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 sizes 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.
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.
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!
Free pergola plans by Simpson Strong-Tie will help beautify your backyard while providing your family and guests with shade to relax in.
These pergola designs were developed by Simpson Strong-Tie engineers, so you can be confident that not only will they look great but they’ll be safe, strong structures. We’ve set out to create a diverse selection of architectural styles to make it easier for you to find the structure that best enhances your outdoor space.
Many of us have found ourselves spending more time at home this summer trying our hands at do-it-yourself projects or making long-overdue home improvements. Simpson Strong-Tie has a helpful DIY website filled with inspirational photos and free project plans. Many of those projects, like our free pergola and garage shelving plans, were produced in house by our engineers. Others came from the creative minds of brand ambassadors we’ve had the pleasure of working with over the years, like the Rogue Engineer and Jen Woodhouse.
Simpson Strong-Tie Fasteners product marketing manager Robert Shirley turned to our website and the Simpson Strong-Tie WBSK Workbench and Shelving Hardware Kit when he was trying to find inspiration to build a new potting bench. He tells his story and shares photos of the finished project below.
When we started planning a high-quality video for our new Outdoor Accents® Avant Collection™ of decorative hardware, we knew we wanted a well-known and talented social media Influencer to help us show off the versatility of this new line. Our marketing team’s first choice was DIYer and brand ambassador Jen Woodhouse.
One of the ways many homeowners increase the enjoyment (and monetary) value of their property is by adding a well-designed deck, pergola or other outdoor structure to their backyard. Whether it’s for entertaining or just chilling with a good read and a bracing beverage, a beautiful outdoor living space makes any backyard activity more desirable. Perhaps that’s why, in a 2017 survey, 25% of National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) remodelers reported adding a deck as one of their most common projects, and the figure was nearly identical for new home construction.
Your backyard might be the envy of all your neighbors, but sometimes a person needs a little extra privacy. The reasons for backyard privacy are endless. Maybe you don’t want your neighbors peeking in on your hot-tubbing, or maybe you’ve built a little koi pond for quiet meditation. Whatever your reason, we’ve got you covered.