The beginning of a new year is a great time to work towards resolutions, such as “Work Smarter, Not Harder.” So what better time to check out tools and resources that can help you design structures and specify products more efficiently? Working more efficiently means gaining more time, something we can all use a little more of.
A couple of years ago, my brother-in-law asked if I could stop by the swim club where he is a board member. He was overseeing a construction project to upgrade the buildings and patio covers, which involved dry-rot repairs and the addition of Simpson Strong-Tie® connectors to create a continuous load path. He wanted me to meet with the contractor and make some suggestions for alternate connectors. The as-built conditions didn’t work for the specified connectors at a few locations, and there were some spots where he thought the connectors were “ugly.” I’m probably in the minority on this, but I think shiny galvanized steel connectors are just beautiful. So the “ugly” comment stung a little bit.
Once I got over my hurt feelings, I grabbed my Wood Construction Connectors catalog, a Deck Connection and Fastening Guide, and a few other fliers and technical bulletins that I thought might be helpful and drove across town to meet them. With literature in hand, we were able to come up with ways to work around the more difficult areas, and also select some more aesthetically pleasing architectural connectors at prominent locations. I thought we were done, and then the contractor had a few more questions on anchoring that I needed an Anchoring and Fastening Systems Catalog to look up some information on – and I didn’t have one! I managed to muddle through with my smartphone and find the information online, but couldn’t help but think that there had to be a better way to access design information when you are out of the office.
The better way has arrived in the latest version of the Simpson Strong-Tie® Literature Library mobile app. It was just launched this month and is much more comprehensive than the first version. There are several new features that I wanted to highlight for you.