DIY: How to Build a Round Outdoor Dining Table

This post is part of an occasional series featuring guest bloggers who are Simpson Strong-Tie brand ambassadors. These plans for a DIY Round Outdoor Dining Table are by Jaime Costiglio

When the weather cooperates, my family eats dinner outdoors, which can be nearly every evening in the warmer months. But we had an old flimsy metal table that only fit four chairs properly for our family of five.  We needed an outdoor dining table to fit our patio space. So in true DIY fashion, I built a table to accommodate not only my family but a few guests as well.

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5 Ways Simpson Strong-Tie Collaborates with Construction Students

We’re not only focused on building strong structures, we’re focused on building strong relationships with the next generation of architects, engineers, builders and trade professionals who will help shape our communities. With the shortage of skilled laborers and fewer young people joining the trades, we believe it’s important to create and cultivate relationships that have a positive impact on the future of our industry.

To do that, Simpson Strong-Tie has appointed a select group – aptly titled Outreach Coordinators – who are dedicated to creating relationships with young people who are interested in our industry. Here are five ways that Simpson Strong-Tie and this passionate team are helping the next generation of engineering and construction professionals plan their careers.

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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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Does Tension Keep Your Deck Up at Night?

Whether you’re building a brand new deck or retrofitting an existing one, concerns about the strength and safety of your deck can be a significant source of tension. Other than the quality of the wood itself, how the wood members of a deck are connected to each other and to the adjacent structure is the most important part of the deck. Connections that don’t meet code requirements or that have become loose, corroded or decayed over time, compromise a deck’s strength and safety.
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DIY: How to Build a Low-Effort Lemonade Stand

There’s just something about a DIY lemonade stand on a hot day that brings back childhood memories. As a kid, I can remember always wanting to have a lemonade stand. Unfortunately, we lived in a cul-de-sac so it wasn’t exactly prime real estate for a business. My kids are luckier than I was, since we live on a corner lot along a pretty busy street full of thirsty joggers, bike riders and folks passing by in their cars.

As soon as the weather warmed up this spring, my daughter was eager to set up her lemonade stand, and she wasn’t going to let anything stop her. Being the resourceful girl that she is, she quickly went through the garage looking for anything that would hold her lemonade and decided an ironing board would suffice. (At last, the ironing board is serving a purpose in my house!) She taped on her signs, made some lemonade and quickly ran outside to set up shop.

After watching her successfully sell lemonade for a few afternoons, we knew she was ready to learn the business basics. We explained to her that she’d need to invest her own money and in return she would benefit from all the profits made. Without hesitation, she spent her hard-earned money on lemonade mix and we supplied the cups. We told her that if any neighborhood kids helped out, then she would need to share a portion of her profits. After making $30 in just a couple hours, we figured it was time to get real and build her a sturdier DIY lemonade stand. An ironing board does the trick, but seriously, how cool is it having your very own DIY lemonade stand?

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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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DIY: How to Build a Mobile Kitchen Island

If you have a small kitchen or one without much counter space, one way you can create additional prep space is with a DIY mobile kitchen island. But if you cruise around online looking for mobile kitchen islands, you’ll find they can range in pricing from $75 to $1,500, with quality ranging likewise.

Yikes! It’s far more reasonable to build your mobile kitchen island than to break the bank buying one. So we teamed up with Jamie Schmitt to create this mobile kitchen island.

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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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What Are the Components of a Strong Wooden Fence?

Spring is officially here, and that means a lot more outdoor living and entertaining. Is your outdoor space ready? While most homeowners focus on building a new deck or on deck maintenance, redoing your fence can also transform your space. Do you know what the crucial structural connections of a strong wooden fence? We will outline them here, along with a sneak peek at our newest fence bracket, the FBFZ, just in time for spring.

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