Drop, Cover, and Hold On: International ShakeOut Day is October 18

Each year, an earthquake preparedness event known as the Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drill takes place around the world. The coordinated earthquake drill provides an opportunity for schools, businesses, homeowners and others to practice what to do once the ground starts shaking or swaying.
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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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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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Deck Guide: How to Build Safe, Strong Decks

A little like Bugs Bunny’s, Simpson Strong-Tie’s favorite season is “deck season.”

This penchant makes sense, because for more than half a century Simpson Strong-Tie has been the leader in structural wood connectors. That history of fashioning solid connections makes us the perfect partner for homeowners and contractors who want to build safe, strong wood decks.

But did you know our deck solutions don’t end at connectors? Every year, our team of engineers innovates better ways not only to build new decks but to strengthen existing decks. Whether you’re a contractor seeking new ways to build faster and more safely or a DIYer embarking on a spring deck project, we’re likely to have the solution you’re seeking. Here’s our Ultimate Guide to Building a Safe, Strong Deck with Simpson Strong-Tie.
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Deck Safety: 5 Warning Signs of an Unsafe Deck

Just like your home, your deck can’t be expected to last or keep you safe unless it’s correctly built and maintained. Most experts agree that the average life expectancy of a wood deck is 10 to 15 years, and estimate that millions of decks in the US may be presently unsafe. The good news, however, is attention to deck safety can prevent most deck collapses.

If you’re building a deck or already have one, you should know how to evaluate its construction to make sure it’s structurally sound and safe. Using the proper structural connectors and fasteners (like nails and screws) as well as regular maintenance are the keys to a safe, strong deck. It’s a good idea to inspect your deck annually to make sure all your connections are strong.
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DIY: How to Build an Indoor Playhouse

Why buy an expensive, generic, prebuilt playhouse for your kids when you can easily build one all by yourself? We’re excited to share this imaginative playhouse by Jen Woodhouse from The House of Wood. The plans for this playhouse are free and available for download. As soon as you see how adorable and simple this is, you’ll want one of your own.

Summer means barbecues, lemonade and all sorts of fun. It also means that the kids are out of school. When I was home for summer vacation, I used to build pillow forts and dream of having a playhouse. I lived in an apartment in Queens as a child, and there was no way my parents could make room for an actual playhouse. So my childhood dreams of a playhouse (and a pony) came to nothing.

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5 Steps to a Safer and More Storm-Resistant Home

As we’ve seen with the hurricane seasons of that past decade or so, homes are not always built to be storm resistant. During the 2017 hurricane season, countless homes and buildings were severely damaged or destroyed, leaving thousands of families displaced. It will take years for communities to rebuild and recover from such devastation.

Fortunately, there are solutions that can help protect your home from a hurricane or high-wind event. Building your home to meet or exceed code requirements can have a significant impact on whether your home withstands the next big storm. Many parts of the country follow the International Building Code, which establishes design standards for new home construction. If properly enforced, these codes help strengthen homes and protect them from storm damage.
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Retrofitting Your Home for High Wind — 5 Questions to Ask Yourself

Nearly all parts of the country are subject to high winds. It’s important that your house is designed to withstand a high wind storm. Knowing whether your house is storm ready requires a few simple steps.

One of the first things to consider is where you live. Coastal areas, for example, are more susceptible to powerful winds such as hurricanes. Local building codes for these areas typically require homes to resist much higher wind speeds than inland homes. You’ll want to check with your local building department to learn about the codes that govern your area.

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DIY: How to Build a Doghouse Gazebo

We know you love your pets and love to shower them with gifts. From playtime to snack time and nap time, the opportunities are endless. So what could be better than a custom-built doghouse? Just look at how proud Jen Woodhouse’s dog Watson is, relaxing in his new doghouse! Check out the House of Wood for free build plans for a DIY doghouse that we worked on with Jen Woodhouse  just for you.

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DIY: How to Build a Simple Indoor Log Holder

We partnered with Jaime Costiglio from That’s My Letter to bring you free plans for a simple indoor DIY log holder that can be built in a day.

With the holidays just around the corner, there’s nothing cozier than sitting in front of a fireplace and sipping hot cider or cocoa. If you have a wood-burning fireplace, it’s wise to have extra firewood nearby to keep that fire burning strong through long winter nights. A DIY indoor log holder is the perfect DIY project to keep your firewood organized and easily accessible.

The simple design of this indoor DIY log holder allows the firewood to be kept off the floor. It features Simpson Strong-Tie® RTU2 connectors, which are made from galvanized steel for extra corrosion resistance. You can keep the natural look of the wood and steel connectors or you can customize your own log holder with paint or varnish. Make sure to read how to paint Simpson Strong-Tie connectors here for tips.

The building plans for this DIY log holder were drafted with indoor use in mind, but you can use cedar or redwood to make the same firewood holder for outdoor use. Cedar and redwood are naturally resistant to rotting and decay. The nice thing about the plans is that they allow you to customize your DIY firewood rack to your own needs. You can make it smaller or larger than specified–just measure the average size of the logs and the storage area and adjust the cut lengths to suit your space.