Do It Yourself: How To Install Vinyl Siding

Vinyl siding has many benefits, including affordability and the ease with which it may be installed.

Vinyl siding has become the covering of choice for many homes and other buildings across the United States today. Why? Because it's attractive, affordable, and you can easily install it yourself.

To start with, you can pick out any color and type of vinyl siding that you want. Siding comes in an array of colors, including light yellow, gray, and tan. You will also need to purchase channel lock, starter strips, corner posts and moldings, finish trim, galvanized roofing nails, moisture wrap, and maybe half - inch thick rigid - foam insulation.

The first step for installing vinyl siding is to prepare the exterior surface of your house. If your house has been previously sided, that will have to be removed. You will need a smooth, flat surface in order to install the new vinyl siding. If your house already has a layer of rigid foam insulation over it, then you can proceed on to the next step. If not, then you will need to cover the exterior walls with sheets of it. This will provide a smooth, flat surface to attach the vinyl siding to. You will, of course, need to remove any lights, handrails, et cetera, that are currently attached to the exterior of your house.



The next step is to apply a moisture wrap over the insulation on all of the exterior walls. This wrap protects the walls from moisture that will inevitably get in behind the siding. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for the best results.

Finally, it is time to start the actual installation of the vinyl siding. In order to protect yourself, put on your protective eyewear and a heavy pair of gloves. Then, measure, cut and nail on the slotted metal channel lock around all of the doors and windows. Make sure that you cut each piece so that it is flush with the outside edges of each opening. Nails should be placed approximately every twelve inches. The metal channel lock can be cut with a pair of tin snips, but be careful of the sharp, rough edges. Cut a small tab in the channel lock at each corner so it can interlock with the corner post.

Important note: Your vinyl siding will repeatedly expand and contract as the outside temperatures change. Therefore, it will need room in order to do this. Don't sink the galvanized roofing nails into the exterior walls all of the way. That is, leave a slight distance between the nail heads and the wall so the channel lock can move.

The third step is to install the corner posts onto your house. These are basically installed the same as the channel lock. Measure, cut, and nail""starting at the top""each corner post. Make sure that the post is hung square, then nail more galvanized roofing nails approximately twelve inches apart down each side.

The next step is to install the starter strip on the bottom edges of the walls. Use a chalk line to make level lines between the corner posts all the way around the exterior of your home. The top of the starter strip will be at that line. Then, begin to measure, cut, and nail the strips into place. Place the nails approximately twelve inches apart. The purpose of the starter strip is that it interlocks with the first length of vinyl siding, and it holds it in place.

Then, you will need to measure and cut the first length of vinyl siding. You can cut it with tin snips, an electric saw, or by scoring it with a knife and breaking it clean. Hook the piece onto the starter strip so that the bottom lip hooks underneath. Slide it into the corner, then nail it loosely - so it can expand and contract - approximately every sixteen inches. Repeat this process moving across, then up the wall. When you must join two lengths of vinyl siding, overlap the edge of one over the other approximately one to two inches.

When you are within a foot of the roof, you will need to measure, cut, and nail lengths of utility trim to the wall just below the soffit. Then, nail the last rows of vinyl siding in place. If need be, you can measure, then cut, the siding lengthwise to fill in the last space.

The last step is to install the finish trim, and caulk around the windows and the doors so it is sealed.

© High Speed Ventures 2011