What’s Involved in Vinyl Siding Installation?
When properly installed, vinyl siding is a great value that holds up to harsh weather conditions and looks great. When improperly installed, vinyl siding can trap unwanted moisture, come loose in wind storms, and look terrible.
Here are a few important tips to follow to ensure a quality installation:
- Get the right tools of the job: hammer, level, tape measure, chalk line, circular saw with a fine blade installed backwards, utility knife, tin snips, framing square, caulk and caulk gun, drill, cutting and sawing table, ladders, a snap lock punch gun, nail slot punch, and a zip unlock tool.
- Caulk all leaks around doors and windows. For added energy efficiency, install foil-faced sheathing over existing wood or masonry siding. You’ll add an air-water infiltration barrier if you’re installing the siding on a new house.
- Tackle trim work first. Corner posts, J channels (which surround windows and doors), light blocks, dryer vent accessories, front door cornices, and arches are all installed before the vinyl siding. Why? These trim pieces channel into the siding, hiding the siding’s unattractive, hollow cut end from view.
- A pre-bent piece of aluminum is installed to get you started–and keep your first vinyl siding panel from flapping in the breeze. You install vinyl siding in interlocking pieces, bottom to top. The first piece must be tight and level to ensure that every following panel is, too.
- Install corner posts near the horizontal stop point to allow for future expansion and contraction of the siding.
- Nail your siding properly. If it’s too loose, your siding will rattle; if it’s too tight, it’ll bubble and bow on a hot day. The nail head should stop within 1/32 of an inch from the siding, or about the width of a dime.
And be sure to read the manufacturer’s vinyl siding installation manual. It’ll help guide the process for you or your installer.