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Vinyl Siding Installation 101

You have decided to redo the siding on your home. You have done the research, found the type and style of siding that is just perfect for your house, you have measured and bought what you need. Now what? How do you install this beautiful, new siding that will increase the curb appeal of your house? Following these steps and tips will ensure you have a beautifully redesigned new look.

Start Correctly

Make sure all the materials you need are ready before you start your project.

Most home improvement stores sell different size starter strips. Spend a few extra dollars and go for the larger one, typically 3.5 inches.

The bottom of the starter strip needs to be at least one inch below the top of your foundation, but even lower is better to protect the sheathing from the elements.

To protect each corner post, cap each post before installing. A cap will keep small critters and bugs from using the inside of the post as home.

Cut off a couple of inches from the J-channel section of the post, then fold back the remaining flaps and tap a notch or crease into them. Notch each flap so it will rest flush against the wall. If it’s cold, be sure to keep the posts warm before installing to prevent cracking.

Use the Correct Method When Installing

  • Be sure to have done the research and be comfortable with what you are doing.
  • A good portion of failures and mistakes from vinyl siding occur when panels become unlocked, or unattached from each other. When there is a gap, wind and water can get into the separation and cause more damage. To avoid this, pull up, or apply pressure in an upward motion when you are nailing each piece of siding. Doing this upward pressure will ensure the panels are locked tightly together. Only use gentle pressure, so you do not damage the posts.
  • To prevent water from getting behind the panels or posts, bend a flap in the top of the J-channel where it overlaps the side channels. Installing the J-channel will keep water from getting behind it and causing damage in the long run.
  • When it comes to nailing the sheathing to the house, you will want to use the roofing nails that are long enough. Do not fasten these in too tight, you will want to allow movement, or you will see bubbling on hot days. Be sure you nail every stud. If you are only nailing through the sheathing and not hitting the studs, weather or natural expansion or contraction will loosen nails that are secure.
  • You will also want to install flashing to the bottom corners of the windows before you install the side J-channels. Cut a piece of flashing from felt paper and attach to the bottom of the windows. This will allow any water that gets inside the J-channels to flow through and out the top of the siding and the weep holes and prevent damage.
  • As you are installing the vinyl siding up against the side of the house, you will come to a window or other feature that will require you to stall coordinated siding of different lengths. Always install the longer siding first. Longer panels are harder to adjust than shorter boards and not as easy to stretch if the paneling is uneven after you have measured at the top of the window.
  • When installing your siding, be sure you have read the instructions for your specific brand. Most vinyl siding should have panels overlapping by at least an inch. If it is hot when you are installing the siding, be sure to add an extra ⅜ inch to allow for how much the siding is expanded and will contract when the temperatures cool.
  • Start each side of your house at the back corner, so seams are not visible from the front of the house or street. If you want the seems to be almost invisible, overlap seams away from the line of sight, if you lap them towards the front of the house, they will be visible and not attractive. However, if visibility is not an issue, make sure you install the siding so the wind will blow over the seams as much as possible rather than into them.
  • To avoid water building up under the siding or on the roof under shingles install a J-channel beneath the corner post so water can run through and escape without causing damage.
  • When you have made it to the top of the wall and are siding near the roof, pay close attention to how the siding meets the soffits. The best approach would be to install sill trim, rip down the top course of the siding, then crimp the siding so that it is held in place by the sill trim. Be sure to use extra caulk inside the bottom of the top course to ensure a secure installation.

Use the Correct Tools

Make sure everything you need is on hand.

You will need a circular saw or sliding miter saw to install vinyl siding on your house. More importantly, you will need a blade specifically for vinyl siding. Most home improvement stores will carry this blade. Using a wood blade on vinyl siding is dangerous as it can cause the siding to split or shatter.When it comes to nails, pay attention to the length and type you are buying. You will need galvanized roofing nails that are at least two inches long, longer if the sheathing has foam attached to it.

We hope these tips help when it comes to installing your siding. If you don’t feel comfortable with any of these steps or don’t have the tools you need, we understand. The experts at Advanced Roofing & Siding Inc. have the experience you need to get the job done right. Check them out online to request a free inspection. They have years of experience and will install your vinyl siding correctly so that it will last you years to come

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