Learn How to Install Vinyl Siding – Forbes Home

2022-09-17 15:43:35 By : Mr. yong zhang

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Learning how to install vinyl siding might sound intimidating, but really isn’t complicated. With a little know-how, an average DIYer can do it. Be prepared for a full day of work or a couple of weekends, should you take a slower pace.

To get started, you’ll need complete vinyl siding installation instructions, which most manufacturers provide, plus a few tools like a zip tool, circular saw and pry bar.

Vinyl siding costs around $3.80 per square foot. A typical 1,500-square foot house will cost around $5,700 to side with vinyl siding, including materials and labor. Expect to pay the same in labor costs if you choose to hire a pro to complete the work. A box of vinyl siding typically costs between $150 to $200, which will cover around 50 square feet.

Vinyl siding remains the most popular siding option for homeowners because of its cost, variety of options and ease of installation. Whether your home has old, wood siding or metal siding, which is prone to rust in wet climates, vinyl siding is often the best bet for homeowners looking to renovate the outside of their homes. Vinyl siding drawbacks include:

Homeowners will want to install vinyl siding in favorable weather conditions, typically during summer to prevent the siding from contracting or expanding too much during installation. Those who install vinyl siding professionally typically leave space for expansion and contraction of the siding, so be aware of that during installation.

Those installing vinyl siding will use tools like circular saws and step ladders, so be aware that you will need to keep safety in mind. It’s best to buy a vinyl siding blade to cut vinyl siding and prevent it from chipping and fracturing. Additionally, when installing vinyl siding on higher spots on the house, a step ladder will be needed. When using a step ladder, be sure to have another person on hand to hold the ladder in place and prevent falls.

Some communities may require a building permit to install vinyl siding: Be sure to check with local inspectors before starting the project.

TIP: When using a circular saw, eye and ear protection should always be worn. A mask can help while cutting vinyl siding as fragments may get kicked up.

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Old vinyl siding You’ll need a zip tool to begin removing any old vinyl siding. Start at the end of the siding or a loose spot to insert the zip tool. Be careful if your vinyl siding is old, because brittle vinyl siding can splinter. Slide the zip tool under the bottom of the siding, hook the locking edge, pull down and slide it horizontally to unlock it. After removing the siding piece, and before removing the nails, draw a line as a reference point for when you install new vinyl siding. Grab a pry bar to remove the nails.

TIP: Consider replacing insulation as you remove old siding.

Old wood siding Some prefer placing new vinyl siding over old wood siding, while others opt to remove the old wood siding prior to installing new vinyl siding. The removal process is largely the same as with vinyl siding, but using a pry bar to loosen the old siding and a reciprocating saw to help saw off stubborn, old nails.

If your house doesn’t have house wrap already, now is the time to add it. House wrap works as a water barrier behind the siding to prevent water damage to your home. Any vertical seams in the house wrap will need caulking. Later, you’ll need to caulk between the house wrap and windows as well as behind the J-channel.

Start by outlining the siding project by creating chalk lines around the house to serve as a guide for installing the new siding.

Place the starter strip even with the top of the chalk line. Be sure to leave room for corner posts and nail to the wall. Use a wider starter strip, and start it an inch below the top of the foundation. The wider strip will better protect the house from rain and snow. Don’t nail the starter strip tight, and leave a 1/4-inch space for expansion.

Once the starter strip is in place, start installing inside corner pieces 3/4 of an inch below the starter strip. If you’re using vinyl soffit, leave room below the underside of eaves for accessories.

Place inside corner pieces on adjoining walls, nail them at the top and place the rest of the nails 8 to 12 inches down. Again, don’t nail anything tight. Make splices as necessary, and overlap them.

When placing outside corner post pieces, allow a 1/4-inch gap at the top where it meets with eaves. Make sure the post extends past the bottom of the starter strip by 3/4 of an inch. Follow the same nailing process as the inside corner posts. Nail loosely and splice where needed.

Use 2-½-inch flaps, and bend them to close the post.

Make sure to add J-channel trim to all four sides of windows and doors. Install the casing and nail loosely to the wall. Then add bottom and side J-channels that line flush with the side. Be sure to cut a tab in the bottom of the side J-channels and fold it under. Cut and bend the drain tab after installing the top J-channel. Be sure to flash windows and doors during the process.

Install the bottom J-channel so it extends past the side casing about the width of the J-channel face. Cut a 3/4-inch notch in the back of each end, install it and bend the tab.

Snap the vinyl siding into the starter strip and nail it to the wall. Leave space where panels meet corner posts. Overlap each panel 1 to 1-¼ inches on pre-notched cutouts. Leave the last nail on each panel about 10 inches from the end for overlapping.

Work your way up with the vinyl siding panels and around doors and windows. Once you get to the eaves, nail under-sill trim to the sidewall. Then fit the top siding panel after cutting it the length between the top of the under-sill trim and the lock of the panel. Then snap the top panel into place with a snap-lock punch.

When you get the gable, nail the J-channel to the sidewall, flush with the gable. Interlock the panel with a siding panel under it. Cut and fit it to one side of the gable. Do the same on the other side. Adding some caulk to the bottom of the top course can provide a tighter seal and more protection from moisture from seeping in.

TIP: As you get to areas where your roof meets your siding, add kick-out flashing to prevent water from beating up your siding.

Not everyone will want to tackle flashing work around windows and that might be the time to call a pro. Calling a pro will ensure the flashing gets installed properly and prevents any water issues in the future. Any leaks behind your siding can be catastrophic for your home and a bigger mess than a siding project. A pro can do the hard parts around doors and windows for you or help show you want to do so you don’t have any water problems.

Installing vinyl siding yourself will save you a few thousand dollars, just beware of the labor and time involved with a siding project.

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Nick is a content creator with a background in DIY home renovation, maintenance, repair and trends. When he's not writing, Nick likes to rehab vintage or kitsch furniture for his home.

Samantha is an editor who covers all topics home-related including home improvement and repair. She edited home repair and design content at websites like The Spruce and HomeAdvisor. She also has hosted videos on DIY home tips and solutions and launched multiple home improvement review boards staffed with licensed pros.