October 1997 Edition

Georgia Pacific Siding Class Action Lawsuit

We heard about the Class Action against Georgia Pacific on their lapped siding. Can you tell us what siding is covered and how to identify it?                       
Under the Class Action Settlement approved by the court, Georgia Pacific has agreed to establish new procedures for resolving product warranty claims on their Jarratt and Catawba hardboard siding.  GP is informing homeowners of procedures to use to identify and make warranty claims on their hardboard siding. The company issued detailed guidelines to help its hardboard siding consumers identify and evaluate damage, submit claims, and receive fair and adequate compensation for damaged siding materials. 
The lapped siding has a bead along the bottom of the boards. GP did not say whether the siding was all smooth finished or if some had a texture on the face of the boards.
You may be able to see the back of the siding from either an unfinished basement or attic area.  If not, you may need to remove a piece to properly identify it.
Jarratt Siding may be identified by one or more of the following mill stamps. Each board should have a Mill Mark printed on the rear side. If it has a LWP stamp, this stamp must reference MILL NO. 002.
A five or six digit numeric code containing the letter “J” may also be used. For example:
Catawba Siding is assumed to be the same configuration as the Jarratt Siding. Catawba has a smooth finish on the rear of the panel and may be identified by one or more of the  manufacturing stamps or numeric codes similar to those illustrated below: 
A numeric code that may contain the letters: “GP” or “USP”, or numeric codes similar to the following: 
Damage is the result of unwanted moisture in the siding. All current or former owners of structures using Georgia Pacific hardboard siding may be eligible to file claims or register their property for future claims and receive benefits under a proposed class-action settlement, which still must receive final court approval.      
The performance and longevity of any wood based siding is highly dependent upon proper installation and careful maintenance. Improper installation and inadequate maintenance can lead to exterior hardboard siding deterioration. Homeowners who wish to participate in the settlement must file a claim form or a registration form for future claims by August 18, 1998. To receive a claims package, call 1-888-882-5246, or for more information visit the Internet site at http://www.gpclaims.com. If a future claim form is received, eligible claimants will have until January 1, 2001 to file for compensation for Jarratt siding and January 1, 2007 for Catawba siding. Compensation is based on the home or structure, the average replacement cost for the applicable state, and whether or not any compensation previously has been received by the claimant. In addition, claims for Catawba siding will be subject to further evaluation as to whether or not the siding was properly installed, finished and maintained.  The average cost per square foot to replace hardboard siding in Georgia is $2.73.

How To Determine The Age Of A House

Our home is approximately 15 years old. Is there any way to determine the exact age? 
If you have the original furnace and air conditioner condenser, sometimes the date is on the manufacturer’s identification label. The date may be hidden in the serial number or actually printed on the label. Gas furnaces and air conditioners normally last around 15 to 18 years.  
The next place to check is the water heater. The manufactured date of a water heater can normally be found in the first two or second two numbers of the serial number. For example 852365988 would be 1985 or 368625-66 would be the 36th week of 1986. As a rule water heaters do not last longer than 15 years. 
If your major equipment was replaced, the next most likely place to check is inside the toilet tanks. Most manufacturers will stamp the manufacturing date inside the tank and on the bottom of the lid. Also, old cast iron sinks frequently have the date of manufacture stamped or in raised letters on the bottom. Some cast iron bathtubs have similar markings.

 Builders Preventing Buyers From Having Home Inspections

We recently signed a contract for a new home and when we decided to have the home inspected, we were told the contract, we signed, did not allow it. Is this legal? 
Unfortunately, it is legal. We have found only a few builders doing this in the Atlanta area. Buyers and Real Estate Agents should read the contract carefully and not accept wording that would limit or prevent the buyer from having their new home inspected.  
The Municipal inspectors are overworked and normally spend less than 10 minutes inspecting a home. Private home inspectors are able to throughly go over the construction and make notes on anything not meeting the State of Georgia minimum building requirements.  Most builders are proud of their work and welcome home inspectors. Those that do not should be approached with caution.

 If you have a question, change of address, comment, home tip or would like to send Home Tips to your clients, send your letter to Home Tips, Christian Building Inspectors, Inc., 3697 Habersham Lane, Duluth, Georgia 30096. You can E-Mail your questions to us at rodharrison@christianbuildinginspectors.com. We reserve the right to edit questions for length.

Quote of the Month

“One cannot change yesterday,

but only make the most of today, and look with hope toward tomorrow”

- Unknown

A Tip Of The Hat To:

Art Worley

Re/Max North Atlanta Affiliates

Roswell, Georgia

**** Thank You****