Installing any kind of siding involves a lot of time and energy. There are dozens of details that can’t be overlooked if you want to give your client the highest quality finish. Whether you've recently stepped into the home exteriors industry or are trying your hand at installing siding on your own home, following these best practices will set you and your project up well.
The first step is to determine if your project needs vinyl or steel siding.
The benefits of using vinyl are that it’s much easier to remove, modify and install than almost any other type of siding. So it’s perfect if your client wants to add new windows, move doors or build an addition in the future.
While vinyl siding has its pros, steel siding also provides attractive exterior choices for homeowners and comes with its own benefits. Plus, steel siding is installed in the same manner as vinyl and uses the same types of accessories.
Steel siding doesn’t need painting or repainting, and is fade resistant. Also, if steel siding gets dirty, a power washer is all you need to bring it back to its original finish.
Let’s look at some best practices when installing vinyl or steel siding and actionable tips for installing both more efficiently.
Purchase Enough Siding for Your Project
It’s always better to have a few linear feet of siding left over than to run out before you finish the job. You also want extra material to make repairs if necessary.
Using a measuring tape from the ground or a ladder, do your best to get measurements of each section where siding will be installed. To calculate the area, simply multiply the height by the width of each rectangular section in feet. This gives you the area in square feet.
Measure the width and height of gables and other triangular sections by measuring at the highest and widest points. Multiply the height by the width and divide that number by 2 to get the area of the triangle.
Don’t subtract any square footage for doors and windows. You may need this extra to get the perfect fit for your siding. Once you have all your measurements, add them together for the total square feet.
Now that you have the total square feet, divide by 100. This will give you how many squares of siding you need. One square is equal to 100 square feet. The reason it’s important to know the number of squares you need is because this is the measurement in which siding is sold.
Rollex can make this process easier with our materials estimation worksheet. This will help you accurately estimate the amount of materials to purchase.
Follow Manufacturer's Guidelines
Always follow the manufacturer's guidelines for the installation.
Examples of some more commonly overlooked items include recommendations for the types of screws to use, whether they need to be galvanized and if they need rubber sheathing.
If you don’t follow the siding manufacturer's guidelines, you may accidentally void the warranty and end up with a faulty installation.
Rollex has a library of installation instructions to help you get the perfect installation with our products.
When it comes to choosing products for your client’s exterior, you want peace of mind that the products you choose won’t result in costly callbacks or issues. For that reason, choose manufacturers with a lifetime, non-prorated warranty that includes chalk and fade coverage.
Working With Vinyl Siding
Vinyl siding is designed to be installed loosely so it can respond to temperature changes without damage.
There should be a 1/4-inch gap at each end and then use the trim pieces to cover up the gap. It is crucial that the panels are able to expand and contract behind the trim without being inhibited to keep them from warping.
Each panel locks into the panel below it. Pull it up tightly, and nail it into place using the slots built into the panels. Center a nail in a slot and drive it in, leaving a little room for the panel to move. The shank of the nail should be exposed by about 1/16 of an inch.
Working With Steel Siding
Steel siding installs in a similar fashion to vinyl siding. But if you are working with panels, there will be a weight factor to take into consideration. You may need more than one person to move the panels into place.
Cutting steel also means dealing with sharp edges, so be sure to wear gloves and protective gear at all times.
And while you can install vinyl siding with nothing more than a utility knife, a pencil and a tape measure, steel siding requires more specialized tools: Tin snips, nibbler cutters and electric shears are needed. Files and sanding pads are great to have so you can smooth any rough edges down after they are cut.
Waterproofing for Vinyl and Steel Siding
Waterproofing is still an important element with vinyl and steel siding. Both types of siding need to be installed according to the manufacturer’s recommendations, which include using waterproofing underneath. This could be a waterproofing house wrap or a waterproofing insulation board.
If you are unsure which type of insulation to use with your siding choice, contact the siding manufacturer to see if there is a brand they recommend using with your product.
Get the Best Vinyl and Steel Siding for Your Clients
The right siding protects the home from weather extremes without compromising curb appeal. Rollex’s steel and vinyl siding are the most durable siding products on the market.
They offer protection against dents and scratches and a more rigid make-up that stays true to form without buckling or warping in fade-resistant colors for lasting beauty.
If you want to know more about Rollex products and how they can make your installation job easier, contact us today.