Install Vinyl Siding

Important Vinyl Siding Installation TipsIf you're looking to improve the look of your home without the painting, vinyl siding is a popular, affordable choice. Many homeowners and builders choose it because it's long lasting, durable, inexpensive and relatively easy to install and maintain. Vinyl comes in a variety of grains, thickness and colors making it also a practical choice for many homeowners.

Important Vinyl Siding Installation Tips

1. Allow for expansion and contraction.

Vinyl Siding must be nailed so expansion and contraction are not restricted. Siding must be cut in lengths to provide for expansion. Allow a 1/4 in. gap for expansion wherever siding butts accessories. Allow 3/8 in. when installing in freezing weather (below 40°).

2. Choose the right nails.

Nails should be corrosion-resistant galvanized, stainless steel or aluminum roofing type nails with a head diameter of 3/8 in. The nail shank diameter should be 1/8 in. and long enough to penetrate into nailable base at least 3/4 in.

3. Do NOT drive nails tight.

Allow approximately 1/16 in. between nail head and vinyl. This will permit expansion and contraction as well as prevent dimpling, which causes waves in siding. [fig. A]

4. Center nails in slots.

Do not nail to the extreme right or left of nail slot in siding panel. [fig. B]

5. Drive nails straight and level.

InsulationCrooked nails will distort siding panels, causing panels to buckle. [fig. C]

6. Do NOT face nail.

Nailing directly into siding panel will restrict horizontal movement and cause panel to buckle.

7. Never pull siding taut when nailing.

Pulling the panel taut stretches the panel out of shape and causes an undesirable lap joint. Panels should be locked, then pushed up from the bottom until full lock contact is made. Nail into place.

8. Space nails properly.

Siding panels should be nailed 12 in. to 16 in. on center.

Vinyl Siding Cutting Methods

1. Aviation and Tin Snip

Start cutting at the top interlock and continue toward the bottom of the panel.

2. Utility Knife

Score panel with knife, then bend the vinyl back and forth until it snaps cleanly on the scored line.

3. Power Saw, Bench or Radial Arm Saw

Use a fine-tooth blade with slow cutting movements. Reverse the blade in the saw for extra-smooth cutting through the vinyl and to reduce chipping.


In new construction furring is not usually necessary, but older homes often have walls that are uneven. These walls should be furred out to prevent a wavy appearance in the finished siding job.

Over Wood Sub-surface

Lath strips are the most commonly used furring over a wood surface.

Over Masonry Sub-surface

1 in. x 3 in. wood strips are installed with masonry nails over the masonry area to be sided.

Horizontal Siding


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"drop siding" for garage

Our lot slopes from one side to another. When we built our new garage, this means that there is a lot of concrete showing above grade on one side. The city requires us to install "drop siding" to cover the exposed concrete. My question do you install the starter strip for the vinyl siding? Anchor it directly to the concrete?

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.

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  • Avatar Sam R How much does siding cost?
    Mar 03, 2011 by Sam R | Posted in Decorating & Remodeling

    Sooo my parents and i just moved into an old house but it was unfortunately updated with vinyl siding, they are considering replacing it with real wood and are wondering about how much it would cost
    the house is just a little over 5,100 square feet and is located in the Berkshires if that matters at all

    • Siding cost on a 5,100 square foot home (that's over 2.5 times larger than the national average home size) SHORT ANSWER: $25k to $35k Installed (materials and labor) - that's the National Industry Average cost for siding …ou are very smart for asking questions! Do your research & ask lots of questions and your parents could end up saving a ton of money... I'm sure you could come up with something much better to spend that money on. :)