Vinyl comes at a comparatively lesser price than other siding materials. You can save more by installing the siding on your own. You can go for vinyl siding kits that contain tools, accessories, and instructions that are required for installation. All you have to do is to implement the instructions. A little home-work is necessary to do the job successfully.
Tips for Installing Vinyl Siding
Remove the light fixtures, address plates, shutters, downspouts, or anything that interferes with the installation of the siding. Scrape and remove the excess caulking from the corners. A flat surface is one of the primary requirements for installing the siding. If your house is a newly constructed one, the wall sheathing will provide a base for the siding.
If it is an old construction, remove the old siding (if any), clean the surface to make it flat; and line it with a rigid foam board, preferably ½-inch thick. Apart from being a flat nailing surface, the foam board has an added advantage of providing insulation to the house. Galvanized shingle nails can be used to secure both the board and the siding to the wall. If you want to retain the old siding, you can do so, if it is wood or stucco, but you have to use vertical furring strips before installing the new siding. In case of new constructions, house wrap or sheets of foam insulation can be applied over the sheathing.
First Steps of Installation
The exterior walls are ready for vinyl siding installation. You have to begin with the starter strip, which is the first piece of vinyl siding that is fixed at a small distance from the foundation, and runs parallel to it, and around the house. This forms the base for the other strips, which are fitted from the bottom to top.
- Find out the lowest corner of the house (above the foundation) using a mason's line and line level. The manufacturer must have specified some measurement above this point, for installation of starter strip. Mark that point, and draw a line around the house; starting from that point, and running parallel to the foundation. You have to install the starter strip along that line.
- Nail the starter strips along the chalk line. Always try to nail in the center of the nailing slots, and leave an ¼-inch gap, in case of joints with the next strip. This is to accommodate the expansion and contraction of the siding.
- The next part is the installation of trim pieces; like the inside and the outside corner posts, and J-channels. These pieces act as joints, whenever the vinyl siding comes in contact with doors, windows, and walls. For example, the inside corner post is used to accommodate the ends of the siding which meet at the inside corner of a wall. The top end of the corner post must leave a gap of ¼ inch from the eaves; and the bottom part must maintain the same distance from the topmost portion of the foundation.
- Attach the J-channel on the sides, and across the top of all doors, windows, sloped eaves, and other such structures. Notch the J-channel to make a drip edge at the corners.
- The underside of all windows, horizontal eaves, and such structures should be lined with under sill trims.
Installation of Siding
The first vinyl siding should be fitted above the starter strip, and has to be adjusted till it gets interlocked with the starter strip. Leave a distance of ¼ inch, whenever the panel meets a J-channel, under sill trims, etc. You can measure and cut the panels, so as to leave a gap between the trim pieces; and the ends have to be tucked inside the trim pieces. The horizontal meeting point of two panels should have an overlapping of at least one inch. This can be facilitated by notching the nailing flange of one panel. Avoid overlapping panels at the entrance and in areas with heavy traffic. Work your way up from the starter strip to the top. Make sure that the panels are hanging loose and the nail heads are not driven in tightly, so as to accommodate the expansion of the panel during cold season. You have to maintain the siding level by checking it at regular intervals.
One of the problems related to vinyl siding is the possibility of expansion and contraction of panels during extreme cold and heat. Keep this fact in mind, while installing a vinyl sliding, and leave gaps wherever necessary. Installing this siding is not a tough task, if you carefully follow the instructions, given by the manufacturer.