If you are ready to make the change or need to replace what you have, you may need to know a bit about vinyl siding installation. For years now, this siding option has become an option that has grown in popularity. While not everyone loves the look, it certainly does have its advantages. Not to mention over the past few years the look and even color options have become more expansive making it more appealing to many homeowners.
In addition to the material being much more affordable, vinyl siding installation can cost much less as well. This of course is especially true if you are willing to do the work yourself. The good news is that this is not a super challenging task and the tools required are minimal. Of course whenever in doubt, if you do not feel comfortable taking on this type of task it is always better to bring in a professional in the field.
Understanding Your Vinyl Options
One of the most important things to take into consideration in relation to vinyl siding is that there is a good deal of expansion and contraction. Not everyone realizes this prior to working with it and this is an important thing to realize. While other materials may have some breathing and difference between different parts of the year, vinyl can change throughout the course of a single day.
Also, keep in mind that there can be differences even between brands and manufacturers in the quality and the amount of expansion and contraction to expect. Here are a few more things you should know about this siding material option:
- Even though vinyl is flexible it is also actually quite durable as well as easy to take care of. In fact, you need to do little more than hose it down to help keep it clean. Trouble spots should be cleaned with warm, soapy water and a soft rag. Any abrasive cleansers or clothes could scratch the surface. Also, it is not recommended to use a pressure washer as this can cause water to get under the siding and lead to issues with mold, mildew or rot over time.
- Another thing people tend to not realize is that you should buy vinyl siding by measuring the exterior without deducting for doors and windows. The cost of this material is not enough to be worth the extra saved by deducting for this and makes it less complicated. This also allows for extra materials if you should need it. Of course that doesn’t mean you should be careless with your measuring and always apply the idea to measure twice and cut once.
- If you are going to do the vinyl siding installation yourself, it is advisable to work with someone else. The strips you will be working with are long and being able to work between two ladders is important. Not only that but any time you are working on a ladder it is a good idea to have someone else around in the event of an accident.
- Even with the assistance of a friend it is also important to rely on the dependability of your level. Use this to set your first strip all the way around and continue to check every few rows. No matter how straight it may appear your level will help you keep things on right. It is much easier to check it as you go then to try to fix mistakes or make corrections after the fact.
- It is also important to be cautious of the cuts you make. Corners or edging should be cut a bit short or else the expansion will cause them to buckle. Of course cutting them too short can be a problem, especially when the pieces contract during cold weather.
- For the best seam placement, you should begin your project by starting at the rear of your home and then work towards the driveway, street or front of the home. This will make it so that your seams face the backyard. Keep in mind it is also important that you get the correct overlap by utilizing the factory edge when it comes to the seams.
- Installing vinyl siding is more about hanging it then nailing it in place. What this means is that you should not nail it but set the nails approximately 1/8” to 1/16” of from the wall at the top. This allows the strips to hang and then overlap the piece below. The reason this is important is because it gives the siding room to expand and contract during shifts in temperatures.
- Another little point to remember when it comes to siding is that heat is detrimental to the longevity of the material. With this in mind, don’t forget after installing your siding that it is important to prevent damage from thins like the barbeque or the fire pit. Obviously, you can still use these but make sure they are at a distance from the house. Too many homeowners leave the grill to cool against the side of the house only to find badly warped panels as the result.
- Contrary to popular belief you can actually paint vinyl siding. There are some things to keep in mind especially about the type of paint and other details. Possibly the most crucial thing to remember though is that if you alter the color of the siding you really need to go with something the same shade or lighter. Vinyl siding is extremely sensitive to heat and the colors used have been tested to reduce the risk of attracting and retaining heat which could result in warping. If you paint the vinyl siding a dark shade you are actually going to end up running the risk of having serious issues with warping all of your vinyl siding.
Other than that, the steps to follow to complete the task of vinyl siding installation are relatively simple. Find someone to help you get the job done and make sure you get the right amount and even with no experience you should be able to complete the task.