How To Install Vinyl Siding

In order to install your vinyl siding, you will need to have the following tools on hand.

  • a knife
  • a framing square
  • a hammer
  • a level
  • a tape measure
  • a chalk line

You will also need specialized tools such as a nail slot punch, snaplock punch and a zip unlock tool as well as a ladder.

  1. First you'll need to make sure the surface you're using for the vinyl siding is smooth and in good shape. If the surface is in need of repair such as replacing old rotten wood or replace old caulking, then do so before installing the new vinyl siding.
  2. When you install the vinyl panels, you'll want to start with the trim pieces first, the pieces that go around door frames, air vents and windows. Then you'll want to install the starter strip, which is the piece of vinyl siding goes all the way around the house. This starter strip will also help hold the first sections of siding to the walls.
  3. Measure down for the top plate at each corner and place a piece of chalk line between the markings. Place the starter strip along the chalk line securing it with nails in the center of the strip. Place the nails about ten inches apart and leave a quarter of an inch space between the end of the starter strip sections to make room for material expansion.
  4. Work around the windows and doors next, installing “J strips” around them. This will make everything look more even when the vinyl siding is done. Next install the corner posts following along the walls.
  5. When you're ready to do the main portion of the siding, start at the bottom and make it is locked securely into the starter strip. Secure it to the starter strip by making sure it's pushed up until the interlock is engaged and place nails every 16 inches along it. Work your way from there up the wall, installing panels of vinyl siding interlocking them with each other.
  6. While you work with the horizontal panels, overlap them by at least an inch. Be sure to measure them and then cut the horizontal panels so they're at least one quarter of an inch away from windows and corners. Don't align the ends of the siding panels, make then a little off set from each other. Make sure the nails are centered in the panels and drive the nails straight through, not at an angle.


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