How is Siding Installed?
Driving past the perfectly presentable houses in your neighborhood, clad in vinyl siding, you may come to wonder how the job is done. Vinyl siding installation isn’t as difficult as you might imagine it to be, but there’s a reason why the job is best left to the professionals.
Although the final product looks like a house that’s been prettily wrapped in study, clean siding, there’s an imperative planning and preparation process that occurs and is necessary for the implementation.
Installing siding demands time and patience, and if you aren’t willing to put together this complex jigsaw puzzle by instilling both virtues, then you could quite easily be setting yourself up for frustration and failure.
Whether you’re just curious as to how the process is completed or you’re planning to do it yourself, one thing is for sure: there’s a lot to learn about how to apply siding to a home.
What Materials are Used for Siding Installation?
Every project begins with this essential step of gathering the necessary materials and tools to get the job done. Even before you do so, measuring your home is going to be a crucial aspect in planning on how many of these materials you’ll need. There are plenty of resources available online and even at your local hardware store.
For siding a home, you are going to be looking at several needed materials, which are typically packaged as a siding systems: the lengths of siding, J-channel, corner moldings, starter strips, vented and unvented soffits, window and door trim channel, and fascia covers.
You’ll come to realize quickly that siding cannot be installed on anything but a flat surface. This is where a purchase of a good, thick rigid-foam board comes into play. Its function is to offer a sturdy nailing surface to attach the lengths of siding, but simultaneously, a thick backing board does add a bit of insulation to your home.
Unless you’re a pro, there’s nothing wrong with asking your local hardware store how much of these materials you’ll need for the size of your home. After all, you don’t want to be making a thousand trips back and forth, right?
Every house is constructed different, so siding might require cutting with the appropriate tools. For the installation process to begin, there will also need to be flashing put up to create the flat surface we discussed before, that way, the nails have something to hold on to.
A water-resistant barrier should also be installed to the house before the siding is put into place, otherwise you could be looking at lingering moisture or future water damage. Depending on where you live, there might even be a building code to have a water-resistant barrier installed right off the bat.
The process of furring is essential to preparation, too. In new construction, furring may not be necessary, but for a home that’s older, walls may have warped or become uneven with age. If you side an older home with uneven walls, you could end up with siding that looks wavy.
Diving into the Process: Soffit and Fascia
Now, different professionals may have different takes on where to begin, but the processes are all going to be similar. Some begin with the soffit, and nail lengths of the J-channel against the fascia board.
The materials in a siding system such as the siding sections themselves and the soffit pieces will have nail slots. When installing siding, it’s important to keep in mind that if working with vinyl, it can and will expand and contract over time due to temperature shifts.
The soffit and fascia can prove to be difficult to side for beginners and in many instances the materials will require modification to allow them to fit properly. This is a time consuming process, one that many people who install siding wish to get over with first.
Perforated soffits with gable vents and ridge vents will allow air to flow through the attic space, which will in turn help regulate the temperature to prevent the siding from warping from extreme seasonal shifts.
Siding the Walls
The other daunting part of installing siding involves installing it onto the walls. Fortunately, with the sides of the house that have fewer obstacles, the installation can be done more efficiently. Before beginning, all adornments like porch lights, handrails, address markers, and other removable objects that may get in the way of the siding should be taken down for the time being.
General guidelines involve installing a starter strip (your first piece of siding that will be installed), then moving on to installing inside and outside corner posts. Corner posts should be set up straight, and like the rest of the siding process, when nailed, should not be nailed too tightly because of its intention to expand and contract (the corner posts are later spliced to allow for expansion and contraction).
The J channel is installed around all of the windows and doors, directly against the casing, and then nailed to the wall. The J channels will likely have to be cut and fitted to sit flush against the house. Next, comes the siding panel installation.
The siding panels that are installed will be overlapped by one inch to one and a quarter inches, and the last nail in the siding panel should allow for a clean lap from the end. Common siding processes advise that the installer begins siding at the back of the house and working his or her way towards the front. Panels must be cut, tripped, and scored with a utility knife, saw, or tin snips to fit.
There’s plenty of cutting, adjusting, and planning when it comes down to the actual installation process of siding. Panels are then snapped together with a snap-lock punch tool. The interlocking and coursing of panel installation will take time and patience.
Tips to Remember
Professionals and do-it-yourselfers keep a few critical tips in mind when installing siding, like making sure they aren’t taking on the task alone. Working alongside with a trusted family member, friend, or someone with siding experience is exceedingly helpful, even if its just to spot check your ladder and hand you siding panels.
Using a level will prove to be a key tool in the siding process. You don’t want sloppy siding, and your level will prevent that. Professionals recommend that starting in the back of the house and working your way towards the street side will also ensure that the seams are being hidden.
When installed correctly, siding can last a long time, about 10 to 50 years depending on which material you choose and what geographical conditions your home is subject to. But, even the best, highest quality siding will suffer from wear and tear, that’s just how it goes, so the next step is deciding if you want to face this project head on or if you’d rather have a professional step in to do the job.
Replacing your siding will increase the property value and resell value of your home and is a great way to up your home’s curb appeal. Vinyl siding pricing can widely vary depending on where you live and if your old siding requires removal, too.
Trust a Professional to Install Your Vinyl Siding
Feldco has high-quality vinyl siding in many shapes and sizes to perfectly fit your home. We also have professional and experienced siding installers to make sure the job is done correctly. Speak with a product specialist and get a free quote today.