Simpson Strong-Tie News

New Strong-Wall® Bracing Selector Web App Makes it Easier to Specify Equivalent Strong-Wall Shearwall Solutions for Wall Bracing posted 4/20/15
The Tech Challenge

Pleasanton, Calif. – The new Simpson Strong-Tie Strong-Wall Bracing Selector web app provides pre-engineered Strong-Wall shearwall alternatives to code-prescribed braced wall panels.

Simpson Strong-Tie Strong-Wall model numbers and foundation anchorage designs are established to meet job-specific requirements and provide the narrowest bracing solutions possible. This new tool replaces the Strong-Wall Shearwalls Prescriptive Design Guide.

"This app automates our 84-page design guide. With a few easy steps, a designer can select a solution to meet the exact amount of bracing that is required," said Sam Hensen, Simpson Strong-Tie vice president and general manager, Core Products Group. "This new tool makes it easier to specify equivalent solutions and also provides builders with all the information they need to submit to building departments for permit approvals."

The Strong-Wall Bracing Selector web app can be used in conjunction with the Simpson Strong-Tie Wall-Bracing-Length Calculator web app, which helps calculate the required length of wall bracing per the 2009 or 2012 IRC®. After the wall-bracing length requirements are determined, project information and bracing requirements can be exported to the Strong-Wall Bracing Selector.

To use the app, go to www.strongtie.com/software and click on the Web tab. The app includes a step-by-step tutorial along with a design example.

Simpson Strong-Tie Sponsors The Tech Challenge 2015 posted 4/15/15
The Tech Challenge

Pleasanton, Calif. – Simpson Strong-Tie is sponsoring The Tech Challenge 2015, an annual team design challenge for children in grades 4-12 presented by The Tech Museum of Innovation located in San Jose, California from January 1 to April 26, 2015. The Tech Challenge introduces and reinforces the science and engineering design process with a hands-on project geared toward solving a real-world problem.

The Tech Challenge 2015 invites teams to build a scaled structure that supports live load and is earthquake safe. The structures will be placed on a test rig for a series of three 20-second simulated earthquakes. In between each earthquake simulation, the teams will have one minute to repair the structure to help ensure it survives the remaining earthquakes.

Teams will be judged on creativity, thought process, design and construction, teamwork, documentation and adherence to the spirit of the challenge.

“The Tech Challenge 2015 is a great forum for educating students and the general public about the importance of building safe, strong structures. Simpson Strong-Tie is committed to doing just that with our structural building products. We're happy to support The Tech as an Underwriting Sponsor of this event,” said Jeremy Gilstrap, vice president of engineering at Simpson Strong-Tie.

"The Tech is grateful to Simpson Strong-Tie for its support of The Tech Challenge and our mission of inspiring the innovator in everyone," says Tim Ritchie, President and CEO of The Tech. "We hope the kids learning about seismic engineering in this year's competition decide to pursue STEM careers and go on to make the world a better, safer place through technology and innovation."

New DTT1Z Deck Tension Tie Addresses New Code Provision and Offers Method for Attaching Decks to Homes posted 3/16/15

Pleasanton, Calif. – Simpson Strong-Tie, the industry leader in engineered structural connectors and building solutions, has introduced a new deck tension tie that provides deck builders with a less invasive approach for attaching a deck to a home and meets newly updated code standards.

The DTT1Z deck tension tie is a safe and time-saving alternative that eliminates the need to access floor joists from inside the house. Instead, it is fastened from outside the house. The DTT1Z addresses a new 2015 International Residential Code provision (section R507.2.4) that now allows four 750-lb. lateral connectors to be fastened to structural framing joists members in the house. This provision is an alternative to using two 1,500-lb. lateral connections from the deck to the floor joists within the house.

"Our engineering team proactively designed this new cost-effective tension tie to give deck installers a product that would specifically comply with this new code detail. It allows the lateral connection from the deck joists to be made to top plates, studs or headers within the supporting structure," said Sam Hensen, Simpson Strong-Tie vice president and general manager, Core Products Group. "By eliminating the need to access the floor joists inside the house, it not only saves installation time, but also spares the homeowner from the disruption of added construction inside the living space."

The DTT1Z fastens to the narrow or wide face of a single 2x with Strong-Drive® SD Connector screws. The new Strong-Drive® SDWH Timber-Hex HDG screw with an integral washer attaches the tension tie to the supporting structure with a minimum of 3" of penetration.

