Installing Vinyl Siding Yourself

How to Install Vinyl Siding

While vinyl siding is not for everyone, millions of American homeowners have decided that it's exactly right for them. And if the substantial cost could be reduced, legions of others would surely follow. The truth is, the price of a vinyl siding installation can be cut nearly in half if you're willing to do the work yourself. Vinyl siding is sold by most home centers and comes with fairly complete instructions. The tool requirements are also modest.

While vinyl can be a great alternative to regular house paint, and it does a good job of dressing up problem walls, there is a tradeoff. Although it looks like conventional siding from a distance, the illusion falters at corners, windows, doors and wall-mounted utility equipment.

Part of the design dilemma is that vinyl expands and contracts a good deal with changes in temperature. A standard 12-ft. length can be 1/2 to 5/8 in. shorter on a very cold day as compared to a very hot day. For this reason, vinyl must be cut short and nailed loose. In fact, you should be able to slide every full length side to side at least 1/2 in. after it's installed. The trimpieces made to conceal the ends accommodate these variations quite well, but not without some compromise in appearance.

Materials and tools

While you can expect differences among manufacturers, siding systems generally include 12-ft. lengths of siding, window/door trim channel, J-channel, utility channel, corner moldings and metal starter strips. In addition, vented and unvented soffits, as well as fascia covers, are available.

The siding must be installed over a flat surface, so unless you're siding a new home, or have removed the old lap siding, you'll need to line the wall with sheets of rigid-foam board, usually 1/2 in. thick. While rigid foam offers some insulation, its primary function is to provide a flat nailing surface. Both the rigid foam and siding can be nailed in place with galvanized shingle nails.

Vinyl siding comes in several styles and in a variety of colors. We chose a Dutch lap style, which has the look of tongue-and-groove car siding, because of its distinctive profile.


You might also like:

Nailing Vinyl Siding
Nailing Vinyl Siding
Vinyl and Polymer Shakes Siding - …
Vinyl and Polymer Shakes Siding - …

It all depends

If you are doing a fixer upper and would consider doing later remodeling, I would not do expansion foam. It will stick to wiring, studs, and anything else in your wall cavities. Cellulose has an R value of 3.5/ inch. it can be a great insulation if installed with a powerful enough hopper/blower. If you are going to be doing this yourself, DO NOT USE THE HOME DEPOT MACHINE!!! it is no where near powerful enough to fill the balance of the cavities and over time will settle and result in as much as the top 2ft. of your walls under the header plate to be 100% empty. if you are having a contractor do the work, do not go to the large name brand companies that advertise on TV and have a whole sales department while offering Energy star grants from the state

Ogdensburg home rehabilitation program gears up for phase two, on schedule  —
Some homes will receive extensive and visible rehabilitation, including the installation of vinyl siding, roofing and windows. Other homes won't have an obvious exterior update but will have new furnaces or flooring put in.

Improtec Improtec Boardmate - Drywall and Siding Support Tool
Home Improvement (Improtec)
  • The multi-function support handle easily holds material in place.
  • Allows person to work alone, eliminating the need for a bulky deadman.
  • Temporarily attach The Boardmate with a 1.5 roof tack when installing siding or plywood.
  • Fits in a tool pouch and weighs less than 8 ounces/227 grams.
  • Simply pry off The Boardmate before fixing when installing hardie board siding or plywood.

Related posts:

  1. Installing metal siding trim
  2. Installing steel siding panels
  3. Installing Vinyl Siding Video