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.
When we started planning a high-quality video for our new Outdoor Accents® Avant Collection™ of decorative hardware, we knew we wanted a well-known and talented social media Influencer to help us show off the versatility of this new line. Our marketing team’s first choice was DIYer and brand ambassador Jen Woodhouse.
One of the ways many homeowners increase the enjoyment (and monetary) value of their property is by adding a well-designed deck, pergola or other outdoor structure to their backyard. Whether it’s for entertaining or just chilling with a good read and a bracing beverage, a beautiful outdoor living space makes any backyard activity more desirable. Perhaps that’s why, in a 2017 survey, 25% of National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) remodelers reported adding a deck as one of their most common projects, and the figure was nearly identical for new home construction.
This summer we asked you to participate in our second annual “Give Us Your Best Shot” contest. If you were building a project with our Outdoor Accents® line of decorative hardware, we wanted to see it. More than 40 customers sent in photos of pergolas, hammocks, arbors and other outdoor living projects. Of those projects we had the enjoyable challenge of selecting two winners, one for a large project and one for a smaller project.
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.
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Over the last year we’ve shared dozens of examples of how to use the Simpson Strong-Tie® Outdoor Accents® line of decorative hardware for adding strength and style to your new do-it-yourself projects. Have you considered using Outdoor Accents to enhance existing structures or backyard furniture? We’ve been waiting for such a project to come along, so when Pneumatic Addict’s Elisha Albretsen told us she wanted to use Outdoor Accents to redo her porch, it was an easy sell. Over two days, the DIYer swapped out her ugly support straps for our sleek strap ties and washers. The end result is night and day. See how she did it below, and check out her blog for more projects.
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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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Looking for a simple way to dress up your patio? Elisha Albretsen from Pneumatic Addict has teamed up with Simpson Strong-Tie to bring you this simple DIY rolling planter using Outdoor Accents® decorative hardware.
Spring and summer arrive quickly in central Arizona. Currently, we’re enjoying –70° temperatures while bragging to our East Coast friends, but in a couple of months the rest of the country will be the ones laughing. Triple digits are right around the corner, so that means I’ve got to take advantage of the nice weather while I can.
The Southwest has famously long growing seasons. So that means I get a head start on all my outdoor projects. I’m still so enthralled with the glass-topped outdoor table I built last year that I decided to build it a friend. I built a handy, rolling planter and was able to incorporate more of the gorgeous black hardware from the Simpson Strong-Tie® Outdoor Accents® line.
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Because bathrooms are comparatively so small, creating storage space in them can be a real challenge. One possibility you may not have considered is to build a leaning bathroom shelf above the toilet tank. We teamed up with Jamison Rantz of Rogue Engineer to develop a rustic ladder-style shelf using Simpson Strong-Tie® Outdoor Accents® structural wood screws and hex-head washers. Learn how easy it is to build this leaning bathroom shelf. Be sure to check out his video at the end of this post.
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