Simple Vinyl Siding Installation Tips for Beginners

Vinyl siding installation

Vinyl siding is a popular choice among residences across America. Homeowners love this option since it’s cost-effective, doesn’t need any painting, appears like genuine wood, and requires less maintenance. And if you’re looking to cut down your heating and cooling costs, siding is a great option.

Vinyl Siding Installation

For starters, installing vinyl siding can be a confusing task. That’s exactly why we’ve prepared this guide on siding installation tips just for you. With the right knowledge, you’ll be able to complete this outside home maintenance in no time – without making a ton of mistakes.

However, we advise you not to force installation if you think you cannot do it on your own. Contact a professional roofer when you need help!

  1. Choose from the different types of siding that suit you best.

Vinyl siding comes in various types and patterns. Among them, you’ll notice that clapboard siding is the most popular. This imitates the design of wood clapboard which has long boards that run horizontally and overlap.

No matter what design you choose, pick one that’s certified to resist color fading. Remember that premium options are higher in quality. There are also those that are backed with foam material to reduce impact and boost energy efficiency.

  1. Fix any present issues before installing vinyl siding

One of the disadvantages of vinyl siding is that it conceals the presence of moisture and any problems in your home’s structure. An important tip on how to install siding is to check any problems beforehand. If you have rotting or deteriorating boards, make sure to have them replaced.

Check whether the exterior finish of your home is well-suited to the siding you’re about to install. Your exterior finish must be covered with high-performance roofing felt to prevent moisture from penetrating.

  1. Use a chalk line as your guide

Similar to tackling a roofing shingle installation, installing vinyl siding involves using a chalk line. This will help you create exact marks around your house. A chalk line lets you draw boundaries or reference points for your starter strip which is the first piece that holds your siding at a proper angle.

Remember to snap your chalk line not lesser than 8 inches from the ground. Your new siding will be installed here. It’s important to have someone work with you to hold the end of the string. Stretch the string to keep it straight especially if you’re going to create a longer line for a larger perimeter.

  1. Have the right tools for cutting

Cutting your vinyl siding is unavoidable especially if you’re going to work on the sides of your doors and windows. However, a huge advantage of vinyl siding is that it’s very easy to cut. You don’t need expensive cutting tools with simple hand tools.

These tools include a utility knife, scoring tool, or a pair of tin snips. You can also use a standard circular saw. According to, this is the best tool for cutting the vinyl in a clean and quick manner. When cutting vinyl siding, always make it a practice to wear safety goggles.

  1. Fall months are the best times to install vinyl siding

Working on your siding without considering outdoor temperature is a huge mistake. One thing you need to know about vinyl material is that it’s very sensitive to changes in temperature. Since vinyl is plastic, it tends to expand. This will interfere with your window casings.

On the other hand, installations done in winter (below 50 degrees) make the vinyl brittle. They might break apart and guess what? You’ll be wasting more panels. The best season to perform a vinyl siding installation is fall. The weather won’t be too hot nor too cold and you’ll be able to avail price discounts.

  1. Seek for professional advice from the source of your siding

You need to remember that not all vinyl siding products are created alike. Even if you are knowledgeable of the ways to install siding, what’s more important is that you check your manufacturer’s advice and recommendations.

Ask for pamphlets and brochures that feature diagrams and a step-by-step installation process. If not, visit the manufacturer’s website.

  1. Use the right nails to ensure success

Many professionals use galvanized nails to secure their siding since they do not crack nor break easily, are low-maintenance, cost-effective, and are resistant to abrasion.

When nailing your panels, drive them in straight. Every nail must also be about 12 inches to 16 inches apart. The problem with nails that are spaced too close or far away is that they tend to sag or ripple.

A Word of Advice: Never Install Vinyl Siding All by Yourself!

No matter what you do, don’t try to install vinyl siding on your own. Even if this can be a DIY job, never do it solo. Vinyl pieces are long and with that, you need an additional pair of hands to assist you.

Find a friend or two who knows how to install vinyl siding. If in doubt, do not hesitate to contact your professional roofing contractor.


These are just some of the best tips to install vinyl siding. Adequate planning, adherence to safety measures, and the use of the right tools will help you achieve a successful outcome.

Here at Straight Arrow Roofing, we provide quality siding installation and repairs to make sure that you achieve an attractive home exterior. Get in touch with us today to schedule a free estimate.