Respect for Application Instructions

Despite the fact that application instructions are printed right on paint cans and bags of materials for stucco, manufacturers’ application instructions are often ignored.  This information is not a “recommendation,” but an actual “instruction.”

Is this widespread disregard for instructions a result of less respect (and less pay) for the work of construction tradespeople?  Or is it a result of peoples’ having less pride in their work? Or is this a result of less respect for the written word?  Or are that many kids actually not learning to read?

Although misapplication occurs most often in residential construction, commercial construction is not immune to this problem.

It’s 30 degrees Fahrenheit in Denver today.  This morning, my family and I drove by a property which has a new retaining wall adjacent to the sidewalk.  Two men were out on site applying a first coat of stucco to this new wall.

Except for a few specialized products intended for cold weather application, stucco is required to be applied when temperatures are warmer than 40 degrees Fahrenheit, and applied stucco must be protected from freezing temperatures for several days.  Stucco can fail if these application instructions aren’t followed.

Paint coats can fail if application temperature requirements aren’t followed.  Floor finishes can fail if underlayment application instructions aren’t followed.  Warranties for such products are automatically voided in cases of improper application.

As we drove by the house with the new wall, I said, “It’s too cold to apply stucco.”  My 7-year-old son responded, “Yeah, that’s not going to set right.”  Somehow, my 7-year-old knows this, but the guys out there doing the work either don’t know or don’t care.

Read the directions, people!  And show some pride in your work.

Take the CDT exam!

Do you produce construction documents (architects and engineers)?
Do you use construction documents (contractors)?

Do you do both?  (Assist in the production of construction documents, and comply with construction documents, the way product representatives do.)
I encourage you to take CSI’s CDT exam.

Although I was already a licensed architect with several years of construction contract administration experience when I took the CDT exam several years ago, studying for the exam rounded out my knowledge of the construction process, and filled in some gaps in my experience.  I had a number of “aha” moments.  My past experience informed my studying, and the things I learned from studying and testing have helped me to do my current work better. 

The Construction Specifications Institute administers this exam, the Construction Documents Technologist exam, twice a year.

Registration is open now for the spring exam.  go to CSI’s Website