Vinyl siding is a durable way to protect your house throughout the year, and once it is installed, vinyl siding is maintenance free. You never have to worry about repainting it, which is one of the reasons the popularity of vinyl siding has grown. However, that doesn’t mean installation is a breeze! Here are some tips for vinyl siding installation to make sure the process is quick, efficient, and done correctly.
Measure Everything Correctly
While it might seem like common sense, people often measure their siding incorrectly. Never deduct the length and width of windows and doors from your measures, as this opens up the chance for error. Moreover, when measuring your home, measure from the width, starting from the foundation to the peak of the roof.
Though it should go without saying, vinyl siding installation doesn’t mean attaching the siding directly to your home. Never nail siding to the house. Instead, you hang the siding by setting the nails about 1/8”-1/16” from the wall. The reason is because siding expands and contracts throughout the seasons. If you nailed it directly to the house, you’d be inadvertently causing structural damages.
Cut the Siding Short
Whenever you have to cut vinyl siding, it’s usually to fill a space between a window and a corner, or just to stop at the corner. When the latter happens, you need to take at least 1/4” to 1/8” from both sides of the panel to slide it. If the siding isn’t cut short enough, you will have issues during heat expansion in the summer.
Use Wider Starter Strips
Some people think a narrow starter strip is better, but width is important. The bottom of the starter strip needs at least 1 inch beneath the top of the foundation line. However, you can go lower, which is actually better because this protects the sheathing from precipitation and pests.
Corner Post Caps
Siding is a magnet for meddlesome creatures that like to make their homes behind vinyl and corner posts. To keep pests like mice, bees, and other insects out from these places, you can cap the post. To do this, you cut a few inches of the J-channel and fold back the remaining flaps. Crease them gently with a hammer then notch them so they fit against the wall evenly.
Flash the Bottoms of Windows
To make sure the windows are protected, flash them. This means cutting sections of felt to place near the corners of the windows prior to installing J-channels. The flashing should overlap the row of siding that sits just below the window. When properly installed, any water that gets inside the J-channel will trickle over the top of the siding and into the weep holes, rather than sitting stagnant somewhere else.
There are other tips and tricks for installing vinyl siding out there, but the tips listed above are where the installation process begins. Now that you know what to keep in mind when installing vinyl siding, you should have no problems getting started with your home improvement project.