Other key features include:

  • ZMAX® coating offers additional corrosion protection for exterior and preservative-treated wood applications
  • DTT1Z tension ties are available as an individual part or as part of a retail pack with Strong-Drive® SD Connector and Strong-Drive® SDWH Timber-Hex HDG screws.

To view the product flier, visit www.strongtie.com/dtt1z.

New Bridging Connector Offers Lower-Cost Option for CFS Stud Construction posted 3/2/15

Pleasanton, Calif. – Simpson Strong-Tie, the industry leader in engineered structural connectors and building solutions, now offers a lower-cost option to its popular SUBH line of u-channel bridging connectors for cold-formed steel construction. The newly released LSUBH 20-gauge bridging connector provides all of the benefits of the SUBH connector, and is suitable for many wind- and load-bearing situations with light to moderate load demand.

Key features of the LSUBH bridging connector include:

  • Many applications require only a one-screw installation.
  • Connectors accommodate industry standard 1.5" u-channel.
  • Connectors accommodate 3 5/8", 6" and 8" studs in thicknesses of 33 mil (20 ga.) through 54 mil (16 ga.).
  • The LSUBH is tested to include stud-web strength and stiffness in the tabulated design values.

For more information about the LSUBH and the entire product line for cold-formed steel construction, visit www.strongtie.com/cfs.

Simpson Strong-Tie® Strong-Wall® SB Shearwall Named to Retrofit Magazine’s List of Top 50 Products posted 2/11/15

Pleasanton, Calif. – Retrofit magazine has named the Simpson Strong-Tie® Strong-Wall® SB wood shearwall to its Top 50 Products of 2014 list, published in the current January-February issue.

The Strong-Wall SB shearwall is a prefabricated, trimmable wood shearwall that offers enhanced design flexibility and greater lateral-force-resistance performance for a range of applications, including supporting two-story structures, garage portals and large openings. In areas susceptible to seismic activity or high winds, it provides structural support comparable to steel shearwalls in narrow panel widths. The design of the Strong-Wall SB enables installers to field-trim the shearwall for customized heights and rake walls.

The second annual Retrofit Top 50 Products list celebrates the 50 products that received the most reader inquiries from the magazine’s September-October 2013 through July-August 2014 issues.

"We are honored that our Strong-Wall SB shearwall has been recognized by Retrofit magazine as one of the Top 50 Products in 2014. It is quickly becoming a favorite product among installers because the height can be customized for each job, making it ideal for retrofits as well as new construction," said Sam Hensen, Simpson Strong-Tie vice president and general manager, connectors and lateral systems.

A complete list of the Retrofit magazine Top 50 list can be found in the January-February 2015 issue of Retrofit magazine, www.retrofitmagazine.com.

Simpson Strong-Tie Hosts 60 Local Middle- and High-School Girls in GAINS Program posted 2/5/15
GAINS Program

Pleasanton, Calif. – Recently, Simpson Strong-Tie hosted two day-long field trips for 60 middle- and high-school girls in the Santa Clara County Unified School District's GAINS (Girls Achieving In Non-traditional Subjects) program. The GAINS program encourages and inspires young women to explore Science, Technology, Engineering, Math (STEM) and other non-traditional career options.

The girls visited the Simpson Strong-Tie home office in Pleasanton, CA, where they had the opportunity to hear and ask questions of the company's female leaders, including CEO Karen Colonias and Senior Vice President of Manufacturing Jacinta Pister.

The students toured the company's connector lab and watched a bowling ball and other objects being flattened on the testing rigs to understand load testing. Many of them also participated in a hands-on activity installing Simpson Strong-Tie engineered connector products.

"The team at Simpson Strong-Tie provided our GAINS girls with a day of engagement, curiosity and information about how to be the most successful female they can be. Every girl left the company feeling empowered and excited for their futures," said Cabrillo Middle School Education Specialist Kaycie Woldhuis, who served as chaperone. Many of the girls also commented that it was the best field trip they had as part of the program.

Simpson Strong-Tie Exhibit at World of Concrete to Feature Timed Product Installation Challenges and New Product Demonstrations posted 1/27/15
World of Concrete 2015

Pleasanton, Calif. – Simpson Strong-Tie will offer World of Concrete attendees a chance to participate in a "Drill n' Fill" product installation contest as well as see live product demonstrations and installations during the tradeshow Feb. 3-6, in Las Vegas, in booth #O30220.

