Outdoor Living Solutions System Requirements and FAQs

System Requirements

Web Browser: Firefox, Chrome, Edge or Safari. IE is not supported at this time.

  • Operating system: 64-bit Windows 7 SP1+, macOS 10.11+
  • Graphics card: WebGL 1.0 support, Intel HD 4000 or better
  • CPU: SSE2 instruction set support
  • Memory: 8GB RAM or greater is recommended
  • Minimum screen resolution: 1920 x 1080
  • Mouse: A two-button mouse with scroll

Additional software: Latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader XI or DC for the installed operation system

The “Launch Deck Planner”, “Launch Pergola Planner” and/or “Launch Fence Planner” button is grayed out.

If the Launch Deck/Pergola/Fence Planner button is grayed out, you will need to change your browser. Outdoor Living Solutions software uses the following browsers:

  • Google Chrome
  • Safari
  • Microsoft Edges
  • Firefox

Note: Outdoor Living Solutions software is NOT supported on Internet Explorer.

What should I expect when launching Outdoor Living Solutions software (Deck Planner Software™, Pergola Planner Software™ and/or Fence Planner Software™) for the first time?

When first launching Outdoor Living Solutions software (Deck Planner Software, Pergola Planner Software and/or Fence Planner Software), you will need to set up an account with a unique user login and password. Please note, you will need to set up separate user logins and passwords for each of the design software solutions.

What can I expect the first time using one of the design tools?

The initial loading screen (the first screen you see with a loading bar) will take a few minutes as the main code and data for the app needs to download.

Can a user log into more than one computer using the same login credentials?

Yes. However, users won’t see saved designs from the other machine until they login or restart the application.

How do I change my view?

Please refer to the in-app tutorials for all questions regarding how to view your deck, pergola, fence or other outdoor structure design.

How do I advance (or go back) after making a selection?

The design tools do not require that the functions be visited in order. You can visit, or revisit, any of the sections at any time and in any order. Use the bottom right menu bar to undo or redo the full range of design features in the software.

Will the Outdoor Living Solutions software (Deck Planner Software™, Pergola Planner Software™ and/or Fence Planner Software™) run on an iPad or tablet?

At this time, only Deck Planner Software is available on the Apple App Store.

How many different levels can I add to my deck?

The Deck Planner Software enables the user to add multiple horizontal levels to their deck designs. Select the “ADD LEVEL” icon to create additional levels.

Can I save an unfinished design and finish it later?

Yes. Click the “Show Menu” button and save as a new design. The auto-save function will also automatically save your design throughout the design process.

Can I rename by deck, pergola, fence or other outdoor structure design?

Yes. See the steps below for how to change the name of your design:

  1. Go to the Main Menu by clicking the button in the top right-hand corner.
  2. Click the Load Design button.
  3. Select the design you would like to rename.
  4. Click the rename button, located next to the Load Design button.
  5. Enter a new name for your design and then click Confirm.
Can I work on more than one design simultaneously?

Yes. You must save your work using different version names in order to see them simultaneously.

What does Simpson Strong-Tie do with the designs once they are created?

Each deck, pergola, fence or other outdoor structure design is unique to the user account and only the user has access to these designs.

Is there training available for the Outdoor Living Solutions software (Deck Planner Software™, Pergola Planner Software™ and/or Fence Planner Software™)?

Yes. Included in each software solution is an in-app tutorial that users can follow along with when designing their deck, pergola, fence or other outdoor structure. In addition, users can access Deck Planner Software, Pergola Planner Software and Fence Planner Software videos available on YouTube."

How do I access my saved deck designs?

When launching the software solution, select “load designs option.” Once in the software, select the “Show Menu.”

What is included in the full output report?

The output report is exported into a PDF document. This report will contain the following items:

Deck Planner Software:

  • A render of the deck created in the Deck Planner Software
  • The planned deck design in plan view
  • A glossary of decking terms
  • A visual of connectors to use for different connection points for building safer, code-compliant decks
  • Installation considerations
  • A checklist of recommended tools (to be used as a guide only)
  • Tips for the DIYer
  • Construction drawings
  • Permit information
  • Structural information
  • Materials drawing
  • Dealer Locator options
  • Legal disclaimer

For Pergola Planner Software:

  • 3D view of the pergola or other outdoor structure design
  • The planned pergola or other outdoor structure design in plan view
  • Dealer Locator options
  • Estimated materials list
  • Legal disclaimer

For Fence Planner Software

  • 3D view of the fence and any created structures
  • Plot layout
  • Plan views showing each fence run’s post centers
  • Detail views of each fence type
  • Glossary of fence terms
  • Connector location sheet
  • Estimated materials list
  • Legal disclaimer
I was using an earlier version of your Deck Design software. Can I transfer my design to this new version?

No. The new Deck Planner Software version is built on a more robust platform and therefore, the files are non-transferrable.

My username and password are not working.

For Deck Planner Software, if you’re an existing user prior to June 15, 2019, please register for a new account as we’ve moved to a new platform and version of our Deck Planner Software. For all Outdoor Living Software solutions, if you’re a user who registered after June 15, 2019, and you’ve forgotten your username and password, please click the Reset button.

Why isn’t my report downloading?

A pop-up blocker is the most common reason your PDF is not downloading. Disable your pop-up blocker and try to download the report again. Another reason you may have issues downloading the report could be your Adobe Acrobat Reader. Please verify that you have met the Adobe Acrobat requirements.

How do I upload a picture of my house in Outdoor Living Software solutions?

In the Visualize Deck function icon, click the Upload Photo button. This can be done at any time during the deck, pergola, fence or other structure design process.

How do I install the selected connector?

Each connector in the Deck Planner Software is linked to its respective product page on strongtie.com. Select the connector you want to learn more about, and then select Product Info. From the product page, you can find installation instructions, technical notes, load tables, code reports, and corrosion information.

Can I add ADA railings to decks in Deck Planner Software™?


  1. Go to the Edit Railings function icon.
  2. Click the box next to Toggle ADA.
  3. This will provide the ADA Designer button.
  4. From the ADA Designer you can customize ADA stair railings.
I can’t add landings to my deck in Deck Planner Software™. Why are they grayed out?

Your deck must be at least four feet in height in order to add landings. Once you adjust the height of your deck to above four feet, you will be able to add a landing.

Can I design a freestanding deck without a ledger attachment in Deck Planner Software™?

When you add a wall alongside your deck, the software will automatically add a ledger attachment. If you want a ledger attachment to be omitted from the plans, remove the walls from your plans to generate your final report. You can always “save as” and create a deck with the wall added for visual reference.

Can I have different post sizes and railing sizes in Deck Planner Software™?

Yes. You can change the structural lumber sizes in the settings icon. The size of the posts on your railings can be edited in the railings icon.

Can I design my deck with a cable railing in Deck Planner Software™?

No. We offer wood and composite railings, but there are no options for cables.