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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A Deck Style for Every House

A deck is more than just a new outdoor space. When designing your next deck, consider a layout that works with the architectural style of your home. There is a deck style suited for every home – from a large mountain estate all the way down to a highly functional tiny house.

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DIY: How to Build a Doghouse Gazebo

We know you love your pets and love to shower them with gifts. From playtime to snack time and nap time, the opportunities are endless. So what could be better than a custom-built doghouse? Just look at how proud Jen Woodhouse’s dog Watson is, relaxing in his new doghouse! Check out the House of Wood for free build plans for a DIY doghouse that we worked on with Jen Woodhouse  just for you.

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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

DIY: How to Build a Simple Indoor Log Holder

We partnered with Jaime Costiglio from That’s My Letter to bring you free plans for a simple indoor DIY log holder that can be built in a day.

With the holidays just around the corner, there’s nothing cozier than sitting in front of a fireplace and sipping hot cider or cocoa. If you have a wood-burning fireplace, it’s wise to have extra firewood nearby to keep that fire burning strong through long winter nights. A DIY indoor log holder is the perfect DIY project to keep your firewood organized and easily accessible.

The simple design of this indoor DIY log holder allows the firewood to be kept off the floor. It features Simpson Strong-Tie® RTU2 connectors, which are made from galvanized steel for extra corrosion resistance. You can keep the natural look of the wood and steel connectors or you can customize your own log holder with paint or varnish. Make sure to read how to paint Simpson Strong-Tie connectors here for tips.

The building plans for this DIY log holder were drafted with indoor use in mind, but you can use cedar or redwood to make the same firewood holder for outdoor use. Cedar and redwood are naturally resistant to rotting and decay. The nice thing about the plans is that they allow you to customize your DIY firewood rack to your own needs. You can make it smaller or larger than specified–just measure the average size of the logs and the storage area and adjust the cut lengths to suit your space.

 

DIY: How to Build an Industrial Wine Rack

This week’s DIY wine rack project is in collaboration with Jamison Rantz from Rogue Engineer.

As a parent, I understand the need to indulge in food and drink after the kids have gone to bed (I have a hidden stash of good Swiss chocolate). So when Jamison Rantz from Rogue Engineer pitched us the idea of a DIY wine rack, I knew it would be a DIY project that would resonate with a lot of parents!

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DIY: How to Build a Porch Swing

This week’s blog post is written by our college interns in the Engineering Department. They were tasked with creating a DIY project that would be sturdy and durable, so they decided to create a DIY porch swing. Thank you to Paul Cabasag, Alex Wightman, Ian Kennedy, Sienna Palos, Daniel Noh and Toan Nguyen for this week’s post.

Nothing is more pleasant than relaxing outside with friends and family on a warm afternoon. But many of us don’t have enough reliable seating. Unfortunately, even my backyard is filled with rickety old chairs and benches that you hope won’t break every time you sit in them.

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