All participants in the "Drill n' Fill" product installation contest will receive a t-shirt for completing the course, which includes installation of an adhesive anchor, a Titen HD® concrete screw, three gas-driven fasteners, and a powder-driven fastener. The daily champion will win a Weber® Q1000™ gas grill and the show champion will take home a full-size Weber® Genesis® barbeque. Power tools for the "Drill n' Fill" contest are provided by our industry partner, the Robert Bosch Tool Company.

Simpson Strong-Tie® repair, protection, and strengthening products will be featured, with a product installation display at the top of every hour, and a fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) crush test at the bottom of each hour. A 180-gallon tide pool will demonstrate the in-place installation capabilities of the FX-70® structural repair and protection system.

Knowledgeable field representatives and product managers will be on hand to answer questions and demonstrate product features and installations. The Simpson Strong-Tie booth is also a sponsored stop on the "Walk WOC and Win" mobile app challenge.

For more information and to demo these and other new products from Simpson Strong-Tie, visit booth #O30220 in the outdoor silver lot of the Las Vegas Convention Center.

New Deck-Drive™ DCU Composite Screw Versatile for All Types of Composite Decking posted 1/14/15
DCU Composite Screw

Pleasanton, Calif. – Simpson Strong-Tie, the industry leader in engineered structural connectors and building solutions, is launching a new screw that is designed to work in all types of composite decking as well as encapsulated composite.

The Deck-Drive™ DCU Composite screw provides a cleaner, less noticeable installed appearance due to its special head design. The screws are offered in bulk and collated for use with the Quik Drive® auto-feed screw driving system.

Other key features include:

  • Inverted upper threads ensure the screw is seated properly and consistently
  • Tri-lobe thread design reduces damage to the composite board while driving
  • Quik Guard® coating enables it to be used with many preservative-treated wood substrates
  • Cap-head prevents mushrooming and material from rising up above the deck board for a smoother, clean-looking installation

The DCU Composite screw is also available in colors matched to blend with most major composite decking products, and is an approved fastener for Trex® composite decking. For more information about the DCU Composite screw and the entire line of Deck Drive fasteners, visit strongtie.com/deckdrive.

New Simpson Strong-Tie® Fasteners and Lateral Systems to be Featured at 2015 Builders' Show posted 1/8/15

Pleasanton, Calif. – The new Simpson Strong-Tie® Strong-Drive® SDWH Timber-Hex HDG screw is specifically designed to resist severe corrosion levels in heavy-duty marine and coastal applications. It requires no pre-drilling and replaces bolt/washer/nut assemblies on piers, boardwalks, structural pilings and docks. Simpson Strong-Tie will exhibit this new screw at the International Builders’ Show, Jan. 20-22, in Las Vegas, booths C1827 and C1728.

The .276" diameter SDWH Timber-Hex screw features a SawTooth point and oversized integral washer, which eliminate the need for pre-drilling and a separate washer. The hot-dip galvanized coating meets the requirements of ASTM A153, Class C, which is the same level of galvanization on bolts typically used for pile construction. Making the jobsite safer and reducing the installation time with a fast, easy driving screw is particularly beneficial to installers who are either on a lift or suspended 15 feet off the ground drilling holes through 12-14 inch thick piles.

Simpson Strong-Tie will also exhibit its Strong Frame® special moment frame, a cutting-edge lateral system solution designed to help prevent structural damage caused by earthquakes, and Strong Wall® SB shearwall, which provides greater lateral-force resistance for a broad range of residential and multifamily applications, including garage portals and large openings.

Attendees will be invited to take a closer look at the new Simpson Strong-Tie® Deck-Drive™ DCU Composite screw, which is designed to work in all types of composite decking. It provides a cleaner, less noticeable install appearance due to the special head design. Also on display will be Quik Drive® auto-feed screw driving systems as well as the Strong-Drive® SDWS Timber screw. The SDWS screw is easy to install and provide safe, high-strength alternatives to through-bolting and traditional lag screws. The low-profile SDWS Timber screw requires no pre-drilling and can be used for attaching deck ledgers, offering higher loads than alternative lag solutions. For more information, visit strongtie.com.

