Installing Vinyl Siding
by HDME Staff
Installing vinyl siding can add value, appeal, and protection to your new or renovated home. As long as you are physically able and have a few friends or family members who can help out, this is certainly a task that you can do yourself – whether you’re doing one wall, half a wall, or the entire house.
No matter where you’ll be installing vinyl siding, the best technique is to work from the very bottom of the wall and work upward. This being said, no two houses are completely identical. There are different shapes, obstacles, and angles, corners, and home features that can make things easier or trickier.
While most homes will not simply allow for a consistent bottom-to-top, uninterrupted approach when installing vinyl siding, there should be at least some walls that will allow for an easy go the majority of the time. Planning is your key.
This means that you will need to have your plan of attack before getting started, and you will want to have the right tools available to you. These tools include hole punch pliers, a snap lock punch, and a vinyl siding unlocking tool.
The easiest situation for installing vinyl siding occurs when the new siding is simply replacing old vinyl siding that had already been installed. In that case, the wall has already been prepared for the process and many steps can be skipped.
Don’t forget that as much as you want your home to be well protected, you do need to leave some space so that there is cushioning for protection, and so that the material will be allowed to expand and contract as the weather changes from hot to cold and back again over the seasons. Generally speaking, and eighth of an inch works very well.
Nails should align with the spots already marked on the back wall and latches should fit into place with male/female ends when installing vinyl siding. Latches should also nestle well into place at the bottom of the exterior wall’s frame. Therefore, to start, the bottom piece simply has to be snapped into place and the panels should fit in end-to-end unless working around a home feature such as a vent, door, window, or other obstacle. At this time, some cutting will be required.
If you are uncomfortable in working with the cutting and fitting of this type of piece, or if you are installing vinyl siding where it has not been there before, you may wish to consider hiring the assistance of a professional so that you can be sure that it has been properly installed.
Though you can save a lot of money by doing it yourself, and if you have the right knowledge and experience, this can work out very well, without the proper skill and knowhow, you can risk leaks or other damage to your home that will be much more costly than the professional’s labor charge in the long run.
The Big Question for YOU!
What’s the biggest challenge you're having with installing vinyl siding? And if you've taken on this kind of project before, tell us about your experience any lessons learned.