Installing Siding

installing siding

Most types of siding are relatively easy to install. If you own a mitersaw, you'll find it easy to make square cuts on most types of horizontal siding. Fastening is seldom difficult; the main challenge is finding the studs to nail to (unless your house has plywood or OSB sheathing). A successful siding job mainly requires careful layout and observance of a few simple guidelines as you work.

Projects in Installation
 

Keeping up appearances
Lay out the job when applying horizontal siding to avoid odd slivers of material above doors and above or below windows. Siding should progress up the wall with an even exposure, and courses should line up when they meet at a corner. For layout the story pole is indispensable. It's a tool that will help you anticipate problem areas and figure out workable solutions. Often solving one problem will introduce another, forcing a compromise. Generally you should take the solution that looks best on the most visible side of the house.

Similar principles hold true for vertical siding like board-and-batten or tongue-and-groove -- thin bits of siding look bad and are difficult to cut. Panel siding should be planned so joints hit studs and to avoid narrow pieces at the ends of walls.

Allow plenty of time for laying out the job; it will save you problems later on and result in a job that looks great.

Good habits
A hallmark of an amateur siding job is horizontal siding that dips and rises with each course -- a sign that someone wasn't checking for level. Similarly vertical siding must be checked for plumb. It is good to do this not only as you hold the piece in place but also after you've begun applying it. Siding can slip as you apply those first few fasteners.

Sealing the edges of unprimed siding can be awkward -- it is no fun reaching for the paintbrush after every cut -- but rest assured you are saving yourself headaches down the road.

And drill those pilot holes. You've invested in good material; don't mess it up with cracks and splits.


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