Should I Seismic Retrofit My Home?

Certain types of homes are more likely to need a seismic retrofit than others. If you answer yes to any of these questions, you should consider retrofitting your home.

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A Well-Connected Home Is a Smart Home

In the digital era, we’ve observed technology grow ever “smarter,” as our devices, tools and appliances advance steadily toward greater connectivity, autonomy and responsiveness. Even homes are getting smarter as lighting, temperature and security systems operate with increasing integration and diminishing oversight on our behalf.
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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 Kamado Grill Table

This week we are going to share how you (and I) can build a DIY grill table. Our very own Ben Rivera in Simpson Strong-Tie Marketing built a DIY grill table for his Kamado grill. He shared some tips with me that I’m going to pass along to you. If that isn’t enough DIY for you, Jen Woodhouse from House of Wood also shares how to build a DIY grill table with free plans.

Kamado Grill

Ben is one of our creative designers at Simpson. Since he lives in SoCal, he likes to take advantage of the nice weather and entertain outdoors. He grills so much that his wife surprised him with a Kamado grill for Father’s Day. He spent time researching Kamado nests online and realized that he could build a custom DIY grill table much less expensively. He used reclaimed wood from some outdoor benches, 4×4 studs and cedar planking. For hardware, Ben used Simpson Strong-Tie® LUC26Z and FB24Z connectors along with wafer-head screwsStrong-Drive® SDW EWP-Ply screws  and Strong-Drive SD Connector screws.

He used the LUC26Z hangers to frame the project, then wood-stained with Minwax Jacobean. The hardware was spray painted with Rust-Oleum Flat Black. Here is a blog post on how to paint the connectors. Ben’s quick tip for painting the fasteners is to push them into a Styrofoamtakeout box and spray them all at once.

He matched the DIY grill table to a custom table he built just for outdoor entertaining.

Black stained table

Great minds must think alike, because Jen Woodhouse just shared how she built her DIY grill table. You can download free building plans for this DIY grill table here.

Kamado Grill Table
Jen Woodhouse’s DIY Kamado Grill Table