Insider Tips for Installing Vinyl Siding

When you’re working on a do-it-yourself project, it can quickly become evident why some people are considered professionals in their field. For every job out there, there are tricks of the trade that make a job simple for some who know them and a disaster for those who don’t.

One such potential nightmare is installing vinyl siding. If you want to take on this task, then you better know what you’re doing because you, and your neighbors, will be seeing the fruits of your labor every day. Don’t be intimidated; here are some insider tips on how to do this job right.

  • No vinyl siding job is absolutely perfect at repelling water. Always cover the house with housewrap or building paper to help repel any water that may seep behind the vinyl siding.
  • Don’t use a tape measure to measure the J-channels for around the doors and windows. Instead, hold a piece flush with the edge of the installed piece and then mark the opposite edge. This allows for a more accurate measurement.
  • Use a chalk line when installing the corner posts. If these are not installed straight, it will be visible for miles (not really miles, but rather by everyone who happens to look at your home).
  • When installing the starter strip, only use a strip made by the manufacturer of the vinyl siding you are installing. The starter strip gets installed along the bottom edge of the wall. Use the chalk line to make sure the strip is installed perfectly straight all the way around your home.
  • Vinyl siding contracts and expands depending on the temperature. For this reason, never nail your siding tightly to the wall as it has to be able to move. Always place the nails in the center of each nailing slot and leave the head of the nails a little loose to allow for this movement. If you secure them too tightly, warping and buckling will occur over time.

Dave Donovan is a freelance copywriter living in Atco, N.J. An electrician for 15 years, an injury forced him to pursue his true passion - writing.