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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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It’s Getting Hot in Here: The Benefits Of LP® TechShield® Radiant Barrier

Radiant barriers have become very popular with efficiency-minded builders in the recent years. This is largely due to the fact that when installed properly, a radiant barrier can reduce the impact of summer heat and yield tangible savings in cooling costs of a home—a persuasive selling point when addressing potential homeowners. But how does radiant barrier work and what exactly are its effects?

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Business Advice4 min
Crushing the Top Rumors About Engineered Wood

LP Building Solutions uses engineered wood to create a portfolio of products that help professionals build smarter, better and faster. The innovations of engineered wood siding are relatively new. For instance, LP® SmartSide® Trim & Siding was introduced in 1997. Thanks to its advanced manufacturing process, it is one of the most durable siding solutions available. Sometimes people are skeptical of things that are really that good. So, let’s crush a few myths with engineered wood facts.

Business Advice4 min
Building Pier and Beam Foundation to Ease Maintenance and Repairability

Pier and beam design was among the most popular foundation techniques until the 1960s when concrete technology improved its floating slab system. Many builders use slab-on-grade construction—especially in warmer regions. We’re going to find out why professionals Jordan Smith of @jordansmithbuilds and Kyle Stumpenhorst of @rrbuildings chose pier and beam over slab-on-grade for the All-in-LP Build in Bellville, Texas. But first, let’s delve into pier and beam foundation.

Business Advice4 min
Embracing the Balance Between Resilient Design and Building Codes

From destructive hurricanes to fierce tornadoes, it seems news of catastrophic events is happening with alarming frequency. In fact, on March 3, 2020, an EF3 tornado tracked less than one mile from the LP Building Solutions headquarters in downtown Nashville, Tennessee, ripping through homes and businesses. While no traditional building can withstand the tremendous forces of disastrous weather events, it reminds us that embracing resilient construction and adopting stronger building codes could help protect our families, friends and neighbors.