How to Install Vinyl Siding

Published on: March 20, 2021

Are you looking to install vinyl siding on your own? Or you are looking for DIY ideas for a vinyl siding? Well, you can install vinyl siding on your own. However, do it yourself only when you have basic handyman skills like cutting, nailing and measuring. One more thing—do it only when you are confident enough.

This blog will cover important tools, preparations, and installation of vinyl siding.



  • Folding Ruler
  • Metal Square
  • Claw Hammer
  • Tin Snips
  • Power Saw
  • Chalk Line
  • Measuring Tape
  • Level
  • Utility Knife
  • Pliers
  • Nail Slot Punch
  • Saw
  • Hacksaw
  • Stepladder
  • Sawhorses
  • Pry Bar


  • Flashing
  • Building Paper
  • Corrosion Resistant Nails
  • Vinyl Siding
  • Vinyl Corners and Trim for Windows and Doors
  • Termination Trim

Prepare the Home for Installation

First of all, prepare the exterior of your home for vinyl siding installation. Here’s how…

  • Remove old caulk from around doors and windows.
  • Tighten loose boards and replace rotting ones.
  • Remove fixtures like exterior lights, molds, mailbox, house number, and downspouts.
  • Make sure the wall has a compatible finish for siding for vinyl siding.

Important Things to Keep in Mind before Getting Started

install vinyl siding
  • Leave an extra 0.06 cm gap between siding panels and accessories as vinyl siding expands and contract with a change in temperature.
  • Don’t drive the nails too tightly. There should be a gap of 0.2 cm between the nail head and the siding to avoid waves from occurring in the panels.
  • Drive the nail in the appropriate slot keeping them straight rather than crooked.

STEP 1: Install J Channel Pieces under the Fascia (a Point Where Siding Contacts a Soffit or Roof at an Angle)

  • Keep the nails centered in the channel slot while the nail heads should be 1.6 mm out.
  • Box-type soffits will require a second J channel strip to be installed from the fascia to the edge of the home.
  • Install two J-channels diagonally where the corners of the roof and house meet.

STEP 2: Measure, Cut and Install the Soffit Pieces

  • Measure and cut the pieces for soffit out of the vinyl siding. Cut them ¼ inch shorter than the actual length of the soffit as they expand in warm weather.
  • Fit each panel into the J-channel pressing them into the channel. You can also bend them if necessary. You can also use a pry bar if you have difficulty in pressing them.
  • Use galvanized or painted nails to secure the top edge of the fascia pieces.

STEP 3: Siding the Wall

  • Use measure tape to measure the length of the walls from the eaves to the bottom to find out the number of panels you required.
  • Once you have decided the starting point for the siding, drive a nail through a point for starting height and draw a chalk line around the perimeter of the house.
  • Attach a piece of plywood nearly 89 mm thick along the top of the chalk line to hold out the bottom of the first-row siding.
  • Nailed the starter strip to the plywood leaving 0.6 cm gap between each starter strip.

STEP 4: Installing the Corner Posts

install vinyl siding
  • Place 12.7 mm foam sheathing strips on both sides of each corner. Afterward, install your corner siding pieces to these strips.
  • The corner posts will go 1.9 cm below the bottom of the starter strip to just beneath the eaves, after the installation of soffit pieces.
  • Corner siding pieces should be completely straight before you secure them to the adjoining walls, going from top to bottom.
  • Install J-channel around doors and windows by placing them snugly against the casing before nailing them to the wall.

STEP 5: Start Installing the Wall Siding

  • Make sure to apply insulation materials to the walls before you install the siding.
  • Measure and cut the siding’s length to keep them 12.7 mm away from the vertical trim pieces. Leave 1.0 cm gap if you living in freezing conditions.
  • Get the bottom row of panels into place, hooking the bottom lip of each panel under the starting strip. Use nails every 40.6 cm across the siding to secure the panels.
  • Overlap to adjoining panels by about 25.40 mm.

STEP 6: Install Siding Around Windows

  • Cut sections from the panels directly above and below as you reach to a window.
  • Hold the slide against the window so that you can mark the width for the right measurements. Make sure to leave 0.6 cm of clearance on either side of these marks.
  • Measure the height of the slide you need to cut by keep the pieces beneath and above the window and make marks accordingly leaving an additional 0.6 cm.
  • Use a saw to make the vertical cuts on the siding panel while the horizontal cut will be made with a utility knife. Cut out the piece of the slide. Place those pieces of siding above and below the windows.

STEP 7: Installing the Top Siding Row

  • Measure and cut the piece to fit as you reach the top row of siding. All you need to measure the distance between the top of the under-sill trim and the lock on the next panel down. Make sure to leave an additional 0.6 cm. Slide the bottom edge of the panel into the panel below while the top edge will go under the under-sill trim.

So these are the DIY method to install vinyl siding. However, as we have said earlier, do this only if you have faith in your skills and confidence as well. Otherwise, it is better to get it done by an experienced vinyl siding installer. You can even call them if you feel it complicated in the middle of the project.

Review from R.D. Johnson in Black Diamond WA

Further Reading:


  1. […] if you want to do this project yourself, we outline how to install vinyl siding on our […]

  2. […] How to Install Vinyl Siding […]

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