House wrap or sheathing insulation board that helps insulate and level out the exterior of a house is recommended.
Some manufacturers strongly recommend against the use of drop-in type foam or fiberboard behind its vinyl siding. This type of insulation may change and flatten the specialty built-in contour of the panel, causing the siding to bulge or ripple.
1. Snap chalk line.
Find the lowest corner of the old siding or sheathing on the house. Partly drive a nail 11/2 in. higher than the lowest corner. Stretch a chalk line from this nail to a similar nail at next corner. Be sure line is level. Snap chalk line and repeat same procedure around entire house.
2. Installing starter strip.
Position starter strip with the top edge of chalk line and allow room for corner posts. Nail to wall, following nailing instructions in Important Installation Tips. When the wall surface is uneven, shim out the starter strip to avoid a wavy appearance in the finished siding job. Drive nails to remove excessive play in starter, but do not nail tightly restricting movement. As you add starter strip sections, be sure to leave 1/4 in. space between strips for expansion [fig. D]
3. Installing inside corner posts.
Inside corner posts are installed at the existing corners, running from 3/4 in. below the bottom of the starter strip. If vinyl soffit is to be installed, allow proper distance below the underside of eaves for soffit installation accessories (which vary according to the accessory used). Set corner posts straight and true. Nail them to the adjoining walls, beginning at the top, placing nails at the top of the uppermost nailing slots, allowing the posts to hang on these nails. The rest of the nails should be placed every 8 in. to 12 in. in the center of the nail slots. This will allow vertical expansion of the corner posts. Do not nail tight.
4. Splicing inside corner posts.
If more than one length of inside corner post is required, make a splice as follows: Cut 1 in. off all but the outer face of the upper portion of the lower corner post. Then lay 3/4 in. of the upper post over the lower post, allowing 1/4 in. for expansion [fig. E].
5. Installing outside corner posts.
Position the outside corner post to allow 1/4 in. gap at the top where the post will meet the eaves. Cut the post long enough to extend past the bottom of the starter strip by 3/4 in. If vinyl soffit is to be installed, allow proper distances (which vary according to the accessory used) below the underside of the eaves. Attach the posts by placing a nail in the top of the upper slot on each side. Posts will hang on these two nails. The rest of the nails should be placed in the center of the slots, 8 in. to 12 in. on center. This allows for expansion and contraction to occur at the bottom. Do not nail tight.
6. Splicing outside corner posts.
If more than one length of outside corner post is required, make a splice as follows: cut 1 in. of the nailing flanges and receiving channel stops away from the bottom portion of the upper post. Then lap 3/4 in. of the upper post over the lower post allowing 1/4 in. for expansion [fig. F].
7. Capping outside corner posts.
Cut 2 1/2 in. flaps as shown in Fig. G. Bend the flaps to close off the post. A rivet can be used if needed.
8. Installing “J” channel around windows and doors.
Install “J” channel around all four sides of window and doors. Install the “J” channel against the casing and nail it to the wall, following nailing instructions in Important Installation Tips. Do not nail tight. [fig. H].
9. Square corner “J” channel installation.
Cut and install bottom “J” flush with the sides of the window casing. Install side “J” channels flush with the lower face of the bottom “J” channel and with the top of the window casing. Cut a tab in the bottom of the side “J” channels and fold under. Cut and install top “J” flush with the outer face of the side “J’s”. Cut and bend drain tab.
10. Mitering corners of the “J” channel.
Install bottom “J” channel to extend past side casing the width of the “J”-face on each end. Cut out a 3/4 in. notch in the back of each end and install. Cut a 3/4 in. notch in the bottom of side “J” channels and bend tab. Miter bottom side “J” to give a false mitered appearance when installed.
11. Installing first siding panel.
Snap bottom of panel into starter strip and nail to wall as in Important Installation Tips. Begin panel installation at back corner of house and work toward house front. Leave a 1/4 in. space where panel butts corner post. Note: siding should be lapped away from high traffic areas, i.e., doors, sidewalks, etc.
12. Overlap joints.
Overlap each panel 1 in. to 11/4 in. of the factory prenotched cutouts. Last nail should be at least 10 in. from end of panel to allow neat lap.
13. Installing balance of siding.
After completing the first course, work your way up. Start each course at back of house and continue toward front. Stagger joints properly, lapping them away from street and entrance. Leave a 1/4 in. gap where panels butt corner posts and “J” channel around window. Allow 3/8 in. when installing in freezing weather (below 40°) [fig. I]. Note: For best visual appearance, do not stair step or concentrate lap joints too closely.
14. Fitting siding under windows.
When you reach a window, you probably will have to cut siding panel to fit under the opening. Make this panel extend on both sides of the window. Measure the panel to fit. Holding the siding panel under the window, mark the width of the opening on the panel allowing 1/4 in. clearance on each window side. Next, lock a scrap piece of siding into the panel below, butting against the window. Mark the height needed, allowing 1/4 in. clearance below the sill. Measure both sides of the window opening this way. Use the scrap piece as a guide to mark horizontal cuts on the siding panel [fig. J].
15. Cutting siding to fit.
Make vertical cuts on the siding panel with saw or snips. Then score horizontally with a utility knife and snap out section to be removed.
16. Cutting siding around window.
Install undersill trim the width of the window flush to the casing. Furring may be necessary to maintain proper pitch of the siding. Using the snap-lock punch, punch the panel 1/4 in. below the cut edge at 6 in. intervals. The resulting raised lugs should face outward and will snap into undersill trim.
17. Fitting siding over windows.
Measure and cut panel to fit. Measure and cut panel in the same manner detailed in step 14 but cut lower portion instead of top. Be sure to check both sides for proper fit. Install panel. Drop siding panel into “J” channel around top of window and install.
18. Finishing top row of siding under eaves.
Nail the undersill trim to the sidewall, flush with the eave of house. It may be necessary to fur out the undersill trim to maintain proper pitch of the top siding panel. More than one length of undersill trim may be required under the eave and will need to be spliced.
19. Fitting top siding panel.
Measure and cut top panel to fit. To determine how much of the top panel must be cut off, measure the distance between the top of under-sill trim and the lock of the panel below, then deduct 1/4 in. Cut top siding panel to this dimension. The panel will no longer have a nailing strip after cutting [fig. K].
20. Snap locking top panel.
Punch top panel with snap-lock punch. Insert cut panel into trim and draw a line on panel where they meet. Usingsnap-lock punch tool, punch the panel on top of this lineevery 6 in. so raised material is on the outside face.
21. Installing top panel.
Lock bottom of panel into panel below and push top edge into undersill trim. The raised slots will catch and hold the panel firmly in place. DO NOT FACE NAIL SIDING.
22. Finishing top course under gable.
First nail “J” channel to sidewall flush with gable as described in Important Installation Tips. If more than one length of “J” channel is required to finish one side of gable, a splice will be needed. To cut panels on proper angle, use two scrap pieces of siding to make a pattern for cutting. Interlock one panel with the siding panel below, hold the other piece on top against the gable. Then mark a line on bottom piece and cut. This piece is now a pattern for cutting panels to fit along one side of gable. Follow the same procedure to make pattern for other side [fig. L]. Lock pre-cut siding panel into siding panel below and slide siding panel into “J” channel.