Vinyl siding can be easy to install, but it does require proper knowledge of all the steps involved before beginning. Those who want to install new vinyl siding on their home or replace the existing siding can do it on their own, but they should make sure they understand the best practices and how to prevent future issues with the siding. Using the tips below, it may be possible for anyone to install vinyl siding on their home.
Keep Safety in Mind
When installing vinyl siding, homeowners may need to use new tools as well as a ladder to reach the higher parts of the home. It is imperative they learn how to use the tools before beginning the job and ensure they understand how to use the ladder safely to prevent falling. Improper tools use or ladder usage can lead to serious injuries, and in many cases, it’s easy to prevent this knowledge with just a little bit of know-how and keeping safety in mind.
Prepare the Wall Before Beginning
The wall should be flat and even to help prevent bulging and other issues in the future. Before installing the siding, use house wrap or felt paper to create a water-resistive barrier behind the siding. This helps protect the home from any water that can get into the siding, to help reduce the potential for rot and other major issues that could impact the home. Flashing will also need to be installed around doors and windows to help control the flow of water and push it away from the wooden frames.
Pick Out the Right Starting Strip
The first part of the vinyl siding installed is the starting strip. Everything will be placed on top of this after beginning, so it’s important to make sure the right size is chosen. The starting strip should hang over the foundation by at least one inch, though more is better in this case. The starting strip can help protect the house against rain, snow, and more. In most cases, the minimum size recommended for the starting strip is three and a half inches, as this provides sufficient room to hang over the foundation while proving enough room to start placing the vinyl siding planks above it.
Remember to Allow for Expansion
As the weather changes, siding is going to expand and contract. When the siding is not installed correctly, this could lead to buckling or other major issues that impact the look and function of the siding. To allow for expansion, make sure there is at least one-quarter of an inch clearance around all openings and avoid driving the head of nails tightly against the siding. If the nails are too tight, they’ll hold the siding in place and will not allow it to move as it expands and contracts. As the siding is being installed, make sure it does have the ability to move side to side.
Choose the Right Fasteners
Nails, screws, and staples can all be used to install vinyl siding. It’s important to choose a material that is resistant to corrosion, such as aluminum or galvanized steel. Once the fastener type is chosen, make sure it’s the correct length. The fastener should go at least three-quarters of an inch into the framing stud or furring the siding will be attached to, as this helps prevent it from pulling out in the future. When installing, start with the fasteners in the center of each panel and move outward, ensuring each fastener has sufficient clearance for the siding to expand and contract and that the fasteners are centered in the slots.
Install the Accessories
There are a number of accessories that should be installed before the siding panels. This includes the starter strips, flashing around windows and doors, trip, the j-channels that go on the roof, and the corner posts. Make sure the starter strip is level using a chalk line and go all the way around the house to make sure everything will match properly. Then, install the rest of the accessories. Once this is done, it’s time to start installing the panels.
Keep the Siding Level
Before installing the siding, make sure everything behind it is even and flat. This helps keep the vinyl siding in the proper place so it can be installed level. When installing, start by making sure the starter strip is level. Then, periodically check the vinyl siding panels to make sure they are still level. If something is not level, it’s important to go back and fix it now, rather than wait until everything is installed. It’s going to look worse if the problem is ignored because each new panel will be further from being level. Pushing up along the bottom of each panel until the lock is fully engaged and checking the level can help prevent this from happening.
Cut Vinyl Siding Properly
Vinyl siding will need to be cut to fit on the wall as well as around doors or windows. Always keep safety in mind when cutting the siding and use the correct tools along with proper safety gear. Siding can be cut with a circular saw, a utility knife, or a specialized scoring tool. When using a saw to cut the panels, opt for a vinyl blade. These are designed with vinyl in mind and make it easier to create a smooth, even cut through the panel.
Vinyl siding can be installed on homes, as long as the installer knows what to do and how to do it. The above tips can help any homeowner who is ready to install vinyl siding on their home, shed, or other building, and can enable them to make sure it’s done right. When these tips are used, it’s easy to prevent some of the major issues that vinyl siding can have, such as buckling, and to make sure it looks great once the job is done. Use the tips here to install your vinyl siding and make sure you get the results you want.