Vinyl Siding w/Split Levels

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Old 08-29-08, 09:29 PM
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Vinyl Siding w/Split Levels

About to start vinyl siding project but house has 3 different levels and I'm going to side around a ledger I'm putting on for a deck project next year. What's the best way to line up the horizontal panels?

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Old 08-30-08, 06:38 AM
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You need to establish a level line around the house first (water level works good for this). I usually do this up at eye level where it's easy to see. You can use that as a reference line to measure down and establish where your starter strip will go. When your starting point is at different levels, you obviously can't start all of it in a starter strip unless the difference in height is equal to the size of lap on your vinyl siding.

Sometimes you need to start the siding inside a finish trim and j-channel, (or utility j) instead of starting it on a starter strip, because often you just can't use the starter in some places if you have used it initially lower on the house. Other times you can extend the sheathing down a little by adding a strip of plywood onto the house so that maybe you CAN use the starter strip. Other times it's better to wrap some of the bottom edge of the house with aluminum trim coil that is the same color as your siding and then start the siding up a little higher in a starter strip. But there are a lot of times when you just will put the siding into a finish trim and j-channel, like when you go up and around a ledger. Don't forget to flash the ledger behind your building paper and then leave plenty of space between the ledger and the j-channel for your deck planks!

Every house is different, and it's impossible to tell you what to do without being able to see it in person.
 
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Old 08-30-08, 08:00 AM
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Just one more tidbit, if you have to split the first course on the split level and use j-channel as a starter strip, take the strip you cut off the bottom of the siding and place it in the j-channel behind the siding to keep the siding against the front of the j-channel.
 
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Old 08-30-08, 06:05 PM
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Good point, chandler. It's one of the reasons I usually put finish trim in the j-channel rather than just use j-channel alone. The utility-j is also good for that because it has 2 slots- one if the siding works best in front of the j, one if it works better in back of the j.
 
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Old 08-31-08, 08:44 AM
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Thanks for the info. Very helpful. One more question if you check this. When should you use 3/4 vs. 1/2 inch j.channel?
 
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Old 08-31-08, 01:40 PM
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I've actually never heard of 1/2" j-channel, so you must be using a different brand than I'm familiar with. A few vinyl siding profiles are thicker than others- like dutch lap is often thicker than your standard double four or triple three lap siding. Normally, we use 5/8 j-channel and corner posts for everything. It's nice when the two are the same thickness so that if the two meet, they are at the same level.

Some guys also put their fanfold or use sheets of insulation inside the j-channel instead of behind it, and they often use thicker j-channels and corner posts.
 
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