For remodelers, builders and contractors, executing a project successfully and on time comes with the job.

Planning ahead with your client can help make the siding installation go quickly, and ensures homeowners are happy with the end result.

While even a DIYer can tackle steel siding installation, there are a few guidelines and tips to help you navigate the project with confidence whether you’re a seasoned pro or new to the industry.

The Benefits of Building With Steel Siding

Steel siding is an attractive exterior choice for homeowner clients. It never needs painting or re-painting, and it takes much longer to fade or turn chalky like aluminum siding. And, if it gets dirty, a power washer is typically all you need to restore it to its original condition.

Steel offers versatility to homeowners: it’s available in a wide range of colors and comes with a wood-grain finish. Some lines even offer variegated colors for a natural look.

Steel can be installed either vertically or horizontally, and if your client prefers a “mix and match” approach, steel siding combines beautifully with other building materials like stone, brick or wood beams.

There are a lot of siding products on the market, but none of them are quite as durable as steel. It’s resistant to mold, fungus and termites or other insects. It can stand up to extremely cold temperatures, as well as to hail, debris and other damage, like dents and scratches. Steel siding is also has the highest fire rating which means it can even help homeowners get discounts on insurance.

The benefits of selecting steel siding for a home’s exterior also includes simple installation. If you need step-by-step instructions, our extensive steel siding installation guide will help you with the process every step of the way.

Here we’ll give you an overview to ensure your installation project runs as smoothly as possible.

Planning Out Your Installation Project

As you know, the planning stage of an installation project is crucial because with a project of this scope, mistakes can be costly (both in time and money).

Let’s take a look at the elements of a good plan.

Nail Down Your Timeline

The best time to install steel siding depends on a combination of environmental and project factors.

The best environmental factors for installing steel siding are low humidity and temperatures above freezing. In many parts of the country, it’s hard to predict in advance when it will be raining. But, if you live in an area with distinct wet and dry seasons, choose a dry season. And definitely pick a time of year when you can expect the temperatures to be above freezing.

There are a couple of other factors to consider, too. If installing steel siding is a matter of “want to” rather than “have to,” your client can wait until the time is right for their family. For some homeowners, that might mean scheduling the project during the summer, when they’re more likely to be out of the home on vacation. It’s also a good idea for homeowners to consider visits from extended family or peak seasons at work.

If the home is showing signs of wear or damage, delaying installation will only make the problem worse. And if you’re building a new home, you know the sooner you install the siding, the sooner the rest of the project can continue.

Now that you've set your timeline, here are a few more strategies to keep in mind.

Estimating Siding Amounts

“There's no magic to the process; it's done just the way you would suppose,” says Tom Silva with This Old House.

“You take the square footage of each side of the house by multiplying the height and width of each, then add up the total exterior square footage of the house.

Calculate the square footage of each window by the same process, then count up the windows, add them together, and add in the areas of all the doors.

Subtract the total square footage of all windows and doors from the total square footage of the house itself, and this gives you the area you need to cover with siding.”

Save Time & Money: Order the Right Amount of Materials the First Time

Make sure your order exactly what you need for your next steel siding project.

With our Materials Estimation Worksheet, you'll be able to accurately calculate how much siding and how many siding accessories you'll need for various home styles. 

Identify and Complete Repairs

While steel siding can make a home look like new, some problems shouldn’t just be covered up. As with any siding project, you’ll want to repair damage to things like window frames or structural beams or ensure the homeowner handles them before the install.

In addition, you’ll want to scrape away any build-up of old paint or caulk and use shims to even out low spots. You’ll also need to remove downspouts and anything else that is in the way, like window sill extensions.

Other Preparations and Questions

Think about any other preparations your plan should include. Surprises that come up mid-project are rarely pleasant ones, so it’s important to plan your work and be prepared for potential setbacks, even if you’re an experienced installer.

Do you need need to tie back any trees around the home? Should you cover any landscaping? Will homeowners need to make arrangements for outdoor pets or children in the home? Prepare for the installation by considering the kind of obstacles you might run into beforehand or that you have run into in past projects.

Gathering Your Resources

Even if you’ve installed steel siding before, you should always start with reading the installation instructions. Manufacturers sometimes change specifications to meet updated code requirements, to make the job safer or to get better results.

Things to buy

Make a list of all the items you’ll need (refer to our installation guide for specifics) to avoid a mid-project trip to the hardware store.

Siding

Check your measurements. Recalculate the total, and remember to add 10% for waste and errors.

Accessories

You’ll need more than just the siding itself. Necessary items may include things like:

  • Starter strips
  • J-channels
  • Utility trim
  • Corner posts
  • Backer tabs
  • Undersill trim
  • Trim coil
  • Furring
  • Galvanized steel nails

Do You Have All The Tools You Need?

Don't get stuck with an incomplete project. Be sure you have everything you need for your siding installation project before you start.

Insulation

If you’re installing steel siding over an existing home that’s already properly insulated, adding more insulation between the exterior and the new siding isn’t necessary. It can, however, improve the home’s energy efficiency by increasing indoor comfort and reducing utility expenses for the homeowner.

Tools

Luckily, you’ll have most of these on hand.

  • Cutting tools
  • Durable Construction level
  • Framing square
  • Safety equipment
  • Chalk line
  • Caulk gun and caulk
  • Scoring tool with a carbide blade
  • Ladder and scaffolding

Time to get started!

Steel siding is a product that’s hard to beat for performance, durability, sustainability and ease of maintenance, all backed with an industry-leading warranty. And with the wide variety of options available today, you’ll be able to give your client a look they’ll love for years to come.

Don’t forget our installation guide for detailed, step-by-step instructions on how to install Rollex steel siding.

If you still have questions, don’t hesitate to contact us for a free project consultation.

Additional Resources and Inspiration

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