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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

Radiant Barriers For Attic: A Quick Guide

Maybe you’ve been thinking about installing a radiant barrier in your attic but have a few questions. Is the upfront cost worth it in the long run? What are the advantages? What areas of the country are appropriate for a radiant barrier? How do I make sure I install it properly? Let’s take a look at a few of these questions and see if a radiant barrier is right for you.

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Industry Trends5 min
Trends: Five Best Sustainable Building Materials Best Practices

Sustainability and green construction are dominating homebuilding trends as homeowners are choosing energy efficiency as a primary driver in their purchase consideration. However, just as all trends evolve, we’re seeing the definition of sustainability expand to include health and wellness. What does this mean for you when installing sustainable building materials? Choosing non-toxic building materials and safe building materials have tremendous benefits not only for homeowners but for you and your crew, too.

Business Advice4 min
Prepare for the 2021 Storm Season With More Weather Resistant Siding

Do you frequently build in regions with heavy rain or strong winds? 2021 is projected to be a severe storm season, which means your builds will need some extra reinforcement. Finding the most durable siding or building solution for your projects can be confusing. Thankfully there are practical ways and durable products to help prevent damage and help protect against harsh weather so you can be prepared before the storm season arrives.

Inspiration5 min
Small Home Design Ideas: Best Exterior Colors for Your Custom Smaller Home

You’re likely building more smaller houses than you were about five years ago. Homeowners across the country want affordability, energy efficiency, or simply less home to clean and maintain so they have the weekend to explore—or they’re empty nesters. Whatever the reason, they still want their small home exterior to have maximum curb appeal and have all the charm and pizzazz of a larger home.