Simpson Strong-Tie always looks outside the square to create unique and innovative products.
A great example of this is their new range of Truss and Rafter screws, which eliminate the need for triple grips. Another innovative product is the Outdoor Accents line, which is a decorative timber connector and fastener that brings design elegance and structural strength to your outdoor living areas. This hardware accommodates 90mm and 140mm timber sizes and provides flexibility when designing and building custom outdoor structures.
The key feature that makes this system a hit is that the hardware has been tested and can be used to resist wind or seismic loads so it will hold up against whatever Mother Nature can throw at it.
The product itself is Z550 ZMAX galvanised steel with a black powder-coated finish that provides corrosion protection, which makes it suitable for exterior use. The patent-pending hex-head washer design allows ease of use and installation and finally the fastener and washer create decorative bolt-like looking connections, but install with the ease of a screw. There is no need to predrill if you are using a softer timber like cedar. Predrilling was required in the small example frame we put together out of blackbutt.
The remarkable thing about this system is it really looks like your outdoor structural feature is held together with bolts – a system that would take a significantly longer build time to complete. The Outdoor Accents hex-head washer looks and feels like a bolted connection.
The washer and screw fastener itself has been specifically designed to fasten Outdoor Accent’s post bases, T and L straps, and angles.
The SDWS TIMBER Screw with patented SawTooth point allows faster installation and less torque requirements.
There is no doubting the appeal of this system – it’s going to have a significant impact on improving the speed of install as well as adding strength.
The post bases provide a 25mm stand-off height, which helps reduce any chance of decay and screws in lateral loading of the timber post. The deck joist tie attaches 45mm wide joists to the side of 90mm or larger support posts. The method of connecting beams to the column with strap ties is extremely easy using the flat T or L straps. Again, bringing a decorative flair and lateral strength to the structure.
All in all, this is another innovative product from Simpson Strong-Tie and I am looking forward to seeing what other products they bring to market next.
One area I could see a considerable addition for Simpson Strong-Tie would be adding two or three different styles of this system, which would make it more viable for a variety of homes.