While the installation of new house siding is a large, labor-intensive renovation task, it is not complicated, even for do it yourself skilled amateurs. Anyone with basic handyman skills and a few helpers can get it done in a week or so. Although the work is straight-forward, it must be done properly to ensure the siding is installed properly.
Removing the Old Siding
Tear off the old siding using hammers and pry bars, handy tools for this. Drive in or pull out screws and nails you leave behind. Made of felt paper, the old house wrap must be removed as well.
Repair the Sheathing
Examine the sheathing for insect and water damage. Very few homes, especially older homes, remain completely sealed against the weather throughout their lifespan. Use a screwdriver to determine if suspicious areas have superficial or extensive rot. Replace the wood if the screwdriver easily goes in more than a quarter-inch.
Wrap the House with a Protective Barrier
Staple a good housewrap around your house. Work your way up starting at ground level. Have one person unroll the sheet while another staples it firmly. Use a hammer stapler for best results. Cover right over the windows and doors; cut these areas out later with a utility knife.
Trim out Windows and Doors
If you’re using vinyl or aluminum siding use J-trim to fit around windows and doors. The ends of the panels slip into the channel to create a neat, finished appearance. Your choices are a bit wider with fiber cement or clapboard. For abutment at the ends, use stock lumber, brick molding or fiber cement trim boards.
Hang the Siding
Start at the bottom of one wall, and work your way up. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines on proper fasteners and fastening procedures. Be sure to leave a small gap between the head of the nail and the surface of the panel when installing vinyl siding on a house. This allows the panel to expand and contract as needed. The starter course needs to be perfectly level. Use a laser level or water level for best results.
Completing the Job
Seal all the gaps between windows, doors and trim with a high quality, exterior-rated caulk. Replace any vent covers and if needed, add a coat of paint.
After you finish all work and everything has dried up, don’t forget to file your warranty with the manufacturer and contact your insurance agent. The agent needs to see your work to determine if the house value increased, decreased, or is stable.