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hausdok

Rapping the wrap

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Did the house below yesterday.

It was all buttoned up and the cliient's walk through with the builder is today. The siding contactor was installing the HardiPlank and cedar shingles next door. As I watched, they started applying wrap and by the time I was done had covered that wall.

I discovered that they'd broken a whole lot of HardiPlank installation rules for penetrations over 1-1/2 inches. This installer just loves to caulk everything. The client wanted to know whether just cutting in flashings would keep things dry.

What do you suppose I told him?

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ONE TEAM -ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Did the house below yesterday.

It was all buttoned up and the cliient's walk through with the builder is today. The siding contactor was installing the HardiPlank and cedar shingles next door. As I watched, they started applying wrap and by the time I was done had covered that wall.

I discovered that they'd broken a whole lot of HardiPlank installation rules for penetrations over 1-1/2 inches. This installer just loves to caulk everything. The client wanted to know whether just cutting in flashings would keep things dry.

What do you suppose I told him?

ONE TEAM -ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

No? Take it off and do it over, this time in compliance with the manufacturer's instructions?

Marc

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Are you saying these guys are installing all the tyvek reverse-lapped? And what do you mean by penetrations over 1-1/2"?
Hi David,

Yep, that's exactly what I'm saying and re. the penetrations and clearances I can give you some examples.

JH wants blocking and then head flashings integrated into the wall system with a 1/4-inch gap above the flashings on everything that's larger than 1-1/2 inches that penetrates their product. So,....

This is right

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This is not

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This is right

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This is not

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This is right

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This is not

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JH doesn't want you securing the deck ledger to the house by trapping their product behind the ledger; so...

This is right

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or this

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but not this

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JH doesn't like to see concrete placed against their product or their product applied down to concrete; so,.....

this is kewl

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or this

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but this is not...

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JH wants proper kickout flashings and wants gutters to end 1-inch from sidewalls; so,....

This

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not this...

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ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Was the concrete poured after the siding was installed?

In that example it was; in this example, it was not.

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It really doesn't matter when the concrete is placed. When they end up with that kind of a situation the builder should step up and remedy it.

The most frustrating thing about yesterday's house is that HP has been used around here for over twenty years. Installers around here should know better than anyone how to install it correctly; yet I just keep finding more and more of this stuff.

If I hadn't stood there and watched that contractor installing that wrap with a reverse lap, I would have felt comfortable telling the client that once the penetrations were done correctly the product would perform well. As it is, I told him it's a crapshoot, one he doesn't want to lose.

He'll have to take it from here.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Housewrap and fiber cement siding products have magical properties. The fact is they repel water by their mere presence. Sort of a force field effect.

Installation instructions? Who needs them?

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Mike,

Where can I find the Hardi(e) manual that shows the 1.5" recommendation/ rule? I like the details you posted, but don't recall seeing them on James Hardie's siding installation manual. At least not for the receptacle or fireplace vent.

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Mike,

Where can I find the Hardi(e) manual that shows the 1.5" recommendation/ rule? I like the details you posted, but don't recall seeing them on James Hardie's siding installation manual. At least not for the receptacle or fireplace vent.

In the James Hardie Hz10 Best Practices Installation Guide (I've underlined area for emphasis.) on Page 19 under General Installation Requirements - Penetrations, the guide shows specifically how penetrations should be detailed and states (I've underlined some areas for emphasis):

"For penetrations in the building envelope such as hose bibs and holes 1-1/2" diameter or larger, such as dryer vents, a block of Hardie Trim 5/4, 4/4 boards should be installed around the point of penetration. To install a block around an existing vent pipe, it may be necessary to cut the block into two pieces. In this case, weather/cut the trim to fit it into place. Install flashings over the top of the trim block.

Penetrations through a building envelope are made to accommodate needs such as hose bibs, dryer and furnace vents, electrical conduit, etc. It is important to restore the weather resistant barrier of the home after cutting a hole for the penetration."

On page 20, the guide shows specifically how the combination intake/exhaust vent for a direct vent fireplace should be installed and states:

"HOT AIR VENTS (Dryer, Stove, Furnace, Heater, Etc.)

Any vent piping is required to have blocking and flashing at the penetration. A block of Hardie Trim 5/4, 4/4 boards should be installed around the point of penetration. The blocking should extend 3-4" along the wall from the edge of the vent. To install a block around an existing vent, it may be necessary to cut several blocks, with weather-cuts on each piece. Flashing must be installed over the top of the trim block."

Also on page 20 it shows specifically how lights and electrical outlets should be installed and states:

"LIGHTS AND ELECTRICAL OUTLETS

Lights and electrical boxes should have the same flashing and blocking as other large penetrations such as vents. Many lights utilize square electrical boxes. Blocking a square object should still incorporate the best practices of an angled weather cut."

