Why Installing Home Siding Isn’t as Challenging as You Think
Installing exterior siding may sound like a daunting job, but it’s actually far easier than you might think. Most siding products are available in thin tongue-and-groove sheets or in flat buttress styles that are overlaid with thin battens to cover the seams. You can also purchase 4 X 8 rectangular sheets if you want to save a lot of time.
Exterior home siding comes in a huge variety of styles, colors, and materials. The most popular building materials for siding are natural wood, wood compress, composite, simulated stone, and vinyl. The task involves three stages. The first stage is getting an estimate on the amount of siding needed, the second is to lay out the proper tools, and the third is to actually install the siding on the home.
Figuring The Materials Footage
All you have to do is measure the height and length of each side of the house. Then get the square footage of the windows and doors, and subtract this amount from the first total. Taking these figures to the local home improvement store or siding retailer will result in a very accurate footage amount. The folks at these merchant locations will know exactly how much overage to add on if the number of doors and windows is shown on the plan. This cuts down on waste product that you would otherwise have to pay for but never use.
The List Of Tools Needed
You will need some marking pencils, tape measure, chalk line, and the proper saw for cutting the material. A jigsaw is fine for any type of wood or composite siding product, but you may want to ask your home improvement specialist about what type of saw blade is right for cutting a particular style of vinyl siding.
You will also need metal flashing, caulk, and some felt strips. These are used to weatherproof the edges near windows and doors as well as the so-called waterline at the base of the exterior wall. If the exterior wall is sheet board or is covered with tar paper, you will probably benefit from attaching a covering of foam board and a polystyrene moisture barrier before attaching the siding. These are held in place with washer-capped nails. For the siding itself, small exterior panel nails are needed.
Attaching The Siding
The flashing is nailed in place around the perimeter of windows and doors. Caulk is then applied around the edges of the flashing pieces. The felt strips can be nailed to the foam boards and through to the underlying framing near the edges of the windows.
Regardless of whether you choose flat-butted siding pieces or the tongue-and-groove type, start at the bottom and make chalk line marks at distances equal to the width of the siding pieces. The siding must be cut exactly to prevent gaps at the corners of the house. The siding is nailed one piece at a time, from the top of each end to the bottom, and then across the top side.
After the siding is in place, a primer should be applied even if the material is considered weatherproof. Painting or staining wood is the last step, and if vinyl is used, painting is never required.
DIY Or Get Help?
It’s really up to you whether you want to attach the siding yourself or call in the services of a licensed, experienced contractor. If you choose the latter, make sure he or she can provide proof of former work including photos. If you don’t like the price estimate you receive, feel free to get a competing offer.