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.
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!
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.
Did you spend the summer sitting in the backyard dreaming about adding a covered patio or a pergola? Assuming you’re handy, maybe you even spent time thinking about bypassing a local contractor and doing it yourself (well, yourself and your BFFs, who’ll work for burgers). Naturally, as the summer crept along and your dream turned into an itch, you probably found yourself looking at do-it-yourself websites to see if you could, in fact, do it yourself.
Simpson Strong-Tie’s “Give It Your Best Shot” photo contest is returning for the summer of 2019. Last year, we received dozens of beautiful shots of pergolas that were built using our Outdoor Accents connectors and fasteners. It was tough to choose a winner, but eventually we settled on Chris Lewis from Chula Vista, California.
Continue reading “Announcing: Give It Your Best Shot 2019! Simpson Strong-Tie® Outdoor Accents® Photo Contest”
It’s the holiday season, so that means it’s package delivery season! Many reasons could impact your package delivery, including long driveways, dogs and weather. We’ve partnered with Rogue Engineer to come up with a solution for preserving your delivery person’s sanity while keeping packages safe from damage.
Continue reading “DIY: How to Build a Large Package Shelter”
One of the simplest ways to add stylish comfort to any room is with a leather cushioned ottoman. If you go to the store, you’ll end up paying more than $150 for a decent foot rest. That’s why we’re excited to partner with Jaime Costiglio to bring you this DIY leather ottoman. She used our A21 angles to make sure this ottoman will stand the test of time. See her plans below.
The coffee table does double duty as an ottoman when paired with a leather cushioned top. And since it’s an ottoman, you can put your feet up without anyone yelling at you to get your feet off the table. Let’s build this round leather ottoman and upholster the top so you can take full advantage.
Continue reading “DIY: How to Build a Leather Ottoman”
If you check out the DIY tag on our Building Strong blog, you’ll discover a diverse selection of indoor and outdoor furniture you can easily build at home. You’ll also find a growing list of projects that can help enhance and beautify your yard. Simpson Strong-Tie Brand Ambassador Jaime Costiglio was seeking a way to hide her AC unit without blocking access to it. Here’s how she did it.
Continue reading “DIY: Building a Stylish AC Screen Cover”