Simpson Strong-Tie Wins Two Construction Marketing STAR Awards posted 12/19/14
CMA 2014

Pleasanton, Calif. – Simpson Strong-Tie was recently recognized by the Construction Marketing Association (CMA) annual STAR™ Awards for excellence in marketing. The CMA 2014 STAR awards recognize excellence in 16 marketing categories and 78 sub-categories, including advertising, branding, website design, and social media, along with the CONSTRUCTION MARKETER OF THE YEAR™.

Simpson Strong-Tie received the 2014 SUPERSTAR Award in the Mobile category for its Literature Library mobile app and the STAR Award in the New Product Launch category for its Genuine Simpson Strong-Tie® Connectors Campaign.

The Literature Library mobile app makes it easy to take Simpson Strong-Tie product information on the go. With their iPhone®, iPad® or Android™ device, users can access and download all catalogs, fliers and technical bulletins to their mobile device, bookmark the pages they use most, create a customized library on their device and view their downloaded documents without Wi-Fi.

The Genuine Simpson Strong-Tie Connectors Campaign aimed to share the company's appreciation for its customers, and to reinforce the company values, including its commitment to providing high-quality, innovative products and exceptional service.

"We are very honored to earn two awards after entering the CMA STAR Awards competition for the first time. Winning these awards reinforces our commitment to create value for our customers and we look forward to continuing to do that throughout all aspects of our company," said Kristin Lincoln, senior vice president of global marketing.

New RPBZ Retrofit Post Base Simplifies Post Reinforcement posted 12/16/14

Pleasanton, Calif. – The new Simpson Strong-Tie® RPBZ retrofit post base is designed for professionals and do-it-yourselfers to easily reinforce new or existing post-base connections for outdoor structures, such as braced carports, patio covers and trellises.

The RPBZ fits any size post that is a double 2x4 or larger. It is specifically designed to be installed onto concrete or wood with Simpson Strong-Tie fasteners or anchors, depending on the material. A single RPBZ can be installed on a post that is flush to a corner or two RPBZs can be installed away from edges. If necessary to meet a 1" post standoff code requirement, the RPBZ can be installed with a CPS composite plastic standoff (sold separately).

Other key benefits of the RPBZ include:

  • Attaches to the post and wood deck easily with Simpson Strong-Tie® Strong-Drive® SDS Heavy-Duty Connector screws. On concrete, an installer can either use 3/8" diameter all-thread rod with Simpson Strong-Tie anchoring adhesives in exterior applications or Titen HD® heavy-duty screw anchors or Titen® masonry screws in interior-dry and noncorrosive environments.
  • Functions as a temporary base fixture for shoring beams when remodeling or for securing temporary structures.
  • Features a ZMAX® corrosion-resistant coating for exterior and preservative-treated wood applications.

For more information, visit www.strongtie.com/rpbz.

Simpson Strong-Tie Wins Do it Best Corp. Vendor of the Year in Building Materials Products Category for Fourth Consecutive Year posted 12/5/14
Do it Best

Pleasanton, Calif. – For the fourth consecutive year, Do it Best Corp. has honored Simpson Strong-Tie, the industry leader in engineered structural connectors and building solutions, with its 2014 Vendor of the Year award in the Building Materials products category.

Do it Best Corp., the only U.S.-based full-line, member-owned distributor of lumber, hardware and building products in the home improvement industry, awards Vendor of the Year honors in 22 product categories, along with three top awards across all categories. The Do it Best Corp. team measures several criteria in choosing its award winners, including sales growth, customer service, product quality, communication and ease in working with the vendor.

"Consistently superior customer service at its facilities, proactive communication, a commitment to training our staff and members, excellent National Account representation, and a significant presence at our semi-annual markets are all examples of what sets Simpson Strong-Tie apart. Simpson Strong-Tie exemplifies what Do it Best Corp. and its membership are looking for in a vendor partner," said Mike Ter Molen, Do it Best Corp. division manager for Building Products & Home Décor.

Dave Lawson, Simpson Strong-Tie national accounts manager, said the company is especially honored to receive a Do it Best Corp. award for the fourth year in a row.

"We are proud of the strong relationship we have with Do it Best members, and we never take it for granted. Our customers are our bosses, and we work hard to earn their business every day," he said.

Do it Best Corp. serves 3,800 member-owned locations in the United States and 53 other countries.

