How to Install Exterior Wall Cladding to Your Home

What You'll Need
Plywood sheathing
Exterior wall cladding of choice
Galvanized nails or screws
Skill saw
Tape measure
Foam insulation
House wrap
Assorted trim and corner pieces

Exterior wall cladding is any material that is used to cover the exterior wall of your home. Cladding is available in many different types and styles from brick, stone, wood siding, and vinyl siding. Metal siding, PVC, and even cement fiber boards can be considered to be exterior wall cladding. Cladding is mostly installed over a plywood sheathing in rows to give the home an organized look. Other types of cladding, like exterior finishing products, are spread over the plywood in the form of stucco or plaster. Installing exterior wall cladding to your home will depend greatly on the exact type you are using.

Step 1 - Measure Exterior Walls of Home

In order to get the right amount of materials that you need in exterior wall cladding you must take plenty of measurements. This is mostly the length and width of each of the walls. However, you will also want to know other measurements like around windows and doors for any assorted trims or channels that are needed.

Step 2 - Complete All Sheathing

Before you set any exterior wall cladding onto the outside of your home make sure that all of the plywood sheathing is installed.

Step 3 - Install House Wrap and Foam Insulation

These two necessities are often overlooked by do-it-yourselfers who want to finish the project quickly. However, these 2 items are important to the overall energy efficiency and weather protection for your home. Wrap the home with the paper wrap and secure with staples. Next install the foam insulation panels with nails.

Step 4 - Begin Starter Row of Cladding

Depending on the actual material that you are going to be using for the exterior wall cladding of your home you will need to begin with a starter row. This row is started at the bottom of the wall and should take the most time to install. It is important to keep the first row level along the entire length of the wall so each successive row is straight.

Step 5 - Overlap Each Successive Row

If you are using cement board, wood siding, vinyl siding, or metal siding you will need to keep in mind that each row must overlap the top of the bottom row. This is for protection against water seeping into the back of the cladding material. Most of the materials have a declination line on the back of the cladding to help guide you.

Step 6 - Finish Wall before Installing Trim and Other Items

Most exterior wall cladding will have the need for some special items to both finish off the look of the home and give it some added protection. For example, vinyl siding is installed with the use of J channels and corner pieces. While the channels must be installed first, the trim and corner pieces go on after the wall is completed. The is true of other cladding like wood, cement, brick, and even stucco. Place the trim, corners, and other finishing touches after the walls are completed.