Two Tips To Help You Cut And Secure Your Vinyl Siding Materials

17 November 2015
 Categories: Construction & Contractors, Articles


If you are considering adding siding materials to your home, then vinyl is a great choice. Vinyl siding can withstand winds up to 200 miles per hour, and many companies will offer free replacements if the vinyl materials break. Vinyl is also a green product and it is cheaper than a lot of other siding materials. However, you should understand that the ability of the vinyl to protect your home and last a long time will depend on the way it is installed. You can install the siding by yourself if you desire. If you decide to do this, then follow the tips below to make sure the vinyl is secured and cut to last.

Use Wide Starter Strips

Vinyl siding strips are created with u-shaped lips that interlock together to connect the various pieces of the siding. However, the first piece of the siding will not have anything to connect to. If left unconnected on the bottom edge, the siding will likely slap against the home and also leave the sheathing placed on the home exposed. The sheathing is the plywood or particle board that is typically utilized to cover the very outside of the home. While this sheathing is generally covered by a water-resistant barrier called a sheathing wrap, the wrap can be ripped and the sheathing will be exposed to the elements. This can result in the rotting of the material. 

To prevent this from happening and to also secure the first piece of vinyl properly, you will need to place a metal starter strip along the edge of the foundation. Traditional starter strips will extend about one inch over the foundation. However, for the best protection, you should think about finding a strip that sits one and a half to two inches over the foundation. A strip that is a total of three and a half inches wide will work well for this. Once you buy the right starter strips, you should secure them with long nails. Roofing nails will work well for your siding project, and the two inch variety will ensure security. 

Use the Right Cutting Tools

In most cases, you will need to add at least two long vinyl strips along the longest edges of the home. When you place the strips, you will need to overlap them about one inch or a little less to make sure that water cannot seep into a flush seam. Also, the seams should be placed in areas where you are not likely to notice them, like near windows, doors, and corners, However, the seams should not be placed in the same spot or this will create a vertical line in the siding. Not only will this look poor, but this can create a leak issue if several of the seams loosen. 

To prevent seam and leak issues, you will need to cut your vinyl siding pieces to different lengths to vary the seam position along the edge of your home. To do this, you will need to use a circular saw to make the cuts along the pieces of vinyl. While a wood blade attached to this tool may seem like a good choice, this type of blade is made to bore through relatively soft wood. If it is used to cut through vinyl, the siding pieces are likely to shatter or crack. If you decide to use a cracked piece, then the opening will likely grow and cause a leak issue.

The best way to cut vinyl siding is to invest in a vinyl cutting blade for your circular saw. This blade has small and sharp teeth that will cut through the vinyl quickly so it does not have the opportunity to shatter. 

Contact a local siding contractor, such as Lifetime Exteriors, for more information. 


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