Installing Vinyl Siding: 4 Planning Ahead Tips

Installing vinyl siding is a deceptively difficult job. On one level the mind says " hey what's so difficult about this - just nail on some corner posts and then nail the siding between them...." It ain't that simple!

But a bit of forward planning can avoid mistakes, not paint you into a corner, and actually make it easier to install the siding.

Here are 5 tips to plan ahead:
  1. Have the J-Channel Built right into the doors and windows: This eliminates the need to install J-Channel, the time and makes a much cleaner installation.
  2. Plan the first course of siding: And then review your plans. Once the first couple of courses or walls of siding are on it is very difficult to changes the starting point. The critical issue here is making sure you take into account starting on the first wall where you wish the siding to start AND to line up on all 4 or more walls. This can be particularly difficult when some walls start on a basement or first story and flow to a second story while other walls don't.
  3. Plan for interruptions in the siding: On our front wall the the siding flows from under a porch deck and around and over the deck. It was important to understand what finish is going to be on that deck and take that into account when trimming the siding. This is a lesson a learned too late and now will have to live with a less than prefer trimming approach. Fortunately, most people they will not notice...
  4. Take Aesthetics in to consideration: Unless your cottage is less than 12.5 feet square (the length of a siding board) each course of siding will require than one siding board - hence, require joints. Joints are ugly! But I discovered that there is a way to make them disappear when viewing from one primary direction. One cool observation is that the joint is not noticeable from one direction - so make sure you lap the siding such that that direction is facing what you deem as the primary viewing angle.