Adding vinyl siding to a home is one of the quickest ways to add value to your property. And if your handy, have a ladder, a few basic hand tools and most importantly aren’t afraid of heights you could possibly install it yourself. While you can save quite a bit by doing it yourself it will still add substantial value to your property if you have someone do it for you.
Before you make the decision to add vinyl siding to your property go to the building department and ask if it is allowed in your area. Also if you belong to a neighborhood association you need to check your bylaws to be sure vinyl siding is allowed. That said some of the most beautiful homes are vinyl sided.
To begin you need to determine how many square of siding you need. Siding is sold by the square which covers an area of 10′ x 10′ or 100 square feet. Figure the total square feet of wall you will be covering and divide that total be 100 and that will tell you how many square of siding you need. This doesn’t account for scrap so estimate a bit on the high side.
Now you need to figure the trim, starter strip, vinyl corners, house wrap and foam. The first thing you need is starter strip. This is a strip that you nail all around the bottom of the building. Next is J channel. This is a finish trim that gets nailed to the build surrounding the windows and against things like chimneys. Under sill trim is used to cover the cut edge of the siding under windows and again at the last horizontal cut at the top of the wall. Starter strip and J channel are measured in linear feet. Housewrap is used under all siding today. It comes in wide rolls. The amount of housewrap you need will be the same as the total sq feet of siding. It is easily installed with staples. Foam can also be used under siding. There are two basic types. One type covers the entire wall while the other drops into the v shape in the siding. The nails are aluminum nails. A couple pounds of nails will go a long ways.
To begin siding you need to mark a straight line on the building all the way around. You can do this with a transit or a laser. Make the line the top of where your starter strip will be installed. It’s best to leave your starter down about 1/2″ below the sheathing. Now install your corners. Next install the starter strip all the way around the building. Always stop the strip about an inch short of your corners. Install the j channel around all windows. Do the sides and bottom first then do the top. Exact cutting instructions for j-channels, under sill and corners are included with all siding. Now you can start installing the siding panels. The first row that connects to your starter strip is the most difficult to get connected so take extra time here being sure your snapped in. The next rows are much easier but when installing them do not stretch the siding. Hook it and nail it.
You need to follow a few simple rules when installing siding. Never stretch siding. Siding that is stretched will wrinkle. Maybe not now but when the temperature changes the wrinkles will appear. Leave your nails slightly loose. When the siding expands and contracts it needs to be able to move. Again so it doesn’t wrinkle. Make your joints so they are not visible. You do this by lapping the joints away from the most common traveled paths. Joints should lap by about 1″. Keep your joints at least 3 feet apart with a solid row between them.
Vinyl siding is an excellent product which is relatively easy to install and will look great for many years to come.