Vinyl siding is a great choice for your home. It improves its aesthetics by bringing a sleek, well-maintained look. It increases the value of your home, plus it has energy efficiency benefits. For most American homes, it just makes sense. You could get a professional in or you could spend some time learning how to install vinyl siding. Even if you opt for a professional installation, it’s worth understanding what process they’re going through.
If you’re a DIY enthusiast, then this could be the project for you. All you need are a few specialist tools and materials, and you’re ready to get underway.
Why Install Vinyl Siding
There are lots of benefits to installing vinyl siding, enough so that homeowners have been happily installing it since the 1950s.
- Affordability: Vinyl siding costs are relatively low. It is an affordable solution to exterior aesthetics when compared to installing new brickwork, wood, or even stucco. If you get professionals to complete the installation, you’ll find labor costs considerably less too.
- Aesthetic Options: Vinyl comes in all colors, patterns, and styles. If you want clapboards, you’ve got it. Shingles or shakes? Absolutely. Wood effect, bright blue, natural grain, it’s entirely your choice.
- Durability: It’s a really durable material and withstands much of what nature might throw at it. There’s very little that happens to the pieces themselves, and many come with a long warranty should anything happen.
- Low Maintenance: Compared to traditional wooden siding, there is very little maintenance for vinyl. If it gets stained or dirty, it’s as easy as cleaning with soap and water. No need for paint or staining.
- Energy Efficient: The vinyl provides an additional layer of insulation to your home just by itself. Many options now offer a purposeful insulation layer integrated into the panels.
Tool and Materials Required for Vinyl Siding Installations
- Vinyl Siding Panels: Depending on the size and design of your house, ensure you have enough panels. It’s a good idea to purchase a bit extra to account for any errors or future repairs.
- J-Channel: For framing around windows and doors.
- Starter Strip: To secure the first course of siding to the home.
- Vinyl Siding Corners: Both inside and outside corners.
- Galvanized Nails: These won’t rust or corrode, ensuring longevity.
- Hammer or Nail Gun: For attaching the siding panels to the wall.
- Tape Measure: Precision is key for proper fitting.
- Level: To ensure straight and even installation.
- Utility Knife: Useful for cutting and shaping the siding panels as needed.
- Tin Snips: For cutting vinyl more precisely in intricate areas.
- Pry Bar: Helpful for removing old siding or making space to adjust the new siding.
- Chalk Line: To mark guidelines ensuring straight lines.
- Ladder: Depending on the height of the house, you might need an extendable ladder.
- Safety Equipment: Including safety glasses, work gloves, and a hard hat if needed.
- Silicone Caulk: To seal any openings or gaps to prevent moisture infiltration.
How to Install Vinyl Siding: Step-by-Step
Start by thoroughly cleaning the exterior of the house. That means removing paint, old sidings, and any debris that might have gotten itself lodged. Then, measure the area that you’ll be working with. We recommend doing this at least twice and working in sections. You should also make the surfaces as flat as possible at this stage.
2. Starting with the Trim
Put the vinyl panels aside because you want to start with the trim first. Begin by installing the J-channel around any window frames and doorways. This creates a frame for the areas that you’re working with and a space for the siding panels to slot into. Always leave space for the materials to expand and contract. Otherwise, your boards may get damaged.
3. Installing the Starter Strip
Your starter strip is going to act as your guide as you install the first row of siding. Start at the base and ensure that it’s level. You should use a starter strip as this aligns the following strips. Just be sure it is absolutely correct at this point.
4. Installing the Panels
Using the starter strip, start from the bottom of your area and begin to work toward the top. Each panel should slightly overlap the last panel so that you have a snug fit that doesn’t present any gaps. You’ll see that there are nailing slots on each. Use the center of the slots, but avoid nailing too tightly. You want the vinyl to be able to move slightly to allow for that necessary expansion and contraction.
5. Cutting & Fitting
Eventually, you’ll reach windows, doors, or other features of your home. Here, you’ll need to measure and then cut panels to fit the space. For more precise cuts, use an appropriate tool such as your utility knife or tin snips. Don’t be too close to the exact measurements; leave a little extra so that you have material to work with. Then trim as required.
6. Finishing Touches
Rinse and repeat until you’ve covered the entire area of the house. Take a step back and admire your work. Then, take a much closer inspection. You need to check for any gaps between panels, misaligned panels, or spots that appear to be looser than required. Use a sealant to close any openings or edges. This will stop moisture from getting behind the panels and minimize the need for vinyl siding repairs.
Installing vinyl siding is no small undertaking. Expect this to be a considerable task and one that might take a fair amount of practice to get right. Make sure that you prepare beforehand and then work methodically to achieve the best results.
- Choose a material that best suits the aesthetic of your home. There are many options available.
- If in doubt, always defer to professional assistance.
- Follow our step-by-step guide to be sure you’ve completed the installation accurately.
Do you prefer to leave the repairs to the professionals? Fahey Roofing can aid you in your vinyl siding installation. Give us a ring today to learn more.