Very interesting discussion....

Actually Mike it was. the code calls for the wall to be flashed but not extended beyond to prevent water from getting behind the siding and the corner.

I seem to remember that the code definition of flashing was “to prevent water intrusion and damage”…although it has been a while.

See post 16

Your right Larry, my point is the house was built to code and failed in less than 10 years which resulted in substantial damages to the owner.

Anyone who does not recognize the problem with how some codes are written and enforced is naive.

Codes are supposed to be Enforced by the Installer at the time of installation. :wink:

Codes also defer to the Manufacturers installation requirements in many instances.

Shoddy Contractors will always blame everything around them for poor work, ie, my wife is mad at me, the supplies came late, the CODE sucks, etc.


The code is more than adequate. The failure is due to poor workmanship and an enforcement oversight. The code calls for flashing to be present and effective. See examples below.

IRC R905.2.8.3 Sidewall flashing. Flashing against a vertical sidewall
shall be by the step-flashing method. The flashing shall be
a minimum of 4 inches (102 mm) high and 4 inches (102 mm)
wide. At the end of the vertical sidewall the step
flashing shall be turned out in a manner that
directs water away from the wall and
onto the roof and/or gutter.

IRC R703.1 General. Exterior walls shall provide the building
with a weather-resistant exterior wall envelope. The exterior
wall envelope shall include flashing as described in Section
R703.8. The exterior wall envelope shall be designed and
constructed in a manner that prevents the accumulation of
water within the wall
assembly by providing a water-resistant
barrier behind the exterior veneer as required by Section
R703.2. and a means of draining water that enters the assembly
to the exterior.

IRC R703.8 Flashing. Approved corrosion-resistant flashing shall
be applied shingle-fashion in such a manner to prevent entry of
water into the wall cavity
or penetration of water to the building
structural framing components. The flashing shall extend to the
surface of the exterior wall finish. Approved corrosion-resistant
flashings shall be installed at all of the following locations:

  1. Exterior window and door openings. Flashing at exterior
    window and door openings shall extend to the surface of
    the exterior wall finish or to the water-resistive barrier
    for subsequent drainage.
  2. At the intersection of chimneys or other masonry construction
    with frame or stucco walls, with projecting lips
    on both sides under stucco copings.
  3. Under and at the ends of masonry, wood or metal copings
    and sills.
  4. Continuously above all projecting wood trim.
  5. Where exterior porches, decks or stairs attach to a wall or
    floor assembly of wood-frame construction.
  6. At wall and roof intersections.
  7. At built-in gutters.

IRC Commentary:
The code requires that all points subject to the entry of
moisture be appropriately flashed. Roof and wall intersections
and parapets create significant challenges,
as do exterior wall openings exposed to the weather.
Where wind-driven rain is expected, the concerns are
even greater. Self-adhered flashing is required to comply
with AAMA 711. **Although the code identifies a
number of locations where flashing is specifically required,
the entire exterior envelope must be weather
tight to protect the interior from weather. Therefore,
any location on the exterior envelope that provides a
route for the admission of water or moisture into the
building must be properly protected. **Commentary Figure
R703.8 illustrates examples of flashing.

Peter, you are mistaken. The houses were not built to code or they wouldn’t be leaking. The code calls for flashing to be present and for the design to prohibit entry of water into the wall cavity. (See post above.) Since water entered the wall, by definition the house did not meet code. Also, the code specifically calls for kick-out flashing. The fact that it didn’t have it means it didn’t meet code in that respect either. And the code specifically addresses how to nail joists and address floor structures (decks).

Your beef is not with the code. The problem is a result of sloppy building practices, failure to meet building code and failure to enforce the building code. I hope you are not telling your clients that the house “met code” because it certainly did not and they may have legal options against the builder, especially since the house is less than 10 years old, as some states place structural liability on a builder for 10 years.

Good point Joe… here it’s 20 years in some cases… if someone were to be able to sprinkle “negligence” with their accusations. Which is generally easy to do.

No Joe, I’m not advising my clients that their house was built to code. And I agree, my beef is not always with the code. In this case how do you know if something will leak? and when. Also the code says, self adhered membrane used as flashing shall comply with AAMA 711. In this case ice and water shield was applied to the wall. As I stated earlier, this is a big problem in my area. We have only had codes officially recognized by the state for about 5 years.

The lack of education for the contractor is another problem. We are an unlicensed state, there is no oversight except at the town level. Enforcement varies and it is written into our code law that any code enforcement officer can amend the code for his jurisdiction. If you work in NH you have no idea what special exception each town may have or in some of out rural towns there is no inspector. In these cases the permit may be issued by the town selectman.

I just attended a residential code class put on by the state and they admit that we have a lot of problems and after listening to everyone comments I can see that it’s probably more of a problem here than elsewhere.

Also, the state of NH only requires a one year warranty on any construction.

So my point has been, codes are great but not perfect, as Brian said, installation is key, and as I pointed out, enforcement or lack of it is a very real problem in my area.

The below average homeowner demands a below average home. :wink:

That’s how it is in most of the country. I know of no state enforcement of building codes.

Yep. Unfortunately.

Now I’m very curious about that statement. Can you provide a link that states that any code enforcement officer can “amend” the code locally? I suspect what you mean is that local jurisdictions may choose not to adopt certain sections of the code. But please give some more info about this.

That’s how it is in most of the country. I know of no state enforcement of building codes.

Not sure about your state but here in NH the state fire marshal has authority over most codes but is usually not involved outside legislation.

Now I’m very curious about that statement. Can you provide a link that states that any code enforcement officer can “amend” the code locally? I suspect what you mean is that local jurisdictions may choose not to adopt certain sections of the code. But please give some more info about this.

That is correct, should have stated it a little different.

For example, some codes near the ocean will require impact resistant glass where in the mountains it’s not.

We also have two climate zones which gets confusing because of different insulation requirements depending on which zone you are in.

I do have to say that the state is working with the state fire marshal, local officials and the legislators to make the codes more uniform. As I said earlier, we accepted ARRA money so NH has to be 90% compliant with codes by 2017. This refers mostly to the IRC energy code but will overlap the building code too.

Pete, can I save those pictures to show some of my constituents?

All to true, Code is the minimum requirement to make it legal.
Build to code, you have a good house, build above that standard, you have a superb house.
Those pictures show what happens when no thought given about quality and performance of their work. But it met code per CEO. :slight_smile:

What a great example Thanks … Roy

As an Inspector in one from or another for a long time I would often be told, “Well it met the code” or “It was built to the Plans/Specifications”.

My usual response was “Really, show me the Code/Plans/Specs it met.” :wink:

Most of the time the “Tradesmen” had not looked very closely at any documents and even if they did, they did not follow them properly. (that is if they could even find the appropriate Documents :p)

You build it to the Documents, you do not Inspect Quality into the build.
You Inspect to ensure Compliance with the Minimum Standards agreed upon.

Contractors have a real hard time with this concept when dealing with, or becoming, Inspectors IMO. :smiley:

Roy and Marcel, you have mail