Vinyl siding is one of the most popular options for sprucing up your home’s exterior. It comes in a variety of styles and colors, which gives you the freedom to personalize your home and create the look you want. However, in order for your vinyl siding to continue to serve you well for decades to come, it’s important that you install it correctly. Here are some of the most important tips to keep in mind during your vinyl siding installation.
Measure Your Siding Properly
There are two different types of siding you will work with during the installation process – regular siding pieces and trim pieces. Measure the height & width of exterior walls in feet, then multiply these two numbers to get the area. Next, measure the triangular parts of the walls by multiplying half the height in the triangle by the width. This will give you the area of the triangle. Finally, measure any irregular parts of your home, such as alcoves.
You will also need to measure the area of your home that will not receive any siding. Once you have the entire area of your home calculated, subtract the entire area of the areas that don’t require sidings, such as windows, doors, and vents. This number should tell you exactly how many square feet of siding you will need to cover your entire home. Finally, divide this number by 100 to determine how many pieces of siding you will need.
More Installation Tips
Now that you know exactly how much siding you need, you will need to consider some important tips during the actual installation process.
- Install a wood layer for the siding nails if needed. If you have a relatively new home, there is a wall sheathing that your siding can fit into. However, if your home is a few decades old, you might find that you must install wood all around your house as an anchor for your siding.
- Start the installation with the starter strip. A “starter strip” looks different from other pieces of siding, and this is the first piece you will install. The next pieces will lock into place with the starter strip, and after that, the other pieces lock into each other.
- Nail the siding properly. It may be very tempting to use a nail gun and install the siding quickly, but the truth is that a nail gun can secure the siding a little too firmly. Remember that vinyl siding can expand and contract with the weather, so it’s important that you give it a little room to move. Hand-nailing your siding is the best option; this way, you can make sure you leave a little play.
Once you have your siding installed properly using the tips above, the final part of enjoying the beautiful look for many years to come is maintenance. Vinyl is relatively easy to maintain, which is another reason why it is so very popular among homeowners. All you need is a little soap and water to keep the siding clean and attractive. Don’t use a pressure washer as this can damage the siding; do use a hose with a nozzle and be sure you spray your siding from the top down and not from the bottom up. For a little extra help removing grime, consider using dish soap. If mildew or mold is present, you can add a little oxygen bleach.
Vinyl siding is affordable, attractive, and easy to maintain, and that’s why so many Americans turn to it when it’s time to remodel their home exteriors. However, in order to get the best possible results, it’s vital that you follow the tips above for the perfect installation.