DIY Vinyl Siding Installation

Cladding your home for the first time is a great idea but it can be an expensive decision. It’s fair to say that you’re going to be looking at $10,000 plus to clad an average-size home.

Of course, the actual cost will depend on the quality of vinyl cladding you use or if you opt for a more expensive cladding option.

One way in which you can reduce the cost is to install the cladding, or siding, yourself. This isn’t as difficult as it may sound providing you follow a few basic principles and allow yourself enough time to get the job done.

Measure First

Measure First
Measure the outside of your home, or the area you wish to cover in siding, and then measure it again. Once you’re happy you have all the right measurements you can order the siding you need.

Wrap Your Home

Before starting you’ll need to cover your walls in a damp proof membrane. This will help to ensure moisture doesn’t penetrate your home and necessitate the removal of your siding.

Get A Wide Starter Sheet

Siding fits onto metal rails. These create a small gap between your siding and the original walls, air circulating in this gap helps to keep the house insulated and the walls dry.

You can get a 1” strip for the bottom of your house but it’s better to get a 2 ½” strip as this will allow your boards to sit closer to the ground. It means that your boards will be 2 ½” inches below the top of your foundations. That will help keep the elements and pests out of your home.

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You’ll need more strips fitted to your walls every few feet, although you should follow the manufacturer’s guidelines regarding the exact distance.

Don’t forget that you’ll need to spirit level the starter strip as this will ensure all the boards are level. If it’s out of line you could end up with a house that looks like it’s at an angle!
As you put each board into place you’ll need to nail it on the flange, this is the part that won’t be seen after you’ve finished. However, to make sure the siding stays on properly you should apply a small amount of upward pressure to the board as you nail. This will ensure they stay interlocked properly and keep the siding where it should be.

The Corners

The Corners
You can now add your first board, it should slot into the strips that are attached to your home. But, as you’re fitting them you’ll notice that the corners leave the inside of the siding exposed. This means moisture can get in and a variety of pests.

To avoid this you need to take care of the corners.

The first thing is to cut a few inches off the J channel part of your corner post. You can then fold the flaps inside the post and crease them with your hammer. Remember not to use too much force.

You can then notch the post to ensure they fit snugly against your walls

J Channels

The top of your siding and areas above windows and doors will need a J channel, this collects the water and directs it away from your home. Make sure the J channel is kept clear and that it overlaps the side channels, this will ensure they do their job properly.

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