2 Common Blunders Made By The Average Homeowner During Vinyl Siding Installation

It is amazing what you can find online about how to achieve certain tasks when you are a do-it-yourself homeowner. When it comes to vinyl siding installation, there is no shortage of experts and other homeowners who are willing to share their version of instructions via the Internet.

While these well-meaning folks may have a good idea of what they are trying to convey, there is often a bit more to installing this modern home cladding than what the average layman will realize until they are knee deep in a disaster. Here are two of the most common installation mistakes made by homeowners without vinyl siding experience.

Leaving No Room to Flex and Move

It is easy to assume that when you are working with materials for the exterior of your home that everything should be snug and tight. After all, from the time you were taught to hammer a nail or tighten a screw, you were most likely told the tighter the fit, the better the durability would be. However, when you are working with vinyl siding, this is not the case. Any time vinyl is installed, it must have room to flex and move just enough to prevent breakage and bowling.

Loose nailing should be used during installation that will make this a possibility. Leaving just 1/32 of an inch space between the nail and the vinyl surface gives the material a little breathing room and will prevent damage and warping in the long run.

Improper Trim Techniques

Unless you plan to just seal in all windows and doors with vinyl, you must become familiar with how to appropriately trim out the vinyl around windows, doors, or other openings. Using J-molding, also sometimes referred to as J-channel, is the only way this can be accomplished the right way.

You may be tempted to use simple edging pieces that are designed to use on flat-paneled surfaces at the edges. However, windows and doors will need the J-shaped molding to wick water away from these vulnerable areas where moisture can easily get trapped inside and cause damage.

One other little known fact is that J-molding should actually be cut at about 1/4 inch larger than the frame of the window to allow for flexibility and movement. Not leaving this extra space can lead to shrinkage during weather changes that are very apparent, and may even cause the vinyl material to pull away from the perimeters of the window.

Vinyl siding installation may look like an easy feat, and by all rights, it is much easier to tackle than say brick, or stucco. However without professional experience, it is all too easy to make a common blunder that costs you the life of your vinyl materials.