New Simpson Strong-Tie Fastener Provides Installers a Faster, Easier and Safer Solution for Pile Construction in Coastal Areas posted 12/3/14
SDWH Timber Hex-HDG screw

Pleasanton, Calif. – The new Simpson Strong-Tie® Strong-Drive® SDWH Timber Hex-HDG screw requires no pre-drilling and replaces bolt, washer and nut assemblies, saving installers’ time and cost. It is specifically designed to resist severe corrosion levels in heavy-duty marine and coastal applications, such as piers, boardwalks, structural pilings and docks.

This .276" diameter hot-dip galvanized screw features a SawTooth™ point and oversized integral washer, which eliminate the need for pre-drilling and a separate washer. Reducing the installation time with a fast, easy driving screw is particularly beneficial to installers who are either on a lift or suspended 15 feet off the ground drilling holes through 12-14" thick piles.

The screw's hot-dip galvanized coating meets the requirements of ASTM A153, Class C, making it suitable for heavy-duty marine and coastal applications. Another key benefit is the ability to install it from one side of the pile.

"We developed this screw after talking to installers in coastal areas of the country where building codes require using structural pilings. We specifically designed, tested and now are manufacturing a hot-dip galvanized screw that will install faster than conventional bolts, saving time and money," said Dr. Ed Sutt, Simpson Strong-Tie Vice President for Fastening Systems. "It's exciting for us to be able to engineer and introduce a new product that our customers haven't had until now. It's especially gratifying that this new fastener will help them complete a difficult task faster and safer."

The SDWH Timber Hex-HDG screw is available in five lengths, ranging from 4" to 12" and features a 3/8" hex-drive head for secure driving. Click here for more product information.

New Post Caps Designed to Offer More Versatility, Easier Installation posted 11/24/14
EPC6Z Installed

Pleasanton, Calif. – The next-generation Simpson Strong-Tie® PCZ and EPCZ post caps now feature in-line post and header flanges, which provide more flexibility in choosing the post size while also enabling easier installation when making the post-to-beam connection.

These new post caps are designed to accommodate several 4x or 6x post sizes for a variety of applications, including decks, patio covers and interior framing applications. The 16-gauge PCZ and EPCZ now can be fastened with easier-to-install 10d common or #10dx2 1/2" nails, as well as #9x1 1/2" Simpson Strong-Tie® Strong-Drive® SD Connector screws.

By replacing the PC and EPC post caps, respectively, the PCZ and EPCZ represent how product innovation can help with easier installation as well as inventory control. The new in-line flange design allows one PCZ or EPCZ to be installed with several 4x or 6x post sizes. Fewer overall models to accommodate multiple post sizes helps streamline specification, product ordering and inventory management.

Other key benefits include:

  • ZMAX® coating offers additional corrosion protection for exterior and preservative-wood applications
  • Compact, optimized design can be easily hidden with finish materials when architectural design is important
  • Center-of-post guide is stamped on part for easy alignment

To view the PCZ and EPCZ product flyer, visit www.strongtie.com/newpostcaps.

New Code Report for Blue Banger Hanger® Cast-In-Place, Internally Threaded Inserts in Cracked and Uncracked Concrete posted 11/20/14
Blue Banger Hanger

Pleasanton, Calif. – The Simpson Strong-Tie® Blue Banger Hanger® threaded insert has received the first International Building Code (IBC) report issued for a specialty cast-in-place insert.

The code report (ICC-ES ESR-3707) is the first one for this type of anchor under ICC-ES AC 446. The code report:

  • Covers all sizes of the Blue Banger Hanger wood form inserts and metal deck inserts
  • Addresses both cracked and uncracked normal-weight concrete and sand-lightweight concrete
  • Addresses static, wind and seismic loads

Blue Banger Hanger internally-threaded inserts are cast into the underside of concrete deck after being fastened to the top of wood forms or metal decks. The high-strength, easy-to-install wood-form and metal-deck anchors have been tested and shown to provide outstanding performance in cracked and uncracked concrete under both static and seismic loading conditions.

In the last 10 years, this type of cast-in-place insert has grown in popularity for anchoring suspended mechanical, electrical and plumbing equipment, piping and conduit. These types of anchors are quickly fastened to wood formwork or through corrugated metal deck before concrete is poured.

The Simpson Strong-Tie design is the only pre-pour insert to offer the patented multi-thread design that enables one size insert to handle multiple diameters of threaded rod. This gives flexibility to the installer in layout and to the designer in case the loads and threaded rod sizes are changed during construction.

