Vinyl siding is an inexpensive, long-lasting, and attractive option for the exterior of a home. Best of all, vinyl siding is relatively easy to install, meaning homeowners frequently choose to undertake this task on their own. If you have plans to equip your home with new vinyl siding replacement, read on. This article will introduce three tips to ensure the project is a success.
Choose the appropriately sized nail.
Nails are the only thing that are going to be holding the vinyl siding against the walls of your home. For that reason, nothing could be more important than having the proper nails for the job. The best choice is a nail that meets all of the following criteria:
- 3/8" head diameter
- 1/8" shank diameter
- able to penetrate into the wall at least 3/4"
Keep nails straight and semi-loose.
Vinyl siding will naturally expand and contract in conjunction with changes in the temperature and humidity. This is a normal phenomenon, and one that will not hurt your siding in any way—unless, that is, you've nailed it down too tight.
When held too tightly against the wall, your siding is not able to expand correctly during hot weather. As a result, it is likely to develop unsightly warps that over time can permanently damage the siding. Luckily, there are two things you can do to keep this from happening.
First, leave a gap of around 1/32" (roughly the thickness of a dime) between the head of the nail and the siding. This gap should give the siding some literal wiggle room, both side-to-side and between the siding and the wall. Take care, however, not to drive the nails too loosely, as this will make your siding liable to rattle each time a strong wind blows.
Second, it is vital that the nails be driven into the wall as straight as you can. This allows the siding to easily expand up and down the nail shaft. Crooked nails, on the other hand, will keep the siding from being able to expand outward, thus leading to unsightly bubbling.
Ensure that your starter strip is level.
To install vinyl siding, you begin at the bottom of the wall and gradually work your way upwards, with each new strip attaching to the one below. Before this process gets underway, however, you must install an aluminum starter strip at the base of the wall.
In order to keep the entire wall of siding from coming out crooked, you must take pains to see that this strip is level. Do this by utilizing an accurate level, and taking as many readings as necessary. Once you think you've got it right, mark the wall with a piece of chalk. This will provide a fixed reference point while you attach the starter strip.