Quick Tips For Proper Siding Installation

Written by Andy Glibert
5 · 28 · 19
Quick Tips For Proper Siding Installation

Planning on working with cladding sometime soon? Whether you have been DIYing for years or are a professional contractor, the more you know about proper siding installation, the quicker and easier the task becomes. By staying up-to-date on siding installation tips and tricks, you minimize the risk of making a costly mistake.

Here are our favorite quick tips to help you during your next home improvement project:

Wood Siding Installation Tips

If you plan on using wood siding, it is crucial to the longevity of the siding that you acclimate it first. Unfortunately, while the step is critical, many people are crunched for time or overlook the importance.  However, it will cost you down the line. Once your new wooden siding arrives, you need time to allow the material to adjust to the climate, regardless of seasoning grade. Give the wood siding at least 1-2 weeks before doing anything else.

Once you properly acclimated the material, you then need to install it with the climate still in mind. Wood, no matter how it has been seasoned (dried), will continue to expand and contract throughout the year, because moisture levels rise and fall. When wood siding expands, it is across the width of the board. To minimize this, you allow for air space. Installing furring strips or drain wrap or mesh wrap behind the cladding can prevent condensation from getting trapped behind the wood while also allowing for some movement.

Vinyl Siding Installation Tips

Similar to wood siding, you always need to think about expansion and contraction whenever the outside temperature changes—which is all the time. To avoid structural and cosmetic issues, you should consider the following:

  • Apply fasteners to the center of nailing slots then make certain the fastener is penetrating at least 32mm  into the wood sheathing or frame. Installed panels and other accessories should move side to side easily.
  • Never drive the nail head tightly against the siding nailing hem. Allow 0.8mm of clearance between the fastener head and vinyl siding panel.
  • Always drive nails in straight.
  • Leave about 6.4mm of clearance between all openings and stopping points. If you are installing in temperatures below 4 degrees Celsius (40 degrees Fahrenheit), clearance should be 9.5mm.

Next, you want to keep the vinyl siding level and straight, regardless of whether you are using bevel or board-and-batten or another kind of cladding design. To help you keep the new siding straight and smooth against your home, make sure:

  • When adding siding to new construction, you need to avoid using green lumber underneath the vinyl siding.
  • When you are residing your residence, you must remove all original siding.
  • During installation, be sure to continuously check the alignment every few rows/columns you complete.

Tips For All Kinds of Siding Installation

One of the things every type of siding needs is significant airflow. Water will penetrate almost anything, and so you need to ensure that it can either properly dry or drain away from your home’s internal structure.

You will want to flash the bottoms of windows. You can do this by cutting pieces of flashing from felt paper then installing it to the corners of windows prior to placing the side J-channels. The flashing should overlap onto the siding that is just below the windowsill. By doing this, you ensure that the water running inside the J-channel flows down and out.

Kick out flashing is another excellent method for preventing water from trickling down the roof and getting into the siding of the adjacent wall. The kick-out flashing can be properly secured by nailing it to the wall then lapping the next piece of siding over it. Don’t forget to dab caulk over the trim nail, too.

Hopefully, these quick tips will help you add a new level of security to your home. Knowing a few extra steps to prevent damages or mistakes goes a long way.

If you need any assistance with your siding installation, don’t hesitate to contact a professional!

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Andy Glibert