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Business Advice6 min

Why It’s Important To “Respect the Spec”

While it’s perfectly alright for a jazz musician to improvise, that approach doesn’t always work as well in homebuilding. Architects, specifiers, engineers and product reps spend many hours collaboratively choosing the right materials for each job – and an abrupt substitution to save a few dollars can ironically be very costly in terms of callbacks, design underperformance and even code violations.

“Ideally, all parties involved – the architect, builder and developer – have reviewed the spec before it’s final and have agreed on all the products being used,” says Karen Alves, LP Brand Marketing Associate. “That’s because finding an ‘equivalent’ for siding or fire-rated sheathing involves not just the substrate but the codes that the product meets as well.”

Submitting a change order—or, even worse, rejecting a specified product without identifying the architect—can result in costly downtime.

“Respecting the specification is so important in the construction process,” adds Scott Lockyear, LP’s National AEC Sales Manager. “Architects, specifiers and engineers choose multiple products to protect a structure from fire, wind and other forces of nature. Substituting one product without looking at the holistic design can lead to buildings that aren’t able to protect their occupants.”

Architects and specifiers appreciate product reps who provide technical details upfront, not at the submittal stage when it’s too late to make major changes. At this year’s CONSTRUCT show in October (the premier conference for construction specifiers) there’s one session entitled “How Product Reps Can Move From Vendor to Trusted Resource.” That’s rarely been a problem for LP reps, who have led CONSTRUCT educational sessions in the past and frequently make presentations in the offices of architects and specifiers.

Most builders know that there are often financial consequences for overruling the design choices of their architects and specifiers. The desire to shave a few bucks off material costs can sometimes cause problems that are much more expensive in the long run. 

We’ve discussed value engineering in the past on the LP blog, and driving value is central to everything we do—and everything we help you do for your customers. Collaboration is key across all members of the chain, where improved processes can help smooth out speedbumps in project management, including cost, schedule, performance and risk.

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Business Advice4 min

Predictions for 2020 from LP Execs

The homebuilding industry is always changing, thanks to housing trends, shifts in buyer preferences, new technologies and even finance options. We recently sat down with Brad Southern, CEO of LP Building Solutions, and Mike Sims, LP’s SVP of Marketing and Business Development, to discuss the latest industry developments.

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Industry Trends3 min
Why Key Strategies for Reducing Labor Time May Be Backfiring

Many construction companies and remodelers have been sorely challenged by the shortage of skilled laborers. As more companies struggle to find good workers and juggle projects, many are thirsty for strategies that promise to trim time.

Business Advice4 min
Why Remodelers Should Switch to LP® SmartSide® Trim & Siding

Are you considering switching to LP® SmartSide® Trim & Siding? Many remodelers and installers are anxious about switching to a new product—even when they know, in their gut, that it’s the right move. If you’re worried about change, here are four questions to ask yourself: What are the advantages of the product? How quickly can I get my team trained? How will the change benefit my company and reputation? What is the availability of the products?

Outdoor Living3 min
Shed Builder Spotlight: Lapp Structures

Since its start in 1987, Lapp Structures has transitioned from producing standard sheds to making aspirational builds a core element of its business. Coining the term DreamSpaces™, Lapp Structures helps customers create unique shed builds where they can explore their hobbies without sacrificing the comfort of home. Due to its unmatched consistency, proprietary technology and extreme durability, Lapp Structures names LP® Outdoor Building Solutions® a key component to its success.