Author Archives: Dave
Value Engineering-Beware! By David MacLellan Value Engineering: a loosely defined term that implies alteration of a product or system to achieve a cost savings without significantly deviating from the performance of the original system. To many builders and developers, … Continue reading →
It’s summertime and a lot of time is being spent in backyards, and on decks. Don’t let a fun gathering turn into a nightmare.
Composite decks are the wave of the future. With few exceptions, wood decks are giving way to plastic and wood-like boards that are often made from recycled materials. The advantages of composite decks are sustainability and the lack of maintenance. These decks do not need to be sanded, stained, or sealed on an annual or bi-annual schedule.
However, composite deck boards are not as structurally sound as wooden deck boards. Often the spacing of the underlying support joists, which are generally pressure treated framing lumber, must be closer in order to carry the span of the composite boards. Because composite boards are a manufactured product, they are sometimes prone to failure, as Louisiana-Pacific discovered.
In May 2009, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with Louisiana-Pacific, recalled about 48 million linear feet of its composite decking boards. It was determined that the deck boards deteriorated prematurely and broke unexpectedly. Injuries have been reported including broken wrists, ankles, and lacerations.
The recalled boards are sold under the names LP WeatherBest®, Veranda® (Home Depot), and ABTCo. They are all manufactured in the U.S. Louisiana-Pacific will provide a free inspection upon consumer request, and if the boards show defects or premature deterioration, they will be replaced free of charge. Interested persons should go to Louisiana-Pacific’s website www.deckingnotice.com.
The Green Movement in home building started about 12 years ago. There are two main pillars to the Green Movement: (1) the use of sustainable, non-polluting, and renewable materials to construct a home; and (2) the installation of both passive and active energy saving components as part of the construction process. Continue reading →
Don’t look now, but a battle line is being drawn in the sand. On one side, the solar power industry and their consumers face off against the big electric utilities on the other side. Rather than name specific companies, let’s just call the two opposing forces Solar Power and Big Electric.
Big Electric is very worried that solar generated electricity will surpass conventionally generated electricity, and they want to reduce or eliminate the federal and state tax credits that Solar Power has enjoyed for as long as two decades. The more customers that convert to solar, the less revenue Big Power receives. However, their fixed overhead and maintenance costs do not decrease proportionally. Continue reading →