Thursday, July 31, 2014

Unbuckling Your Walls

Pop Quiz:

Why does wall sheathing buckle?

If you answered something like studs at 24" o.c., I'm sorry to disappoint you.  The most common cause of wall sheathing buckling is because it wasn't properly gapped.  We've hounded on this before.  But now the APA has developed a mobile tool that will help educate builders on some of the most common building issues.

See this and many more tips at the APA website.  Tambien en espaƱol!

  • Prevent Buckling with Proper Spacing includes spacing recommendations for APA Rated Sheathing, APA Rated Sturd-I-Floor®, and APA 303 Siding. (Form M300, now available in Spanish)
  • Construct a Solid, Squeak-Free Floor System describes how to prevent floor complaints and callbacks with proper floor sheathing installation. (Form Q300, now available in Spanish)
  • Minimize Nail Pops describes how to reduce nail pops through recommended fastener selection and installation. (Form S300, now available in Spanish)
  • Storage and Handling of APA Trademarked Panels provides guidelines to help protect panels from damage in storage, during shipment, and on the job site. (Form U450)
  • APA Panels for Soffit Applications provides information on recommended panels and spans for open and closed soffits. (Form N330)
  • Finishing APA Rated Siding describes recommended finishes and application recommendations for APA Rated Siding. (Form Q350)
  • Proper Storage and Handling of Glulam Beams provides recommendations for storage and handling of glulam beams. (Form R540)
  • Minimize Glulam Checking Through Proper Storage and Handling provides tips for preventing glulam checking. (Form F455)
  • Proper Installation of APA Rated Sheathing for Roof Applications provides step-by-step instructions for roof sheathing installation. (Form N335)
  • Proper Selection and Installation of APA Plywood Underlayment includes information on selection, handling, installation and fastening APA Underlayment panels. (Form R340)

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Installing Solar Now Even Cheaper

The City of Portland, OR recently announced that they have been able to streamline their solar application process.  This means that they were also able to reduce the fees on a solar permit.  Press release follows:

July 1, 2014.  Effective immediately, the City of Portland Bureau of Development Services will be reducing the building permit fees for Prescriptive Residential Solar Permits from $554 to $263, a 52% reduction.  In an effort to be responsive to the Solar Industry concerns about existing fees and the City’s goal of encouraging more sustainable energy sources, the Bureau worked with Solar Industry representatives in an assessment of the current fees and associated solar permitting and inspection process.  This evaluation realized efficiencies in the permitting process, allowing the building permit fees associated with solar projects to be reduced.  Separate electrical trade permits continue to be required and their associated fees remain the same.

“We are hopeful that the reduction in building permit fees for solar installations on residential structures will encourage more homeowners to adopt this sustainable energy source, helping the City to meet sustainability goals,” stated Commissioner Amanda Fritz.  Bureau Director Paul L. Scarlett added “This is a great example of where we were able to work with industry partners to realize permit fee savings, while maintaining cost recovery on the important life safety and livability services the City provides through the building inspection process.”

Overall, the Prescriptive Residential Solar Permit fee retains cost recovery levels for the Bureau, while achieving a level of review and inspections that ensures compliance with applicable building, electrical and land use codes.  Field inspections will verify installations adhere to approved plans, assuring safety and code compliance at the time of panel installation.

For more information, please contact Ross Caron, BDS Public Information Officer at or (503) 823-4268.

End release.

Interested in installing solar?  Check that little blurb to the right and see if you could get solar installed on your home for little to no upfront cost.  We had solar installed via a lease option and have been pleased with the results.