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.
Continue reading “Deck Safety: 5 Warning Signs of an Unsafe Deck”
The fact that carbon-fiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP) is strong enough to replace bulkier strengthening materials can be a surprise even to some experienced commercial contractors. After all, carbon fibers are only 5 to 10 microns in diameter, a little wider than spider silk.
Intuitively, it doesn’t seem that these tiny fibers could be a major component of a concrete strengthening system several times stronger than mounted steel plates.
Continue reading “Carbon-Fiber-Reinforced Polymer: Exploring Industrial Applications”
If you love the rustic flair barn doors can bring to a home but aren’t ready to replace an entryway we have the perfect DIY project for you. We challenged DIYer Jaime Costiglio to come up with a unique and easy way to use barn doors in your home. She came back with this fantastic concept of using barn doors as window coverings in a bedroom. Check out her project and designs below.
Continue reading “DIY: How to Make Barn Door Window Coverings”
Eighty-one years ago this May, traffic opened on a newly constructed bridge span between Marin County, California, and the city of San Francisco. At 4,200 feet long and with towers 746 feet high, the steel suspension bridge was the longest and tallest bridge of its time. Built at a cost of $35 million, held together with 1.2 million rivets, and painted international orange from end to end, the Golden Gate Bridge was an instant symbol not just of California idealism, but of American engineering and construction might.
While the Golden Gate is no longer the longest or tallest bridge in the world, its iconic status has endured. Named one of the seven wonders of the modern world by the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Golden Gate enjoys regular special attention from 13 ironworkers and 28 painters who replace corroding steel and rivets with high-strength steel bolts and constantly touch up the span with paint to prevent corrosion.
Continue reading “Better Engineering for Stronger, Longer-Lasting Bridges and Wastewater Infrastructure”
Whether you call it 3D printing, additive manufacturing or contour crafting, the ability to create something — from a small tabletop model to a livable home or towering skyscraper, to list just a few possibilities — out of paper-thin materials is intriguing, and promises to shape the future of our world. So promising is this recent technology, in fact, that manufacturing industries, government entities and educational institutions have made significant investments in 3D-printing technologies. These ventures, particularly those driven by partnerships, are shaping up to have a big impact on the building and construction industry.
Continue reading “3D Printing and Its Impact on the Building and Construction Industry”
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.
Continue reading “Staying Put, Riding Out the Storm and Surviving the Odds by Sheltering in Place”
Are you seeking an affordable, atmospheric lighting solution for your home? Elisha Albertsen from Pneumatic Addict teamed up with Simpson Strong-Tie to show you an easy way to build a DIY tealight candle wall sconce.
Inspiration can come from odd places. It may sound like an exaggeration, but I honestly get project ideas every single time I go to Home Depot. I’ve used hardware in some unique ways before, like turning an industrial light bulb cage into a Modern Tiki Torch.
Recently, I was walking past the Simpson Strong-Tie bay and spotted boxes of the PGT Pipe Grip Tie® connectors. These are normally used to secure metal fence pipes, but I thought of something a little more unorthodox. If PGT connectors can be used to hold cylindrical pipes, why couldn’t they hold round vases?
Continue reading “How to Build a Candle Wall Sconce Using Pipe Grip Ties”
It was a muggy Tuesday morning, and thousands of people from all over the world were heading toward the long bank of doors to the Orlando Convention Center. The broad stream of people was just one of the signs that the International Builders’ Show® was underway.
Inside Hall C The Simpson Strong-Tie booth was impressive with a festively lit Outdoor Accents® pergola and shelves of Simpson hats and tee-shirts to give to booth visitors.
Continue reading “News from IBS & WOC — What You Missed at the 2018 Simpson Strong-Tie Exhibit Booths”
When you live in earthquake country, you know it’s not “if” there will be a big quake, it’s “when.” You may have an earthquake emergency kit ready, but there are also steps you can take now to strengthen your home to make it more resistant to earthquake damage. And if you live in California, there’s a program called the Earthquake Brace + Bolt (EBB) that provides up to $3,000 for seismic retrofit grants to homeowners residing in more than 150 California zip codes. If you’ve checked it before and your zip code wasn’t listed, be sure to check it again because the list has been expanded. Continue reading “Earthquake Brace and Bolt Helps California Homeowners Retrofit”
Simpson Strong-Tie is renewing its partnership with Habitat for Humanity to continue supporting the housing organization’s efforts to make homes resilient to disasters. This is the 12th consecutive year of the partnership to help more families in need of a decent and affordable place to call home. To date, the manufacturer of structural product solutions has contributed more than $2.75 million toward Habitat’s mission.
Continue reading “Simpson Strong-Tie Renews Partnership with Habitat for Humanity to Help Build More Disaster-Resilient Homes”