Lair Of The Bear, Incline Village Lake Tahoe

Started by Savvy, May 20, 2015, 03:31:13 PM

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Spoke with a rep from North Lake Tahoe Fire Prevention District.....
Left hand not following right hand.....
Washoe County building department said no permit required if not removing existing siding and adding foam board and additional siding.
NLTFPD says 2012 Fire Code was adopted requiring 1 hour fire wall.....and a permit.
Cedar siding is NOT ACCEPTABLE without 5/8 Firerock underneath....between furring and siding.
Siding needs to be fastened to studs not just furring........5.25" fasteners.

Exposed eaves are a NO NO.
I need to enclose the eaves with firerock as well.



I can appreciate the frustration when receiving conflicting information from government departments. However, the correct answer might have come from the county.   ???   New rules, new codes or changes to codes occur all the time. Just because the new code states that the siding must be fire resistant, or be applied over a fire resistant barrier, does not mean that every structure existing before the new code/rule must automatically receive the upgrade. There will usually be some threshold that is crossed before the new code applies. The threshold might be determined by the type of work or the degree of change. In some cases the threshold can be the change of ownership. For example, since 2009 in Oregon a home that has an old non EPA approved wood stove or fireplace can not be sold until the old stove / fireplace has been removed and certified as destroyed. If I was in your situation I would carefully research what laws are applicable. How much renovation can be done without triggering major extra work.

That said I can fully understand the reasons behind the rules that specify fire resistant siding, special soffit material and installations. For several years now the western USA has experienced worsening wildfire hazards. We have has two major fires come within 1.75 and 4 miles of our place in the woods. One smaller fire right up to our property line about 70 feet from the cabin. I don't expect fire conditions to become any less dangerous in my lifetime. The climate is partly to blame. The fact that most of our forests have too many trees, too much ground trash does not help. And more and more people build in the forest.

I would be concerned about the wood siding and the soffits. I would also be concerned about the wall of windows. To me, it doesn't likely make all that much difference in total fire resistance to install something like HardiPlanl lap siding (cement fiber) and have that wall of old windows that will blow out in a firestorm, even if the siding does not catch.

Find out what is triggering the fire resistant siding and if that really applies by law. It could also be an zealous official applying some personal interpretations to the rules. If there is something in your plan that triggered the demand for changes perhaps you can scale back?

Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn't mean it is good design.


Turns out.....
I inquired with State Farm regarding Homeowners insurance. I'm insured with them in CA, but CA state farm wont insure in NV so I was referred to a local SF agent.
Agent did drive by.
That's how NLTFPD got my name.
Agent stated no insurance available as I have dozens of pine trees on property (.47 acre), 4 within 12 feet. Existing wood siding, existing wood deck. The only things going in my favor are a metal roof and a hydrant 20 feet from the house.
Said I required major landscaping to create defensible space.
Truthfully, my space is no less defensible than any of my neighbors.....however, they all got insured in the 90's.
Agent said fire ratings range from 1 to 10.
State Farm will not insure structures rated above 3.
Agent rates my area 9.
Now...I just got to find a case of 5.5" fasteners.... :)



Be careful not to puncture a water line or pierce an electrical wire with those 5.5" fasteners (says the voice of experience ;)).


Headlok, long screws in assorted lengths that are approved for installing furring strips over foam. Screw into studs and attach siding to furring strips. The link is to their technical data page with the approval docs. The page, HeadLOK Rigid Foam to Wood Framing (TER 1009-01), includes a table that indicates how many screws (by stating the vertical spacing of the screws) are needed for different foam thicknesses and weights of siding materials.

I have bought them in buckets on Amazon when I couldn't get what I wanted locally.
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn't mean it is good design.


Thanks MountainDon!!!

You sent me to a sign of good luck.......

I am aka DrJ :)



Over the years I have learned many times not to trust local fire official's interpretation of codes!

If like California, Nevada has a State Fire Marshal then they should have a handbook for high fire hazard area construction.
In California the building departments incorporate the fire marshal's requirements in their plan check and require local fire official sign off defensible space at Final.  Sounds like a good sit down with county building department is in order before you start siding.

In earlier posts you indicated a plan to install cedar shingle panels on your siding.  Due to the backing material, California accepts these panels as fire resistant construction.  Make sure local officials understand your material choice.  California does require wall board underlayment on  eaves and porch ceilings when using wood.  On vented soffits they also require special ember resistant vents ($$$$).

As for insurance... keep shopping!  It is getting harder to find a carrier that will bind coverage in high fire hazard areas.


Fire guy said, though the shingle panel product was accepted in CA, it was NOT accepted in to Spitsen Lumber in Incline.
Incline has some of the friendliest folks on the planet......
Eager to help.....with as many opinions.
I just got to choose the right official to give me my best writing.....and run with it.



I have removed the existing windows.
I have created bump-out window boxes for each window using 3/8 exterior ply.
The boxes are flashed to the OSB using Grace Vycor Ice and Water peel and stick.
I have placed my foam board directly over the OSB sheating.
Each window box is framed with 2x6 furring secured through the foam and into the studs using 6" HeadLok screws.
As per Washoe County, vertical 2x4 furring strips were placed over each stud and secured through the foam into the studs using 6" HeadLok screws.

