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How To Install Vinyl Siding

How To Build Your Own Home e-book available


Before You Begin

Tools Of The Trade

Designing Your Home

Building Permit Plans

Excavating Home Site

Laying Drain Pipes

Prepping For Slab

Pouring The Slab

Installing Sill Plate

cutting Outside Wall Parts

Building Outside Walls

Framing & Raising interior Walls

Exterior Wall Sheathing

Cutting Out Openings

Wrapping The House

Preparing For Roof Trusses

Gettin Roof Trusses Ready

Raising Roof Trusses

Sheathing The Roof

Preping For Shingles

Shingling The Roof

Selecting Doors/Windows

Installing Doors/Windows

Preparing For Siding

Types Of

How To Select Siding

Siding Soffits & Trim

Installing Strapping


Vinyl siding can be tricky to install because it expands and contracts with the slightest change in temperature. For that reason, it is important to follow installation instructions exactly. For the most part Vinyl Siding installation is fairly straight forward. Below you will find detailed instructions. Please be sure to read the instructions that come with your particular brand of siding as well.

Vinyl Siding Installation On The Exterior Of A House.

  • Getting to know the basic parts of Vinyl Siding.

  • How to cut vinyl siding.

  • How to set Vinyl Corners.

  • How to install Vinyl Starter Strips.

  • How to prepare windows and doors for Vinyl Siding.

  • How to install Vinyl Siding panels.

  • How to cut Panels around windows and doors.

  1. Getting to know vinyl siding parts

    Vinyl Siding F-Trim Vinyl Siding Inside Corner Moulding Vinyl Siding Panels Vinyl Siding J-Channel Vinyl Siding Outside Corner Moulding Vinyl Siding Under Sill Vinyl Siding Starter Strip

  2. How to cut Vinyl Siding.

    • Cutting vinyl siding can be accomplished by a variety of methods.

    • The basic method for cutting vinyl siding is using Tin Snips and a Utility Knife. This is an effective method but can be quite slow and strenuous if you have a large job.

    • You can also use a circular saw to cut long runs on Vinyl Panels, such as under large windows and doors.

    • You must reverse the direction of the blade on your saw and use a blade with many cutting teeth. Such as a plywood cutting blade or rip blade.

    • You can use a Sliding Compound Miter Saw to cut off lengths from Panels. With this method you can cut more than one piece of the same length at one time. As with the circular saw, use a rip blade and don't for get to reverse the direction of the blade.

  3. The first step when installing vinyl siding on new construction is to find the lowest corner of your house.

    • You can do this by using a mason's line and a line level.

    • Place one end of the line at one corner and the other end at the other corner.

    • Move the line until it reads level.

    • Continue around the house to find the lowest corner.

    Marking The Lowest Corner Will Allow You To Install Vinyl Siding In A Straight Line All Around The House.

  4. How to install inside and outside Vinyl Corners.

    • To find the measurement of each corner, measure each corner 1/4" from the eaves and 1/4" past the sheathing at the bottom.

    • This will give you the measurement of each corner.

    • Use Tin Snips to cut each corner to size.

    • Line up the Vinyl Corner with the corner of the house, and install it using roofing nails.

    • As with all installation of vinyl siding, be sure to insert the nails at the center of a slot, leaving at least 1/16" exposed to allow for the expansion and contraction of the vinyl.

    Corner Moulding Protects The Corner Of The House And Serves To Secure Panels As Well.

  5. How to install Vinyl Starter Strip.

    • Once you have found the low corner, measure up from that corner.

    • Measure up using the distance on the manufacturer's instructions.

    • Once you have marked each corner, snap a Chalk Line all the way around.

    • Beginning at one corner, align the top of the first piece of starter strip with the chalk line and nail it to the wall.

    • Continue nailing the starter strip in this fashion all of the way around the house. Be sure to leave a 1/4" gap between each piece of starter strip.

    Starter Strip Secures The First Piece Of Siding To The House.

  6. How to prep windows and doors

    • Vinyl siding panels need to fit into channels on both ends. As you can tell from the shape of the outside corner trim, there is a channel in which to insert one side of each panel.

    Panels Fit Directly Into Corner Molding.

    • The same concept must apply to windows and doors.

    • If you have vinyl windows then you are all set. You don't need to install J channel as it comes included with the window.

    Vinyl Windows Have Built In Channels.

    Vinyl Windows Come Ready For Vinyl Siding Installation.

  7. You will need to install J channel around the top and down both sides of doors.

    J-Channel Must Be Installed Around Doorways.

    • Cut a tab on the end of the J-channel over a door or window, then bend it into the side channel to form a rain drip over doors and windows (Only applies to non-vinyl windows.)

    Notch Out The Top Channel To Protect The Window Or Door From Water Damage.

    • Now you must install Under Sill Trim under all windows. Cut the trim to the length of the window and nail each one in place.

  8. How to install Vinyl Siding Panels

    • When installing panels you must begin on the end of the house with the least amount of traffic. This will minimize the visibility of panel overlaps.

    • The images below show the same overlapping joint from two different vantage points.

    • The Top image shows a joint that really stands out, while the bottom image shows the same joint Coming from the opposite direction.

    The Viewing Angle Facing Into The Joint

    The Viewing Angle Facing Over The Joint

    • Install a full panel beginning at the starter strip.

    • Insert one end of the first panel into the corner trim leaving a 1/4" gap away from the edge.

    • Install the next panel up cutting it 4' shorter than the previous one. This is to ensure that all overlap joints are about 4' apart.

    • Continue in this manner until you reach a window.

    • Continue the bottom course until you have reached the end of the wall or a doorway. Overlap each panel 1" at each joint and leave a 1/4" clearance wherever the ends of the panels butt into J channel or corner trim.

    Leave One Inch Gap Between Panels To Allow For Expansion And Contraction During Temperature Changes.

    • If the window is less than the length of a full panel away from the corner, then you will cut all of the panels abutting the window to that exact length.

  9. How to measure and cut a panel to fit under a window?

    • Try not to join two panels under a window. Be sure to butt the joints before or after the window.

    Cut The Panel To Fit Under The Window Or Above The Door.

    • Take one measurement 1" from the end of the last panel to 1/4" away from the left inside of the window.

    • Take the second from 1" from the end of the last panel to 1/4" away from the inside of the right side of the window.

    • Measure down to 1/4" from the inside of the bottom of the window.

    • Draw a line joining the two measurements together.

    • This will be the area that needs to be cut out.

    • Cut the vertical lines from the top of the panel with Tin Snips.

    • Cut the horizontal line with the circular saw.

    • You must now notch the panel along the horizontal line that you have just cut. This will enable the cut panel to fit securely inside the Under Sill Trim you have installed at the bottom of the window.

    • Insert panel into place until it snaps in. Repeat this process for all windows.

    • Use the same process for the top of doorways.

    Use A Snap Lock Punch To Notch Out The Vinyl Panels Locking Them Into Place Under Windows And Over Doors.

  10. What you will need for this job.

    • Vinyl Siding Panels
    • Inside Corner Posts
    • Under-sill Trim
    • Chalk Line
    • Utility Knife
    • Tin Snips
    • Line Level
    • Fine-Toothed Blades
    • Snap-lock Punch
    • Unlocking Tool
    • Ladder
    • Felt Tip Pen
    • Sawhorses
    • J-Channel
    • Outside Corner Posts
    • Hammer
    • Steel Tape Measure
    • Straightedge
    • Level
    • Circular Saw
    • Galvanized Roofing Nails
    • Nail Hole Punch
    • Hacksaw
    • Carpenter's Square
    • Mason's Line


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