"Until now, engineers who wanted to specify these anchors had to address the question of code-compliance every time they used them. Now, this new code report gives engineers increased confidence that they can properly design and specify the Simpson Strong-Tie Blue Banger Hanger and still comply with the requirements of the 2012 IBC," said Ryan Vuletic, Simpson Strong-Tie Manager of Engineering/R&D for Anchor Systems.

For more information about the Blue Banger Hanger, visit www.strongtie.com/anchorsystems.

Simpson Strong-Tie hits $2 million milestone in donations to Habitat for Humanity posted 10/29/14
Habitat for Humanity + Simpson Strong-Tie

ATLANTA (October 29, 2014) – Simpson Strong-Tie reached the $2 million donation mark this year in its partnership with Habitat for Humanity. The company has had a national sponsorship with Habitat for Humanity International for seven years, and plans on continuing its commitment of monetary and product donations to Habitat affiliates throughout North America.

"Simpson Strong-Tie is very proud to have reached the $2 million donation mark in our commitment to Habitat for Humanity," said Simpson Strong-Tie CEO Karen Colonias. "We support Habitat's mission of safe, strong and affordable housing for those who need it most, and we are honored to be a part of helping to fulfill that mission in local communities."

Simpson Strong-Tie has contributed to local Habitat affiliates for more than 20 years. The company began its official national partnership with Habitat for Humanity International in 2007, annually providing $250,000 or more in cash and product donations, including the structural framing hardware (connectors and fasteners) and reinforced shear walls for new home construction. Simpson Strong-Tie builds homes with Habitat in the United States and abroad, and has supported Habitat's Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project each year. The partnership extends beyond financial and product donations as Simpson Strong-Tie employees volunteer their time, labor and technical skills on construction sites.

"We are delighted that Simpson Strong-Tie has reached such a milestone in their support of Habitat for Humanity and families in need of adequate housing around the world," said Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity International. "Only because of the support of faithful partners are we able to serve more families and benefit more communities worldwide. We are grateful that Simpson Strong-Tie shares our vision of a world where everyone has a decent place to live."

About Habitat for Humanity International
Habitat for Humanity International's vision is a world where everyone has a decent place to live. Anchored by the conviction that housing provides a critical foundation for breaking the cycle of poverty, Habitat has helped more than 4 million people construct, rehabilitate or preserve homes since 1976. Habitat also advocates to improve access to decent and affordable shelter and supports a variety of funding models that enable families with limited resources to make needed improvements on their homes as their time and resources allow. As a nonprofit Christian housing organization, Habitat works in more than 70 countries and welcomes people of all races, religions and nationalities to partner in its mission. To learn more, donate or volunteer visit habitat.org.

Simpson Strong-Tie® CPTZ Concealed Post Base Named to This Old House List of Top 100 Best New Home Products of 2014 posted 10/27/14
CPTZ Concealed Post Base

Pleasanton, Calif. – This past Friday, This Old House named the Simpson Strong-Tie® CPTZ concealed post base to its 4th annual "The TOH Top 100," a list of the 100 best new home products of the year.

The CPTZ concealed post base is designed to connect a wood post to concrete. It provides a clean, concealed look while providing a 1" standoff height above concrete. The 1" standoff reduces the potential for decay at the post end and satisfies code requirements for posts that are exposed to weather, water splash or in basements.

The TOH editors spent months testing and examining thousands of products to find the most distinctive, helpful and innovative new home products in seven categories: Kitchen, Bath, Tools, Building Products, Outdoor Living, Home Tech, and Finishing Touches. Featured in the November/December issue, each winning product is labeled with icons such as Money-Saver, Easy Upgrade, Eco-Friendly, Splurge, and Made in America.

"We are honored that our new concealed post base has been recognized by This Old House editors as one of their top 100 best products. It's a favorite new product among contractors because of the clean finish it provides, while still providing the required standoff height," said Tom McClain, Simpson Strong-Tie senior product manager for Core Products.

"Every year, there is an endless list of new home improvement products introduced to the marketplace. For the annual 'The TOH Top 100', we sift through them to identify the ones that will actually save our 10 million readers time and money while enabling them to fix up their homes with greater ease and style," says Editor Scott Omelianuk.

