The Importance of Installation Instructions

Failure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions is one of the easiest ways to void a warranty.  

Often in my forensic engineering work, I observe problems that could have been easily avoided had the contractor followed the manufacturer’s instructions.  Problems that are almost always installation problems include: all types of roof coverings; all types of siding installation; all types of floor covering and many more categories of manufactured products. Different manufacturers will have slightly different materials or procedures to enhance their uniqueness or that are necessary for achieving test performance results or chemical compatibility.   

Reliable consistent construction is not meant to be a creative process.

Many manufactured parts are not compatible with other manufacturer’s similar parts even though they may perform the same function. They need to be installed following specific instructions using specific components in a specific order.

Different manufacturers may have requirements that vary in small, but important ways.

While often there are generic industry instructions or standards of practice, different manufacturers may have requirements that vary in small, but important ways.  Even the NJ Uniform Construction Code specifically incorporates manufacturer’s installation recommendations as accepted engineering practice as stated in N.J.A.C. 5:33-3.6(b).

A good working relationship with your contractor(s) is critical to facilitate monitoring their work.

When contracting work – it is important to be sure the contractor(s) are following the manufacturer’s recommended practice and are only using materials from the same manufacturer.  Many manufacturers of construction products have videos showing how their products are to be installed, that can be viewed on their website or on YouTube. Establishing a good working relationship with your contractor(s) is critical to facilitate monitoring their work.