Tips for installing vinyl siding | Pro Construction Guide
Tips for installing vinyl siding

Tips for installing vinyl siding

Most problems with vinyl siding installation occur when the surface has not been properly prepared or the installer uses improper techniques. Answering the most commonly asked questions about installation methods, the Vinyl Siding Institute (VSI) offers these tips for installing vinyl siding:

How do I avoid gaps and buckling when applying vinyl siding?

Leave 1/32-inch between fastener head and the siding panel.

Leave 1/32-inch clearance, the thickness of a dime, between fastener head and the siding panel.

Because of vinyl siding’s shrink-and-swell cycles, any fastening system must allow movement of the panels. Choose corrosion-resistant fasteners including roofing nails, pan-head screws or minimum 16-gauge staples.

The key is to leave 1/32-inch clearance, the thickness of a dime, between fastener head and the siding panel. Finally, place the fastener at the center of the slot and drive it in straight and level.

How do I stagger panels for the best look?

Overlap vinyl siding panels by 1 inch on the face, away from entrances. Leave 3 feet or more between panel seams, and install at least three rows or courses before lining up seams.

How can I prevent vinyl siding from buckling?

Sometimes in new construction, siding buckles where it meets the floor and the wall due to compression between the plate and the floor. This happens as a result of a change in weight after studs have been covered with drywall. To fix it, simply place the drywall panels on the floor in the room where it will be installed.

How do I cut vinyl boards without chipping and splitting?

Use tin snips, a utility knife or a scoring tool to cut vinyl siding. A circular or chop saw can be used by installing a fine-tooth plywood blade backwards. Cut slowly, especially in cold weather. Wear safety glasses for all cutting and nailing operations.

How do I replace a damaged panel?

Unlock the panel above the damaged piece. Remove the fasteners and the damaged panel. Cut a new piece to size and lock into the course below. Finish by securing the new panel with fasteners spaced no more than 16 inches on center or to the manufacturer’s specifications.

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