Vinyl siding can be an inexpensive alternative to painting the home installing wood siding. It also can address problems with walls and add uniformity to the home. However, although it has the look of conventional siding the corners, windows, doors and utility equipment mounted on the walls cannot be evenly covered because there must be room for expansion. Nonetheless, vinyl siding comes in hundreds of colors and installation requires simple tools.
Vinyl siding is normally delivered with installation instructions from the manufacturer. Following these instructions will prevent buckling caused by dilation and contraction of the vinyl due to temperature variations.
Circular saw (or fine-toothed manual saw)
Punch (to make nailing slots)
Exterior corner mouldings
Interior corner mouldings
Vinyl siding undersill
Vinyl siding starter pieces
Alignment is the most important action to insure quality installation. Carefully plan the layout so planks align perfectly with window and door casings.
Siding must be installed over a flat surface. Insulation material such as rigid foam insulation can be used to both provide a flat surface and an insulation factor before siding begins.
Caulk all cracks around windows and doors before beginning. Do NOT caulk in the spaces between the panels and the J-channel, corners or undersill.
Be careful not to stretch the panels.
• Drive nails through the center of the nail slots.
• Be sure to drive nails horizontally.
• Do not drive nails in completely so as to leave room for the siding to expand and contract with changing temperatures.
Cut the panels widthwise with a utility knife. To cut them lengthwise use a circular saw with a fine-toothed blade.
1.1 Determine the position of the panel that will be position along the top window casing. The siding shadow line should be position right on top of the window casing.
1.2 Snap a chalk line on the surface to be covered making sure it is levelled.
1.3 Determine the height of the starter strip using the width of the panel and the measure taken previously. The starter strip should be installed to a horizontal furring all around the building.
1.4 Mark a chalk line at the bottom of the surface to be covered making sure everything is on the level.
1.5 Use a corner moulding as a template to snap vertical chalk lines on both side of every corner. Make sure they are straight.
1.6 Snap chalk lines on all surfaces using the width of the panel as a guide. This will ensure panels are straight throughout the installation.
2.1 Nail the starter strip on the chalk line previously snap all around the house. Leave ¼" between the end joints where they butt together.
2.2 Make sure the starter strip is straight and square as it will affect the rest of the installation.
Soffit and fascia should be installed as well as 10" flashing on each side of the corners before you install corners mouldings.
3.1 Measure and cut corner pieces or vertical mouldings. Corners moulding should extend ¾" below the starter strip.
3.2 Install exterior corner mouldings first and interior corners next leaving ¼"below the eave and let the bottom extend below the old siding or sill plate.
3.3 Nail at the top of the upper slot leaving a 1/32" gap between the corner posts and the nail heads. Make sure mouldings are vertically straight and nail the rest every 8" to 12" in the centre slot. If more than one section is needed, overlap the upper mouldings over the lower one.
3.4 Cut 1" of the nailing flange on the top piece. Overlap ¾", to allow ¼" for expansion.
J-trim provides a border for windows and doors and prevents water from getting in behind the siding. A minimum of 9" window flashing should be installed on all side starting with the bottom, then the sides and finally with the top of the window.
4.1 Measure around the first window or door.
4.2 Cut the undersill piece with the tin snips 2" longer than the bottom of the window.
4.3 Cut each nailing flange side 1" back toward the windowsill leaving the front piece intact.
4.4 Nail undersill under all eaves with 1" protruding on each side.
4.5 Cut two J-shaped channels with the tin snips 2" longer than the sides of the window. Nail into place.
4.6 Cut the J-shaped channel for the top of the window 2" longer than the sides of the window. On each end, cut back 1" on the two corners of bottom of the J-shaped channels and fold down the tab to a 90° angle.
4.7 Miter the front of the J-shaped channels at 45° angle toward the roofline. Nail into place.
4.8 Tuck the tabs of the top panel into the two sides for a channel for water run-off.
5.1 Install the first panel at the base in the starter strip and insert the ends inside the corner moulding. Whether you insert the ends of a panel in a corner moulding or into a J-shaped channel, you need to provide a ¼" space for expansion.
5.2 Secure and snap the bottom of the entire panel into the undersill before nailing.
5.3 Nail panels in place, leaving a 1/32" gap between the nail and the vinyl siding. Be sure not to put pressure up or down and remember not to nail them tightly to the wall. Level with the chalk line as needed.
5.4 Cut the panels to the required length. To make the joints less visible, overlap the panels by 1" away from the street. If you are installing panels on the façade of a house, overlap the joints so they are facing the back of the home or out of the line of vision of a busy area.
5.5 Stagger the next row by 4' to prevent joint from being aligned vertically. Stop and check for level every fifth or sixth course. The panels should hang loosely.
6.1 Measure the distance from the top of the J-shaped channel under the window to the nailing strip of the preceding panel. Subtract ¼" before cutting the panel.
6.2 Put the panel in place and trace a line at the junction of the panel and the channel.
6.3 Use a snap-lock punch to make raised lugs, from the back to the front of the panel, with the protruding edge of the lug facing down, every 6" just above the cut edge of the siding panel.
6.4 Dimple the cut edge 16" on center with the snaplock punch (make sure the lugs are on the outside of the panel), then push the siding panel into place.
6.5 Push the panel under the J-shaped channel and it will lock into position.
7.1 Nail in the undersill trim at the junction of the roof and the eave, making sure it is properly aligned with the eave.
7.2 Measure and determine the width of the last panel. Take the distance from the top of the undersill trim to the nailing strip of the preceding panel and subtract subtracting ¼".
7.3 Cut the top of the panel down to the required width. Use a circular saw with a fine-toothed blade.
7.4 Insert the cut edge under the undersill and trace a line at the junction of the two pieces.
7.5 Make raised lugs from the back of the panel to the front using a snap-lock punch. Do this so that the lugs will face outward of the panel and down, every 6" just above the line. Once the last panel has been attached to the preceding panel, it will lock into the undersill.