All Decked Out: How to Attach a Deck to a House Through Brick Veneer

As winter turns to spring and the days get warmer and longer, homeowners gear up for backyard barbecues and fun in the sun. That means brisk business for the deck-building industry, which has been enjoying rapid growth in tandem with the increased popularity of outdoor living and entertaining. After all, what homeowner doesn’t want a nice outdoor deck?
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Five FRP Advantages for Contractors and Structure Owners

FRP fiber-reinforced polymer provides a number of advantages over traditional concrete-strengthening materials and methods. Strengthening concrete structures by means of this composite has benefits for contractors and property owners alike.

While FRP is not feasible for all applications, there are demonstrable FRP advantages for many structural rehabilitation projects.
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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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Simpson Strong-Tie Connectors and Fasteners Make the Strongest Partners

Parts, however solid and sturdy they are, won’t hold themselves up. They have to be fastened in place. That’s why we offer a complete line of fasteners that are designed and tested specifically for use with our connectors. However, not every fastener can be used with every connector. Here’s how to identify the right fastener-connector combination for your next project.
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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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Staying Put, Riding Out the Storm and Surviving the Odds by Sheltering in Place

Disaster strikes. It’s inevitable, given enough time. Regardless of where you live, there are natural disasters waiting to happen, be they earthquakes, floods, tornadoes or hurricanes.  Meteorologists and emergency service providers can often provide advance notice of weather-related disasters like hurricanes, but seismic events, tornadoes and flash floods can often occur with little or no warning.

In the wake of recent catastrophic events such as Superstorm Sandy (233 deaths, $75 billion in damages), the 2011 Joplin tornado (158 deaths, $2.8 billion in damages), and Hurricane Katrina (1,245 deaths, $108 billion in damages), emergency management experts are increasingly evaluating the benefits of sheltering in place as opposed to evacuation. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), sheltering in place is generally advisable when it may be dangerous to leave your home or place of employment.
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Your DIY Pergola Makes Everything Even Cooler: Part 2

This week’s post was written by Jen Woodhouse from The House of Wood.

Hi friends! I’m excited to be back to share how we built this gorgeous DIY pergola with Simpson Strong-Tie’s new Outdoor Accents® line. If you’d like to read about how we built the floating deck, click here.

If you recall, we built the floating deck and pergola for our neighbors, who also happen to be a fellow military family. The deck and pergola are our welcome home gift to their deployed soldier. Aren’t they amazing? I’m so thrilled that we were able to work with Simpson Strong-Tie and give our neighbors a beautiful new outdoor space that they can enjoy for years to come.
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DIY: You Can Have a Cool Floating Deck: Part 1

This week’s post was written by Jen Woodhouse from The House of Wood.

Hi friends, I’m so excited to share our biggest and best DIY project to date! We partnered with Simpson Strong-Tie to build a floating deck and pergola for our neighbors. Our neighbors are a fellow military family and this floating deck and pergola is our welcome home gift for their deployed soldier. I am thrilled to work with a company like Simpson Strong-Tie that proudly supports our brave men and women in uniform. And I’m equally thrilled that we were able to bless our neighbors with this amazing outdoor space that they can enjoy for years to come.

Because Adam works during the week and I homeschool our two young kiddos, we dedicated our weekends to building this deck and pergola for our neighbors. It took the two of us about 10 weekends from start to finish. It was a ton of hard work and we’re incredibly proud of the result! As an Army family ourselves, we know the sacrifice of deployment all too well and we’re so thankful that we’re able to give back to a fellow military family. I mean, who wouldn’t want to come home to this gorgeous space?!
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Keep Corrosion in Check

Just as knowing the load capacities of your metal hardware is crucial to safeguarding the structural integrity and longevity of your building project, so is understanding the metal’s susceptibility to corrosion. The likelihood of rust and rot increases when you are building outdoors in wet environments or other corrosive conditions. Having a solid awareness of the corrosive threatsposed by the environment and your building materials will help you to choose the fasteners, connectors and anchors that will best mitigate the risk of corrosion and keep your project structurally sound for the long haul.

Start by evaluating the exposure levels in your environment. Is it an interior dry- or exterior wet-service job, for example? Generally, outdoor environments are more corrosive of steel because of the greater moisture levels they present. Projects near the ocean or waterfront are at increased risk for corrosion due to airborne chlorides and salt splash prevalent in marine locales. Salt is also a danger if building materials will be exposed to de-icing salts.
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Prescriptions for a Perfect Pergola

Building a custom pergola, gazebo or patio cover is one of the best ways to enhance an outdoor living space. Beginning your project with a few simple construction tips in mind — and the right hardware on hand — can go a long way toward making your job easier, and toward creating a pergola that’s both structurally sound and stylish. Here are four tips on how to build your perfect pergola or other backyard structure.
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