Jim,

I've always thought that was JH's way of throwing a bone to builders since the previous instructions had specified a minimum of 2-inches of clearance. I think it's their clumsy way of saying that they'd prefer two inches of clearance but won't bitch as long as there is at least an inch.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Wow, thanks Mike.

I'd glanced through the siding and housewrap guides prior to posting so I didn't have to ask. I guess it's time to re- read everything on website once again.

I try to not study best practice guides too often; I don't want to write anything up if it is allowed according to the min. standards. In this case, it sounds like JH is requiring these details, but it's too bad they are written up in the best practice section. I can see an argument from a builder stating that these details are in fact not required, but best practice. I think I'll re- read their entire website, and then contact JH to ensure they'll back me on writing this stuff up. I'm fed up with citing manufacturers standards only to have them say that "oh yeah, that isn't actually required, just recommended".

Any ideas on when they updated their guide to include these details?

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Brandon, why would you do that?

I don't worry about it beyond the point where I make my recommendation. Those guides and their published instructions are like the NFPA recommendation for all buyers to have a Level II inspection done of any zero-clearance fireplace flue when they are purchasing a home. It's a great recommendation issued by someone who is an authority on the subject matter and it has built in credibility and protection for home inspectors against liability just by virtue of it's source and specificity. Why mess with that?

They've published a great reference that home inspectors can utilize. It offers clear illustrations and explanations and leaves little doubt in a client's mind about what's the best way to install the product. I always use best practices when I make recommendations; if the seller wants to do less, and the buyer is willing to accept it, I don't care. By making recommendations based on best practices, I know that I'm doing my best by the client. If I recommend less then best practice and it turns into a disaster, I've just placed myself squarely in the cross hairs - that's not where I like to be.

If a seller wants to be a weasel and try and work his or her way around these recommendations by whining to the code guys, and the code guys and maybe a telephone answerer at the manufacturer want to waffle, I don't care - I'm still recommending best practices.

How the builder and buyer work it out after the inspection is the buyer's business, not mine: I've done what I got paid to do - inspected the home and written a report that uses the best recommendations I can find, and done it to the best of my ability without pulling any punches. Why mess with that?

So, if you do call them and get some functionary on the phone, do me a favor, keep the response to yourself because I don't want to know about any waffler's telephone response until JH's legal department has blessed off on that response and said that it was OK for that person to say (which I bet they'd never do).

Until JH publishes, for public sonsumption, something that says that their own best practices guides aren't how they interpret their own instructions to be followed, we home inspectors, for our own good, should follow those guides to the letter.

That's my not-so-humble opinion and I'm sticking to it.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Hi Mike,

For new construction inspection reports, I like to hold builders to exactly what is required and nothing more. That way, I don't lose credibility when push comes to shove. That's not to say that I don't go above min. standards in my recommendations, but I make that clear in the reports.

Any chance I can view a section of your report so I can see how you address the above issues?

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You don't lose credibility when you recommend something be done to the highest standard.

The code is the lowest possible legal standard. If a builder wants to admit to the buyer that he or she builds to the lowest possible quality standard, that's the builder's business, but I won't allow myself to be drawn into that trap.

It's not my credibility with builder's I'm concerned about; it's my credibility with the client. I've had a builder who relied on the lowest possible legal standard try to sue me for recommending that something be done to the best available standard. He didn't get anywhere. If something that's done to the lowest possible standard - the siding in this case is a good case - goes bad, and you'd blessed it, where is your credibility going to be with the buyer?

Shoot me an email.

OT - OF!!!

M.

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If something that's done to the lowest possible standard - the siding in this case is a good case - goes bad, and you'd blessed it, where is your credibility going to be with the buyer?

I haven't fielded a single complaint since I've been in business, so I hope to be alright. My not writing up an installation doesn't mean I agree with the way it was done, just that I can't find fault with that particular installation. If the WRB is done correctly, which is typically difficult to determine, then the added details in JH's best practice manual go above and beyond typical details.

I'll have to look at Certainteed's manual as well, but if they don't have the same best practice details, how do you typically determine whether you're detailing with JH or Certainteed siding?

I'll e- mail you a request.

Thanks Mike.

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I'll have to look at Certainteed's manual as well, but if they don't have the same best practice details, how do you typically determine whether you're detailing with JH or Certainteed siding?

A lot of the builders around here have showrooms in the model home. When I go into a new development, I usually stop into the showroom to look at the samples and the literature there. They often state right there what the products being used on the home are. If I don't have that opportunity and a builder's rep is hanging around, I ask. When I don't know, I just call it Hardi, because I've yet to see a single piece of the Certainteed product used here.

In this case, there was a big pile of trash on the street in front (Don't know why the hell they weren't using a dumpster) and the plastic wrapper used by JH was on the pile.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Mike,

Where can I find the Hardi(e) manual that shows the 1.5" recommendation/ rule? I like the details you posted, but don't recall seeing them on James Hardie's siding installation manual. At least not for the receptacle or fireplace vent.

