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Nailing fiber cement off stud


Chris Bernhardt
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Does anyone report butt ends of fiber cement lap siding boards not occuring over studs?

I recently ran into a case where the sider nailed only to the sheathing and the siding was falling off. I also have found a court case in Oregon where a sider lost because he had been nailing to the sheathing.

Since then, I see jobs where the butt joints align over studs and other jobs that are not.

Chris, Oregon

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Chris,

This is why most codes having to do with exterior finishes state something to the effect of fasteners will penetrate structural members X length. The sheathing has no considered value for pull out therefore the thickness of the sheathing must be added to the length of the fastener to penetrate into the structural member. Where he has not penetrated the structural member at all he has not complied with manufacturers recommendations, or code whichever is more stringent.

R

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James Hardie's "standard" instructions don't specifically require landing butt joints on a stud.

Their "Best Practices" manual states that butt joints should always land on a stud.

In the field though, unless a stud was exactly 12' o.c. from the edge, I can't imagine production crews cutting each board to fit the nearest stud.

Edit: And no, I don't call it 'cuz I usually can't tell on a normal home inspection.

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It's pretty easy to gauge by site if the butt joints are landing off stud near the windows.

From what I have seen around here, if they have nailed it wrong, the siding will start loosening, and look like crap on the weather side after a few years.

I was wondering if anyone has gotten dragged in for not spotting it and bringing it to the attention of the client.

Chris, Oregon

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I don't understand why butt joints that don't fall over a stud would have anything to do with whether or not the siding was generally nailed into studs.

I can easily imagine an installer not wanting to make a bunch of extra cuts to get his butt joints to land on a stud every time. As long as he places nails through the hardiplank wherever it passes over a stud, any given cut end will never be more than 16" away from a solidly nailed connection, and most of them will be closer. I just don't see how that would be a big problem.

Besides, there's no way we're going to be able to tell without taking things apart.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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I used to write up butt joints not landing over studs. It is easy to tell at times, unless some contractors install studs at 12" o.c. for example.

I have not seen the butt joint placement be an issue, and don't write it up any more. I used to write up butt joints lining up over windows along with joints not lining up on studs, but have given that up as well. It is only a best practice, and flashing pretty much eliminates any problems.

As Jim said, if the nails are landing on studs, it should not matter from what I have seen. The problem is that the good contractors who pay attention to joint placement pay attention to proper nailing procedures-- I slow way down when finding poor joint placement.

I do peel back random pieces of siding on fiber cement and look for proper fastening techniques. If siding is loose, it almost always means that they have over- driven their nails, and that often causes the siding to slide out over time.

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I do peel back random pieces of siding on fiber cement and look for proper fastening techniques. If siding is loose, it almost always means that they have over- driven their nails, and that often causes the siding to slide out over time.

Huh? You "peel" back the siding? How do you do that?

OT - OF!!!

M.

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