Now comes a decision.....

As per Washoe County, I need to place 5/8" Type X Gypsum Exterior sheathing on top of the furring strips and immediately under the final cedar siding.
For this, I think I am going to use DensGlass Yellow Fireguard Sheathing

Do I install my windows on top of the furring and flash to the foam, then add the DensGlass.......
Do I install the DensGlass, then install the windows on top, flashing to the DensGlass?

Sorry no photo at this time.


BTW.... After yelling "Go Bears" at the big screen tv at the local sports bar during the Cal v Texas football game last weekend, as I pulled into my driveway, I spotted my first siting of a local bear.........fortunately he must have known I had been yelling "Go Bears", so he did just that....he left.
I slept with one eye open since all my windows were just big holes. :)


Let me take a stab at answering your question. I delt with this a lot as a commercial carpenter on hi rise condo projects.  The windows should be installed over the densglass just as you would over any other sheathing.  The only difference would be that densglass requires a primer prior to installing flexable flashing.  This is the quote from densglass:
"When installing Perm-A-Barrier Wall Flashing
over DensGlass Sheathing, the surface of the
sheathing must first be primed with Perm-ABarrier
WB Primer. Perm-A-Barrier WB Primer
is a water-based primer, which imparts an
aggressive, high-tack finish on the glass mat
substrate of the sheathing"


Almost finished with OSB covering and completed one wall of Rmax plus furring.
Milgard Tuscany windows ordered.
Gas main installed.
Winter is approaching.
I'll get as much done as I can before El Nino grande arrives.


One side ALMOST completed with fire sheathing.
Damn those panels are heavy.......and itchy.
Friggin' fiberglass dust makes its way through gloves and taped up jumpsuit.
Not something one should do in almost 80 degrees.
Windows should arrive in a few days.
I may take a break and place my gas pipe drops so I can get an inspection sign-off before I need heat.



 I'm installing gas line in my Lake Tahoe cabin for the first time. Gas company has installed the service line to the house.
I have installed the main 1-1/4" line, and 3 branch lines (range, fireplace, water heater).
No appliances are connected. branch lines end with caps after valves.
On October 26 at 1pm the line was pressurized to 20 psi with compressed air.
The temperature was 61 degrees.
Sunday, Nov 1 at 12:30pm, I returned to find the pressure had dropped to 17.6 psi.
It was 44 degrees.
A decrease of 2.4psi over 7 days.
A temperature decrease of 17 degrees.
Doesn't sound like much, but this is my first gas line install.  Is this acceptable.
Is it safe?


OK, I've never installed a gas line before other than adding a branch line for a gas dryer.
I installed new gas line from house side of meter to 3 fixture locations (range, fireplace, water heater) using 1-1/4" pipe.
(1-1/4" was used for the 70 foot run to accommodate a future tankless water heater)
All ends are capped, but for pressure gauge at exterior.
Pipes were pressured to 20 psi with compressed air on October 26.
Gas pressure on November 1 was 17.6 psi.
Gas pressure on November 16 was 8.8 psi.
11.2 psi pressure loss over 21 days or .....
.7 psi per 24 hours/day.

Am I OK to connect appliances and ask for a final meter hookup inspection and expect a likely pass?

The snow is starting to deepen and its getting a bit cold without any heat source. :)


Keep in mind that your gas piping will only receive 1/4 pound of pressure downstream of the meter and that a 20 pound pressure test is overkill and runs the risk of creating leaks.  Typical code jurisdictions require a 10 pound test with zero drop over 15 minutes.  Usually they require that gauge have a maximum range of 15 pounds (difficult to detect small drop in pressure on a 100 pound gauge).

Rule of thumb used by many plumbers is that drop (adjusting for temperature differential) should not exceed 5 pounds in 24 hours.  Your results would indicate you most likely have a leak; however, it does not exceed the rule of thumb.  See what happens after a few hours at 10 pounds.  If you see any drop...soap test all connections.

There is a growing problem with the poor quality in Chinese manufactured pipe fittings, especially the threads!!!

Make sure you're in compliance with local test requirements before you call for inspection and don't be surprised if inspector looks at gauge and is gone in five minutes.


Well, it's been a long time since I posted. Mainly because it's just me doing all the work and I have a day job 200 miles away as well as a wifey and kid that has plenty on their plate that requires my undivided attention.
Here's a rehash due to the Photobucket crap that I just learned about tonight, along with current exterior progress....
This is how the exterior looked at time of purchase May 20013:

The first thing I did with the exterior was to remove all the battens and windows and bury the existing siding under 1/2" OSB..

The goal is to create an insulated remote wall.
On top of the OSB, I placed 2" foam board(Rmax), held in place with 2x4 furring screwed into studs using 6" Ledgerloks...

This was all covered with 5/8 Densglass sheathing for fire resistance..

and also had to construct my own bombproof meter shed...

Installed Milgard Tuscany windows....

Covered everything with Tyvec.....

Then waited for the Winter of 2017 to thaw out....

Began placing T&G Cedar siding on in June 2017

As of November 13, 2017 it now looks like this....

Our view......