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On the Job with LP Construction Service Associate, Isaac Ojeda

Today, we’re joining Isaac Ojeda, construction service associate at LP Building Solutions, for a day on the job. Ojeda’s role primarily involves keeping building professionals and homeowners up to speed on the technical installation details of LP® SmartSide® Trim & Siding, one of the most durable siding solutions on the market. He also reviews product information for accuracy and tests new products during the development phase. Let’s get started!

Beginning the Day 

Before he begins his work day for LP Ojeda spends time with his kids, continuing a tradition of dropping them off at school. “It’s always nice to spend time with them first thing in the morning,” Ojeda mentions. After some quality time with his family, Ojeda starts the day at around 8:30 a.m. catching up on any technical inquiries from the day before regarding engineered wood siding installation. This can take about an hour but varies depending on the previous day’s schedule and amount of calls. From there, the phone brings in a new day’s worth of questions on installing lap siding for Ojeda to tackle.

Tackling the Technical Details

There are a few common questions Ojeda receives from contractors that go beyond how to install lap siding. Here are his top three, along with his responses: 

  1. How do I install siding over rigid foam insulation thicker than 1 inch? Ojeda references that LP SmartSide siding installation instructions do provide guidance on this if the insulation is up to 1 inch in thickness. But when it’s greater than an inch, the siding must be applied over furring strips. There are a couple furring strip size options for this method, so he’ll often help by researching code and looking into supplemental details to give a specific answer for each builder.
  2. Does LP require furring strips or strapping behind siding? In short, this is not required for the majority of installations, Ojeda says. But there are some special cases that may require furring strips, such as installing over concrete or masonry walls and over rigid foam insulation, which Ojeda can help walk each builder through during a call.
  3. Can lap and panel siding be applied directly to sheathing? Builders have an attachment option—they can attach siding to studs or attach it to sheathing without having to hit the studs. This detail is especially time-saving for remodels where it may be labor intensive to locate each stud. This flexibility gives installers a chance to keep the process moving with a simpler installation technique.

Reviewing Product Information & Testing New Products

When Ojeda’s not answering technical calls you’ll often find him reviewing collateral, from digital content and images to siding installation instructions and more. Because installers rely heavily on product literature from LP SmartSide siding it’s critical that the team provides the most up-to-date resources, and Ojeda has a big hand in making that happen.

Ojeda brings an architecture and construction background to his work with a Master of Architecture (M. Arch.) degree. His 18 years of architecture firm experience in residential and commercial design give him great insight as he produces the drawings for installation instructions that help installers get the details just right.

“I also work with the product development team on new products coming to the market,” Ojeda says. This may involve going to our test facilities and installing new products as well as looking for how each will perform and for details installers will need to anticipate. This information directly informs Ojeda as he helps to write the new product’s installation instructions alongside other LP team members.

Helping Homeowners With Siding Concerns 

“On a busy day, I can answer 15–20 calls,” Ojeda says. He’ll hear from a range of customers, from architects and engineers to contractors and even homeowners. He covers many topics, varying widely from highly technical installation procedures to homeowners with many questions after a re-side project.

When they see poor workmanship, homeowners tend to reach out and inquire after noticing a small detail that piques their interest. Ojeda notices that typically they’ll have begun to look at the siding installation instructions themselves to identify siding installation mistakes. This leads them to be concerned about the LP SmartSide limited warranty and whether their installation will qualify as covered under that warranty. Some common mistakes homeowners notice include siding that touches concrete without a gap at the bottom of the siding and errors with siding around windows (missing flashing above windows and doors, for example). 

“If a customer comes to me and says their siding is installed incorrectly, we have a couple of options,” Ojeda says. “I recommend hiring a home inspector to conduct a report to take back to the contractor or becoming familiar with the installation procedures, then walking the site with the contractor to point out details and ask questions.” Both options empower the customer to become knowledgeable about their siding and to ensure it is installed correctly. 

Closing Out the Day 

When he reflects on his work, Ojeda mentions enjoying the flexibility of it. “I love getting to spend time with my kids in the morning,” he says. Balancing family with the rewarding work of helping LP SmartSide siding customers, while still being able to fulfill his passion for drawing, makes for a fulfilling day on the job!

Join us next month for a day on the job with LP® FlameBlock® Fire-Rated Sheathing expert Scott Johnson.