I just got back from a week in Maine staying in a lovely cottage located on Lovejoy Pond. It was my first time in Maine. Because of COVID (I will be so glad when I can eliminate that word from my vocabulary. By the way, is it a noun or an adjective? I feel like I am using it as both) there were a lot of restrictions, so I know my experience in Maine was not the best. However, I was able to go to Acadia National Park and drive to the top of Cadillac Mountain. Wow. And there was the 2-hour schooner trip around Boothbay Harbor. Also wow.
This cottage was the cleanest and tidiest places I have ever rented. A welcome package was there to greet us along with a little note that read: “Welcome, we hope you enjoy your stay.” And the cottage was stocked with towels. Not thin, scratchy ones either. Big, plush ones. I love Maine.
Now this is going to sound odd, but when I went out onto the deck and saw the LVL material and that they used deck screws and all the connectors and post bases used to anchor and secure the deck and cottage, well, it was almost as exciting as the schooner ride. Here’s why this fact ended up being rather important to me. We were in the projected path of Hurricane Isaias. While we were an hour away from the Atlantic, by Monday of last week, as we monitored the National Hurricane Center, we were targets. By Tuesday that path had shifted to the west which took us out of the bullseye zone.
On Wednesday (we still were having trouble pronouncing the name despite watching You Tube videos) Hurricane Isaias was downgraded to a tropical storm and the prediction was for rain and high winds and, of course, it all was supposed to happen at night. We did get some rain, but the winds were significant, and being the responsible people that we are, we went outside and stood on the deck and let ourselves be blown around.
Here’s the most impressive part.
That cottage was almost soundproof. It’s a solid structure which is impressive for being 80 years old. The owners have insulated the cottage and replaced the windows. Inside you couldn’t hear the winds, only the occasional twig blown against the side of the house. More importantly, it was the stuff in the foundation that made the biggest impact. I discovered that the cottage was anchored into concrete footers using the Simpson Strong-Tie®ABA66RZ Standoff Post Base. This post base serves two functions: 1. The standoff 1” means that the 4 x 4” post will be 1” from the concrete and not sit in water and eventually rot. 2. The post is anchored into the concrete. We all know what an anchor does. That cottage and deck are not going anywhere. The other thing was seeing the use of joist hangers, specifically Simpson’s LUS26 Double-Shear Face-Mount Joist Hangers. Using this type of hanger allows for less nailing, but the load weight is more evenly distributed. It’s the hanger that takes the stress, not nails or screws that would eventually be degraded by the elements. Granted, the winds we experienced the night of the storm were not hurricane force, but regardless, anchors, hangers, and connectors are designed for security no matter what the weather. Nails and screws alone will fail over time. How often have we seen pictures of decks and other structures that have failed resulting in injury or loss of life. You need the right tools and the right fasteners.
The owners of Lovejoy Cottage took the time and effort to protect their investment and gave anyone who vacations there a truly safe and secure environment when they used those hangers and anchors. Simpson Strong-Tie® has made it their business to provide builders with the right type of anchor, hanger, and connector for any structure. Read their post, A Well-Connected Home is a Smart Home, and when you are ready to build a deck or a house, come see us. Hartman has access to the full-line of Simpson products and people who can help you decide what you need to use for your project.
Just don’t ask us to pronounce Isaias
Oh, and if you want to experience Lovejoy Pond and Lovejoy Cottage, send an email to me and I will put you in touch with the very nice people who own and rent out the cottage. firstname.lastname@example.org