Installing Vinyl Siding: 10 Tips to Keep in Mind

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The main advantage of using vinyl siding is the fact that it mostly requires very little maintenance, but remains sturdy for years. So, if you are planning to install vinyl sidings by yourself, here are a few points to keep in mind that might just save you the trouble of correcting mistakes after the job.

1. 3 ½ inch Starter Strip

Install your siding as low as possible to prevent the sheathing from being damaged by effects of the weather. Choosing the 3 ½ inch starter strip will allow you to put an inch or more of the bottom side, below the foundation.

2. Keep the Nailing Tight

In order to stop the panels from detaching, there’s a very easy but effective trick that you can use. Pull or push the panels upwards a bit (lightly) while you nail them on to the flange, and they should stay in place for the foreseeable future.

3. Use Galvanized Roofing Nails Only

If you want your sliding to last, the nails you use must be made up of galvanized steel and should be two to three inches long.

4. Be Picky About the Colors

Vinyl sidings do not usually need to be painted more than once in their lifetime, so be picky about the colors you choose. Check out the latest trends in exterior siding colors before finalizing the choice as it’s not going to change anytime soon.

5. Use the Right Blade

You cannot use anything other than blades that are specially made to cut vinyl, because if you do, the panels will chip or even shatter.

6. Capping the Posts

Insects and rodents find vinyl corner posts to be particularly good places for making nests, so cap the posts before installing them to keep pests out.

7. Longer Panels Go First

If you have plans to install siding on both sides of a door or a window, always start with the side that needs the longer panels.

8. Leveling is Very Important

When the siding panels are properly leveled, they will be easier to install and will serve their functions better too. Start with a chalk line around the base and level your sidings out every five courses.

9. Leave a Bit of Space

Sidings expand during the summer months and as a result of that, the panels will buckle, unless you leave at least 1/8 – inch of space on each end.

10. Prepare the Surface

The surface of the house on which you will be installing the siding must be ready for it. In order to ensure that it’s ready, the following should be ensured:

  • The surface needs to be even and smooth
  • Seal any existing leaks and cracks on the surface thoroughly
  • Foil faced foam sheathing is advised for vinyl sidings to boost the insulation
  • Installing an air and water filtration barrier is also advised

Installing exterior sidings is not a one-man job, so if you have an experienced friend or relative who can help you with the project, ask them. When no one is available, hire a few experienced workers to aid you with the job.



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