Almost any homeowner can install siding themselves. The process is simple and does not require any special tools. It can actually take less time from start to finish than repainting, and future maintenance is a breeze. So how do you install siding? To make it easier, let’s break it down into four phases.
A Firm Foundation
The first thing you need to do is prepare your house for the installation. Just like any project the foundation is key to getting good results. This involves stripping your house back to the sheath, according to the DIY Network. The sheath is the boards that are hung over the studs initially to close in the house. Depending on how old you home is the type of sheathing boards used can vary. Once you have it all cleared away, cover the sheathing with a house wrap. Then affix foam insulation boards over the wrap. These two things will help a lot with heating and cooling bills. Now you are ready to begin covering it all back up.
Start With Soffit
Begin by measuring, cutting and fitting pieces of j-channel around the inside edge of the facia boards. Next go back around and do the same where the soffit meets the wall. Now move on to the corners. Nail two pieces of j-channel back to back dividing the angle. Now cut a piece of soffit to fit each angle in the attached j-channel. With that done, it is time to measure and cut sections of soffit to fit. This will involve a lot of cutting since the standard length of a piece is 12′. Continue by snapping the cut pieces into previous installed one and nailing then down. Be sure to line up ventilated sections with the existing soffit vents. After the soffit is complete, you can apply fascia covers to match your siding if you wish. Be warned though, the best case scenario involves removing the gutters and reattaching them. Complex trim or facing designs are better left to the professionals.
Wall it In
The process for the walls is very similar. Here you want to begin by attaching the corner caps to the outside corners and dual channel to inside corners. Now if the height of your walls is evenly divisible by the finished width of a piece of siding you are in luck. Attach the anchor strip to the bottom of the wall, and you are ready to move on. If the height does not work out evenly, but is only off by an inch or two, you can move the anchor strip up or down slightly to save time cutting later. Once you have the area framed out, go around the house and outline all windows, doors and any other major obstacles with j-channel. Now it is time to start installing the actual siding. The pieces snap first to the anchor strip then to each other as you go up the wall. Always start at the bottom and work up. While doing this overlap the end to end joints by about an inch to allow for expansion and contraction. Work your way to the top of each wall and finish with a piece of trim or j-channel to abut the soffit.
Dealing with Difficulties
Unless your home is a square box with no porch or external decoration, you are going to run into some trouble spots. Siding as well as trim tends to be square, while external lighting, hose bibs, and utility connections are often not. There are a number of possible solutions to dealing with obstructions, according to Popular Mechanics. Some, such as decorative lighting, are easy to fix. If can remove it from the wall, do so. For the previous example, cut a hole in the siding to pass the wires through then re-install the fixture on top making sure to anchor it securely to the wood underneath. Don’t over tighten though as this will cause the siding to warp around the fixture and hurt the overall look. You can overcome most obstacles with a little creativity and some research. If it gets too complicated, you can always hire a professional to put on the finishing touches and still save a boatload by doing most of the labor yourself.
Related Resource: Install a Double-Hung Window
As you can see, siding installation is not rocket science. As a bonus siding will require less work to maintain the look of your home for years to come. Even if you only to the basic work and hire out the detailed parts, the savings can easily run into the thousands. With a little patience and an extra set of hands to help, anyone can install siding themselves.