a question about building codes, and inspection practices.

I’m currently going through the training, and hope to be finished in a month or so, so I am not certified yet. I have been in the trades for many years, and I ran accross something that is very confusing to me.
I have built quite a few decks, and in the “How to inspect decks” section it has a couple of things that in inspector should look for, that are in direct conflict with local building codes, for example; " Even worse is when the siding or exterior finish system was not removed prior to the installation of the ledger board."
In my area, which includes 4 counties, building codes do not require removal of exterior finish systems, as long as flashing is used.
most houses in my area that have an elevated deck attached at a second story level, have a trim board, at the bottom of the second story, but some do not, and if lap siding is used, regardless of the material i.e. hardy board, composite, etc, it is not required that the siding be removed to ledger to the building, as long as flashing is installed.
does anyone have any suggestions or comments on this?

Can I answer your question with a question?

How would you identify the Ledger board was attached securely to the structure of the home?

Gregory, I don’t know where you are located.I do know that here in Canada at least in my province all decks are required to have the ledger board securely mounted to the structure of the home that is all intervening layers must be removed. After the ledger is installed then the drip edge goes on.

Not aware of any jurisdiction that allows for ledger board attachment over siding.

If you don’t remove the siding to install a ledger board how do you properly install flashing?

First, I’d check with the local building department and get something official on what they require. Do they also allow anchoring to brick?
Installing a ledger board over siding may void any warranties. Vinyl siding that is pinned tightly cannot expand and contract as required and will eventually buckle.
You also have the issue of keeping good contact between the ledger and the house with lap siding. A 2x12 will likely only contact the siding in two, maybe three places. Any deterioration in the siding would jeopardize that contact.
The only time I think ledger over siding is okay is if the siding is T1-11 type siding. Even then, flashing is difficult or impossible to install properly.
Just my thoughts on it.
You may want to re-think your methods of building decks.