How to Beautify an Old Porch Using Outdoor Accents

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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Announcing: Give It Your Best Shot! Outdoor Accents Photo Contest

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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Simpson Strong-Tie Connectors and Fasteners Make the Strongest Partners

Parts, however solid and sturdy they are, won’t hold themselves up. They have to be fastened in place. That’s why we offer a complete line of fasteners that are designed and tested specifically for use with our connectors. However, not every fastener can be used with every connector. Here’s how to identify the right fastener-connector combination for your next project.
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Deck Guide: How to Build Safe, Strong Decks

A little like Bugs Bunny’s, Simpson Strong-Tie’s favorite season is “deck season.”

This penchant makes sense, because for more than half a century Simpson Strong-Tie has been the leader in structural wood connectors. That history of fashioning solid connections makes us the perfect partner for homeowners and contractors who want to build safe, strong wood decks.

But did you know our deck solutions don’t end at connectors? Every year, our team of engineers innovates better ways not only to build new decks but to strengthen existing decks. Whether you’re a contractor seeking new ways to build faster and more safely or a DIYer embarking on a spring deck project, we’re likely to have the solution you’re seeking. Here’s our Ultimate Guide to Building a Safe, Strong Deck with Simpson Strong-Tie.
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DIY: How to Build a Simple Rolling Planter

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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Carbon-Fiber-Reinforced Polymer: Exploring Industrial Applications

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.
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Earthquake Brace and Bolt Helps California Homeowners Retrofit

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”

Alternative Homes — the Impact of Rising Rents and Mortgages

After the collapse of the housing market in 2008, homebuilding is back on the rise, and the cost of housing is increasing nationwide. Enter: Alternative homes.

According to the United States Census Bureau, in the third quarter of 2017, the median asking price across the country for a vacant rental unit reached an all-time high of $912. In comparison, the median rental price for vacant units in 1997 was below $500 nationwide. That kind of an increase outpaces inflation, adding significant burden to the wallets of renters nationwide. What’s more, the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University (JCHS) reports that nearly 48% of renters in 2015 spent more than 30% of their income on housing, with lower-income homes being the most affected.
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Picking Up the Pieces — Examining the Effects of Hurricane Harvey

From hurricanes and earthquakes to wildfires, floods, freezes, droughts, severe storms and more, natural disasters plagued the United States in 2017. The National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) reports that 2017 could be a record-breaking year for disasters that cause over $1 billion in damage. As of October of 2017, NCEI reported 15 such events in the United States, only one fewer than in the record year of 2011. Without going into the details of why these events occur — we’ll leave that to the scientific community — there are ways to prevent damage and destruction by building resilient communities and structures.
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