In the James Hardie Hz10 Best Practices Installation Guide (I've underlined area for emphasis.) on Page 19 under General Installation Requirements - Penetrations, the guide shows specifically how penetrations should be detailed and states (I've underlined some areas for emphasis):

"For penetrations in the building envelope such as hose bibs and holes 1-1/2" diameter or larger, such as dryer vents, a block of Hardie Trim 5/4, 4/4 boards should be installed around the point of penetration. To install a block around an existing vent pipe, it may be necessary to cut the block into two pieces. In this case, weather/cut the trim to fit it into place. Install flashings over the top of the trim block.

Penetrations through a building envelope are made to accommodate needs such as hose bibs, dryer and furnace vents, electrical conduit, etc. It is important to restore the weather resistant barrier of the home after cutting a hole for the penetration."

On page 20, the guide shows specifically how the combination intake/exhaust vent for a direct vent fireplace should be installed and states:

"HOT AIR VENTS (Dryer, Stove, Furnace, Heater, Etc.)

Any vent piping is required to have blocking and flashing at the penetration. A block of Hardie Trim 5/4, 4/4 boards should be installed around the point of penetration. The blocking should extend 3-4" along the wall from the edge of the vent. To install a block around an existing vent, it may be necessary to cut several blocks, with weather-cuts on each piece. Flashing must be installed over the top of the trim block."

Also on page 20 it shows specifically how lights and electrical outlets should be installed and states:

"LIGHTS AND ELECTRICAL OUTLETS

Lights and electrical boxes should have the same flashing and blocking as other large penetrations such as vents. Many lights utilize square electrical boxes. Blocking a square object should still incorporate the best practices of an angled weather cut."

Jim,

I've always thought that was JH's way of throwing a bone to builders since the previous instructions had specified a minimum of 2-inches of clearance. I think it's their clumsy way of saying that they'd prefer two inches of clearance but won't bitch as long as there is at least an inch.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

Mike, Do you know if the requirements for blocking at penetrations apply to Hardi-Panel as well or only the Hardi-Plank lap siding. The best practices guide only references the Hardi-Plank and the Hardi-Panel installation guide doesn't mention penetrations.

Thanks,

Jim

This is what I'm wondering about:

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Mike, Do you know if the requirements for blocking at penetrations apply to Hardi-Panel as well or only the Hardi-Plank lap siding. The best practices guide only references the Hardi-Plank and the Hardi-Panel installation guide doesn't mention penetrations.

Thanks,

Jim

This is what I'm wondering about:

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When you download the best practices guide you are only downloading part of the entire manual.

When you go to the James Hardie technical support site you have a choice of guides for Hz5, Hz5(Canada) and Hz10 zones. You are in Hz5. The first section of each guide - Info/Requirements/Tools applies to all products listed on the cover.

At the link for the part of the guide for your area, the cover states Best Practices Guide Siding and Trim Products Version 5.0 - February 2010 and under that lists HardiePlank, HardieShingle, HardiePanel, HardieTrim, HardieSoffit and HardieWrap. That first section contains the instructions for penetrations and applies to every one of those products.

The sub-sections, which you have to download separately, contain general installation requirements for each of the James Hardie products when installed in your zone. So, when you inspect a HardiePanel installation and want to refer to the Hardie guide, you have to use the first section plus the HardiePanel section for your zone.

According to the guides for your area, those details are done incorrectly.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Mike, Do you know if the requirements for blocking at penetrations apply to Hardi-Panel as well or only the Hardi-Plank lap siding. The best practices guide only references the Hardi-Plank and the Hardi-Panel installation guide doesn't mention penetrations.

Thanks,

Jim

This is what I'm wondering about:

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When you download the best practices guide you are only downloading part of the entire manual.

When you go to the James Hardie technical support site you have a choice of guides for Hz5, Hz5(Canada) and Hz10 zones. You are in Hz5. The first section of each guide - Info/Requirements/Tools applies to all products listed on the cover.

At the link for the part of the guide for your area, the cover states Best Practices Guide Siding and Trim Products Version 5.0 - February 2010 and under that lists HardiePlank, HardieShingle, HardiePanel, HardieTrim, HardieSoffit and HardieWrap. That first section contains the instructions for penetrations and applies to every one of those products.

The sub-sections, which you have to download separately, contain general installation requirements for each of the James Hardie products when installed in your zone. So, when you inspect a HardiePanel installation and want to refer to the Hardie guide, you have to use the first section plus the HardiePanel section for your zone.

According to the guides for your area, those details are done incorrectly.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

Thanks for the clarification Mike.

I had been looking at both sets of instructions that you linked to. What was throwing me off was the illustrations in the best practices guide were only showing details for the lap siding-but I guess when they say James Hardie Siding Products they mean ALL siding products!

Thanks Again!

Jim

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