"The 2014 list is full of products that wowed us for their innovation and their ability to create breakthroughs in their categories," adds Omelianuk. "We are confident that our readers will be as excited by them as we are."

A complete list of "The TOH Top 100" can be found at www.ThisOldHouse.com/top100.

Seismic Retrofits Now Provide Earthquake Protection Later posted 10/14/14
Seismic Retrofit

Pleasanton, Calif. – In recognition of the 25th anniversary of the devastating Loma Prieta earthquake on Oct. 17, Simpson Strong-Tie, a leader in earthquake research, testing and structural products that result in safer, stronger homes and buildings, offers a checklist to help residents evaluate if their home is structurally sound and earthquake resistant, and if a seismic retrofit is needed:

  1. Do you live in a moderate or high seismic area?

    You can call your local building department and ask if you live in Seismic Design Category D, E or F. These categories are classifications assigned to homes and buildings with a high to very high seismic risk.
  2. Was your home built before 1985?

    Homes built prior to 1985 are typically more vulnerable to earthquake damage because they were not built to the same building code standards as homes today. Most homes built after 1985 were designed to conform to stricter building codes and are most likely better equipped to resist the force of an earthquake. Generally, homes built in the last 25-30 years should have been constructed with a continuous load path, which is a method of construction that ties your house together from the roof to the foundation using a system of framing materials, metal connectors, fasteners (like nails and screws) and reinforced walls called shearwalls. To confirm your home was built with a continuous load path, you can hire a professional engineer to perform a structural evaluation.
  3. Is your home built on a raised foundation?

    If your house is not built on a concrete slab, chances are it's built on a raised foundation (these homes typically have a crawl space). Raised foundations are typically built with posts, beams and cripple walls. Often times, these cripple walls have not been built to resist seismic forces and can be highly susceptible to structural failure in an earthquake.
  4. Is your home built on a hillside?

    Houses built on a hillside typically have raised foundations and crawl spaces as those described above and can experience similar failures. However, these failures tend to be more severe because the posts and cripple walls supporting the home are built at different heights due to the uneven terrain.
  5. Is there living space above your garage?

    Garages are vulnerable areas in a house due to the large garage door opening. Because of this large opening, the narrow walls on either side of the garage door must be designed to resist earthquake forces. This is extremely important if there is a living space above the garage because these rooms add weight that the garage must support. Current building codes require that these narrow walls be specially designed to resist earthquake forces. Older houses, however, typically were not designed to address this issue and are more vulnerable to damage during an earthquake.

If the answer to any of these questions is yes, you should consider retrofitting your home. Before starting a seismic retrofit project, it's important to inspect and evaluate the structural integrity of your home. Hiring a professional will help ensure the retrofit is done right. There are seismic improvements that you can do on your own to strengthen your home, however, some cases may require a licensed engineer and contractor.

For more information about protecting your home in an earthquake, download a free Seismic Retrofit Guide at www.strongtie.com/earthquake.

Simpson Strong-Tie opened a research laboratory in 2003 to better understand the effects of earthquakes, high winds and other natural disasters on a home's performance. The lab's state-of-the-art testing equipment can simulate the magnitude of seismic events like the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake in California, which measured 6.9 on the Richter scale. This ongoing testing and research is being conducted with the sole purpose of improving building design and safety through enhanced product development. Simpson Strong-Tie is committed to helping homeowners understand how to strengthen and protect their homes against the effects of earthquakes and other natural disasters.

