Benefits and Tips For Installing Vinyl Siding
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Providing a man made alternative to wood side paneling for homes, vinyl siding has become increasingly popular with American homeowners. Currently, approximately 32 percent of the new homes built in the U.S include vinyl siding, and the building material only continues to become more widely used.
Vinyl siding typically costs between $1 and $7 dollars per square foot, and will include extra fees if you have it installed by a professional. Prices vary by brand, style, thickness and retailer. You will save money by installing it yourself, but ask for help when determining how much siding you will need to order. Too much will drain your budget, and not enough will put your project on hold while you order more.
Vinyl siding comes in many styles and colors. Colors range from blues to browns, and reds to earth tones. Select the style that best fits your home:
- Beaded vinyl
- Board and batten vinyl
- Brick vinyl
- Cedar and cedar shake vinyl
- Clapboard vinyl
- Dutch lap vinyl
- Hand split and hand split variegated vinyl
- Insulated vinyl
- Liquid vinyl
- Seamless vinyl
- Smooth vinyl
- Wood vinyl
- Log vinyl
- Shake vinyl
- Shingle vinyl
Because vinyl siding is created in certain colors, this siding never needs repainting. Further, because the color runs all the way through the panel, scratches won’t show. Windex, or a mixture of vinegar and water, have proven effective at removing stains and mildew.
Vinyl siding created to look like wood paneling offers the natural aesthetic many homeowners would like, without the required maintenance necessary for real wood. It’s one of our most requested styles at M&M Home Exteriors. It’s a fantastic option because you get the grain finishes you’re looking for, and at the same time you have a plethora of choices of colors that you wouldn’t normally have, even with the wide variety of stains available today.
To clean vinyl, simply use a cloth or soft bristled brush. A power washer can be used, but do so cautiously – water may be forced up behind the panels, leading to future damage. Your vinyl siding’s manufacturer will have recommendations for washing.
Vinyl’s color retention has been steadily improved over the years, though some houses may still experience color change over time due to extreme weather conditions and daily sun exposure.
In very rare circumstances, sunlight reflected by even slightly concave windows is magnified, and can far exceed normal heat ranges when directed at vinyl siding, leading to intensified fading or even warping. If fading has reached a level you no longer like, vinyl can be painted. Check with your manufacturer, as some companies void their warranty if the siding is painted.
Repairing a damaged panel of vinyl siding can be incredibly easy. Unhook the broken panel from the one above, then remove the nails. Simply slide in the new panel and nail it down. Unfortunately, color matching may be an issue, as older panels may have faded.
- Instructions may vary with the vinyl siding’s manufacturer. Always check the provided instructions.
- Start with the little things first. J-channels, light blocks, front door cornices, etc. should all be done first. The vinyl siding will slip into these trim pieces, hiding the cut end of the panel.
- Vinyl siding is installed from the bottom up. When you begin, the first panel must be attached to an aluminum starter strip. Make sure the starter strip is completely level, or every panel of vinyl built off of it will also be crooked.
- Corner posts must be installed at least one quarter of an inch away from the soffit or other horizontal stop points, as vinyl expands and contracts throughout the year based on the temperature.
- Pay attention to factory made notches on full panels of vinyl siding. You may need to make these notches yourself on a panel that’s been cut short.
- Make sure your panels are nailed properly. If they are too loose, the siding can rattle in the wind. If they are too tight, they may snap during summer heat expansion. The head of the nail must stop within 1/32 of an inch from the siding.
- Don’t nail directly through the panel. If necessary, use a nail hole punch.
- Vinyl siding panels
- Inside corner posts
- Under-sill trim
- Chalk line
- Utility knife
- Tin snips
- Line level
- Fine toothed blade
- Unlocking tool
- Felt tip pen
- Outside corner posts
- Hammer and galvanized roofing nails
- Tape measure
- Circular saw
- Nail hole punch
- Carpenter’s square
- Mason’s line
Installing your own vinyl siding can be a cost effective way to update the appearance of your home. Be prepared and have all the necessary tools, as well as ample free time and supplies to finish the job without long delays.