How To Install Vinyl Siding

 

Of the available exterior finishes, vinyl siding is arguably the easiest to install. By following a few basic steps for the installation of vinyl siding, almost anyone can do it.

The first step is to install the starter strip. The starter strip that holds the first course of siding and must be installed level and straight. This helps make sure that the following courses of siding are also level and straight. Other siding accessories like outside corners, inside corners, undersill, and J-channels must also be installed properly. Outside corners must be installed plumb and straight. Inside corners, undersill and j-channel accessories must also be correctly nailed in place.

How vinyl siding is nailed to the wall is very important to a good installation. Vinyl siding must not be nailed tight to the wall. Because vinyl siding expands and contracts with changes in temperature, it must be allowed to move. Vinyl siding is designed with a nailing strip with slots for nailing. Nails must be centered in these slots to allow maximum movement. The nails must also not be driven all the way home. The nail head must be left about an eighth of an inch short of hitting the nailing strip. The siding must be able to slide to the left and right after being installed.

The next important step to a successful installation is to cut the vinyl siding to the proper length. Because of the variation in temperature and expansion and contraction, vinyl siding must not be cut to fit tight in corners or J-channels. This is to allow movement for these temperature changes. When siding ends lap in a course, the siding must overlap a minimum of 3/4 of an inch.

The time of year and the temperature at the time of installation also effect how vinyl siding is installed. In cold weather, vinyl siding must be cut 3/8 inch short of the insides of corners and J-channels. In warm weather this measurement is 1/4 inch.

By following these basic steps one can have a professional looking vinyl siding installation. It will be straight and level and be free of waves and "oil canning".

Mike Merisko (C)2008

 

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