Graded lumber required for residential homes in Louisiana

News Release Distributed 05/21/09

Do-it-yourself homebuilders in Louisiana have recently encountered problems with local parish building inspectors when attempting to get their structures approved if the house was built with lumber missing a grade stamp.

Graded lumber is required for residential homes in Louisiana, according to Todd Shupe of the LSU AgCenter’s Louisiana Forest Products Development Center.

“The grade stamp on a pine board corresponds to its maximum allowable load capacity,” Shupe said, noting that moisture content also is usually stamped on lumber sold either wholesale or retail. Other stamps the lumber may bear include species or species grouping, mill name or number and supervisory agency.

“Typically, most pine umber is kiln dried to 19 percent moisture content, which is advisable for home construction,” Shupe said.

In 2005, and amended in 2006, the Louisiana Legislature mandated the use of nationally recognized codes and standards as the state’s Uniform Construction Code. The initial code adopted by the Louisiana State Uniform Construction Code Council became effective on Jan. 1, 2007 (La. R.S.40:1730.28).

Chapter 5 of the International Code Council’s International Residential Code states, “Load-bearing dimension lumber for floors, walls, roofs and ceilings shall be identified by a grade marker of a lumber grading or inspection agency that has been approved by an accreditation body that complies with DOC PS 20.”

The code continues, “In lieu of a grade mark, a certificate of inspection issued by a lumber grading or inspection agency meeting the requirements shall be accepted.”

The primary grading agency for southern pine lumber is the Southern Pine Inspection Bureau located in Pensacola, Fla.

Shupe advises prospective do-it-yourself homebuilders to make certain the house is constructed of graded lumber. If not, they may face problems getting the house approved by the local building inspector.


Editor: Mark Claesgens

5/21/2009 7:00:50 PM
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