Simpson Strong-Tie to Showcase New Fasteners and Deck Safety Demo at the Remodeling Show and DeckExpo posted 10/9/14
New Facebook "Power Break" Campaign Features Prize Pack for Construction Industry Professionals posted 10/7/14
New Steel Deck Diaphragm Web App makes it Easier for Engineers to Design and Evaluate Fastener Solutions for Shear and Uplift Loads posted 8/19/14
New Simpson Strong-Tie Web App Makes It Easier and Faster to Find the Right Joist Hanger for Each Project posted 8/5/14
Simpson Strong-Tie Receives David Weekley Homes' Coveted "Partners of Choice" Award for 10th Consecutive Year posted 8/4/14
Strong Frame® Special Moment Frame Wins Innovation Award, Featured at PCBC Show posted 6/24/14
New Do-It-Yourself Hardware Kit Makes It Easy to Create Professional-Quality, Customized Home Improvement Projects posted 6/5/14
SEAOSC Honors Jeff Ellis with "Engineer of the Year" Award posted 6/5/14
Solar Decathlon Europe Team Builds Multifamily Building with Simpson Strong-Tie® Fasteners posted 6/3/14
Cold-Formed Steel Structural Building Products Now Included in Software Database Geared Toward Drywall Contractors posted 5/28/14
Simpson Strong-Tie Introduces New Naming and Product Series to Simplify Fastener Selection posted 5/21/14
New Post Base Simplifies Installation When Pouring Porch Slabs posted 5/20/14
Simpson Strong-Tie to Donate $10,000 to Support Tornado Relief Efforts in the South and Midwest posted 5/5/14
New CFS Designer™ Software Offers Automated Tools and Versatility for Cold-Formed Steel Design posted 5/5/14
New Strong-Drive® XL Large-Head Metal Screw Makes Fastening Steel Decks Easier, More Efficient posted 4/22/14
'Built in America' TV Show to Feature Simpson Strong-Tie on April 27 posted 4/18/14
New Hangers Install Over Two Layers of Drywall posted 4/11/14
New Fully Tested Utility Clip Connectors Offer Versatile, Efficient Installation for Cold-Formed Steel Construction posted 3/20/14
Simpson Strong-Tie Announces New President and COO posted 3/18/14
Simpson Strong-Tie Named Vendor Partner by ACDI posted 2/26/14
New Simpson Strong-Tie Video Highlights Industry-First Testing of FX-70® Structural Repair and Protection System posted 2/18/14
New Strong-Wall® SB Shearwall Featured at 2014 Builders' Show posted 1/20/14
Simpson Strong-Tie is First Sustaining Organization Member of ASCE Structural Engineering Institute posted 1/6/14
Simpson Strong-Tie® Exhibit at World of Concrete to Feature Anchoring Products and Repair, Protection & Strengthening Systems posted 1/2/14
Simpson Strong-Tie Named Sphere 1 Primary/Core Preferred Supplier for Concrete Repair, Protection and Strengthening Products posted 12/18/13
Simpson Strong-Tie Launches Expanded Literature Library Mobile App posted 11/20/13
Simpson Strong-Tie Donates $50,000 to Support Philippines Recovery posted 11/18/13
Simpson Strong-Tie Wins Architectural Products' Innovation Award For Strong Frame® Special Moment Frame posted 11/14/13
Simpson Strong-Tie Supports Habitat For Humanity's Carter Work Project with Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter posted 11/6/13
Do it Best Awards Simpson Strong-Tie Vendor of the Year in Building Materials Products Category posted 11/4/13
Simpson Strong-Tie Supports Toronto-Based Hardcore Renos' Build A Home Project with Product Donation posted 10/30/13
THIS OLD HOUSE Jersey Shore Series Features Simpson Strong-Tie posted 10/24/13
Simpson Strong-Tie Supports Our American Made Home Project posted 10/22/13
Simpson Strong-Tie Wins Platinum Award for Best Corporate Blog in Hanley Wood's First Annual Brand Builder Awards posted 10/18/13
Simpson Strong-Tie Donates More Than $10,000 in Connector and Fastener Products to Solar Decathlon Collegiate Teams posted 10/10/13
Simpson Strong-Tie Donates $10,000 to Support Colorado Flood Relief posted 10/9/13
Simpson Strong-Tie® Exhibit at DeckExpo to Showcase New Products, Deck Safety Demo and Fastener Installation Contest posted 10/8/13
"Buildings At Risk" Summit Brings Stakeholders Together To Mitigate Earthquake Damage posted 9/30/13
New Field-Trimmable Strong-Wall® SB Shearwall Offers Greater Design Flexibility and Lateral-Force Resistance posted 9/16/13
Simpson Strong-Tie Continues to Expand Its Technology Offering with New and Updated Web and Mobile Apps and Online Calculators posted 8/29/13
Simpson Strong-Tie Sponsors Final Phase of Cold-Formed Steel Seismic Tests posted 8/22/13
Simpson Strong-Tie Employee Jorge Ruiz Introduces President Obama for "A Better Bargain for the Middle Class" Tour posted 8/20/13
Researchers Test Simpson Strong-Tie® Strong Frame® Special Moment Frame to Validate Seismic Retrofit Solutions for Soft-Story Buildings posted 8/12/13

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