How to Install Vinyl Siding

A lot of people choose vinyl siding because it’s more affordable than materials like wood, yet can give you the exact same aesthetic. And when you factor in the savings you get from installing it yourself, it looks that much better no matter what style you choose.

Here are some general rules of thumb to follow along the way:

  1. Vinyl siding is manufactured with identical factory laps on each end of the panel. This allows overlap to go from either right-to-left, or left-to-right.
  2. When measuring or cutting your siding, always allow for a 1/4 inch gap where the siding meets your corner posts and your J-channels. Increase this to about 3/8 of an inch when you're installing in temperatures just above, or below, freezing.
  3. When it’s time to start installing, you're going to want to start by working from the bottom up. Start with the lowest point or lowest wall.
  4. Lock the first panel into the starter strip and slide it directly into the corner post.
  5. Make sure the panels are locked at the bottom. But don't force them into place.

  1. Next, nail them in place at a staggered gap of about every 16 inches or so, unless otherwise specified by your siding manufacturer.
  2. Remember that It's important that you have nail in the centre of the slot. But don't nail it tightly! Leave a slight gap between the fastener head and the siding. You should be able to move the siding from left-to-right within the slot. Check to make sure that the panels can move to ensure you've done it correctly.
  3. Every five or so rows of panels, be sure to check your work. Make sure things are straight and aligned. Make sure your work is lining up inside and outside the corner posts and everything looks copacetic.
  4. Both ends of your panel have a factory notch for overlapping. When spacing your panels and overlapping them, allow for half of a notch of overlap. Or about 1 inch.

The good news is once it’s installed, this is the last weekend you will have to spend on it. It won’t require any staining, finishing or painting. You will just have to hose it down with a soft brush about once a year.