Vinyl siding is attractive, long-lasting, and easy to maintain. And because vinyl siding isn’t too difficult too install, many homeowners opt to take on this task themselves. But in order to ensure that your home comes out looking just the way you want it to, it’s important to learn a few things first. If you are considering installing vinyl siding on your home, read on. This article will present three key tips.

1. Use the right type of nail.

Nails are the primary means of attachment for vinyl siding. Yet many people fail to realize that the type of nail you use can make a huge difference in how your siding looks and performs as the years go by. Choose a nail that meets the following criteria:

  • head diameter of 3/8″
  • shank diameter of 1/8″
  • long enough to penetrate a minimum of 3/4″ into the wall

2. Don’t nail too tight–or too loose!

A common beginner’s mistake is to forget that vinyl siding expands and contracts according to changes in humidity and temperature. This means that, if your siding is nailed down too tightly, when hot weather comes it will not be able to expand properly. This will cause the siding to bubble and warp in unsightly and potentially damaging ways.

Luckily, you can easily avoid this scenario by leaving a small gap between the nail head and the vinyl siding. This gap should be approximately 1/32 inch–that is, not quite the thickness of a dime. This should be just enough to allow the panels of siding to move side-to-side once fastened. Just take care not to leave the nail heads too loose, as this will cause the siding to rattle each time the wind blows.

Likewise, it is important to drive the nails in as straight as possible. That way the siding can easily slide up and down the nail shaft as it expands and contracts. Crooked nails will cause your siding to distort in unsightly ways.

3. Use a level when installing your starter strip.

When installing vinyl siding, you always start at the bottom of the wall and work your way up. Each subsequent strip of siding attaches to the one below it. But in order to give the bottom row of siding something to hook onto, and to keep it from flapping around, an aluminum starter strip is installed at the base.

It is vital to ensure that this starter strip is perfectly level. Otherwise, because of the interlocking nature of vinyl siding, your entire wall will come out looking crooked. Take as many measurements as necessary to determine a level line, and then chalk it on the wall to provide a constant point of reference.

Bottom Line

The thought of installing vinyl siding is a daunting one for many amateurs. After all, this entire appearance of your house hinges on the outcome. Yet once you have learned a few basic techniques, installing vinyl siding is, well, a snap! For more information, contact a local siding installation company, like First Choice Construction.