Requirements vs. Recommendations

It has long been a challenge in the inspection industry to differentiate when something is required and when it is a recommendation. Unfortunately, at times these lines can become blurred and cause many headaches for the building community. We most often see this when defending our builder clients against an inaccurate claim on a third-party inspection report (TREC). They usually attend a class or read an online article about a manufacturer’s product and do not read the actual code requirements that are associated with the products themselves.

At DPIS we are making a concerted effort to detail what is required and what is recommended for all types of home installation products. One such area is HardiePlank Lap Siding® installations. The manufacturer requires flashing above the head trim, even at porches and patios, but only recommends a 32” staggered spacing for lap siding to give a certain aesthetic finish. They are trying to prevent a zippered look. Also, caulking the seams at vertical joints fulfills the requirements of the manufacturer regarding installation, and alternative flashing pieces are only recommended in these areas.

All of these items are just examples of how we feel that we can better serve our friends and partners in the building industry. If you have any other items that you feel could use a more defined approach for building code compliance, please send them to me for review.