley, Sadie had her eyes set on a potting bench in 2020.
Every dog needs a home, so one of Sadie’s fun projects was making sure her awesome pup Oscar had a roof over his head. She went with a modern Scandinavian vibe in her design.
Finally, toward the end of the summer, Sadie learned of a friend who was in need of a new deck. She kindly introduced her friend to our Deck Planner Software™, and not only did they design a dream deck, but they also went ahead and built it! What a way to finish off 2020.
Speaking of decks, we also made some new friends in 2020. John Malecki reached out to us because he’d encountered some unique challenges in adding a deck to his house. The combination of our Deck Planner Software and Simpson Strong-Tie engineering services helped John find the solutions he needed to build a sturdy deck. We were especially excited to see John use our BVLZ brick veneer ledger connectors.
We’d been trying to find an opportunity to partner with April Wilkerson of Wilker Do’s for quite some time. The stars finally aligned this fall when she found herself faced with a decaying staircase. Instead of reinforcing her existing staircase, she decided to simply tear it out and build anew. April used joist hangers and LSC adjustable stair stringer connectors to finish the job.
Last, but certainly not least, is Jen Woodhouse. The focus for Jen this year was helping introduce to the public the newest collection in our line of Outdoor Accents® decorative hardware. The Avant Collection™ has straight lines and chamfered corners, creating a clean look that complements nearly any design. Jen worked with our production team to build a beautiful poolside pergola. You can see the finished product below.
We’re excited thinking about the do-it-yourself opportunities that 2021 will bring. If you’re considering building a pergola in the new year, keep your eyes on this page — in early spring, we’ll announce two contests you’ll likely be interested in. If you’re seeking DIY inspiration, swe’re continually expanding our free DIY project plans library. Of course, we’re always looking to our customers for inspiration as well. If you’re using our products, toss the photo up on Instagram and use the hashtag #strongtiediy.