Factors That Affect Vinyl Siding Installation

Local building codes, usually based on manufacturers' recommendations for vinyl siding installation, are your first consideration for siding installation. Other vinyl siding installation methods depend on the type of siding you've chosen:

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  • Vertical vs. horizontal siding: Vertical siding installation requires horizontal furring strips 12 inches on center if you won't have a solid sheathing base. Conversely, horizontal vinyl siding installation requires vertical furring strips. Porch ceilings may require different preparation.
  • Thickness of the siding: The thickness, or gauge, of your vinyl siding installation affects how it is installed. Siding .040 to .045 inches thick has more flex than premium brands that are up to .055 inches thick. Thicker stock is harder to cut, but is easier to hold in place during installation.
  • Type of soffit: New construction typically has open eaves, while re-siding projects usually have enclosed eaves. Each requires a different approach for vinyl siding installation.
  • Backed siding: Insulation ("backed") sidings are thicker than standard vinyl siding. Your start strips must be spaced away from the existing wall to accommodate the additional thickness.
  • Fan-fold foam insulation: Rather than furring strips over existing siding, some installers use fan-fold foam, which comes in 4-by-50-foot sheets. They're used to wrap the exterior and provide a flat, regular surface. Though somewhat insulating, fan-fold foam primarily provides an even surface for installing your vinyl siding.
  • Keeping or removing old siding: Old siding must be inspected to ensure a flat installation plane. Curled panels need re-fastening; in places furring strips may have to be installed. Any rotten boards require removal.

In new construction, the underlayment cannot be green lumber, which can warp and compromise the smooth, continuous surface your new vinyl siding installation requires.

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