vinyl siding

Vinyl Siding: Ideas on How to Install House Siding - Measuring Door and Accessory Pieces

The Trim goes on First with Vinyl Siding

Figuring Trim Accessories

With vinyl siding, your corners, windows, and door trim go on first. Measuring is an art form of sorts. When I measure, I don´t typically right down exact feet of a window, for example. I measure the height and width, then I write down how many pieces of J channel I´ll need to wrap that window. Your average size window usually requires 2 pieces of J. You have to measure from the top of the window, to the bottom and add a couple of inches to compensate for the trim on the top and bottom.

Measuring Doors

Doors are measured in a similar way. Depending on the way the door is installed, you may have to install J under the thresh-hold. See if your existing siding goes under the door to determine if this is needful.

Elaborate door shapes will make things more difficult to measure and install. For example, if you have an arch over the doorway, it will require a lot of cuts and use more material.

Inside and Outside Corners

You´ll have to measure (or take a real good guess) at the height of your corners, both inside, and out. If you just have a single story home, one piece of corner will be enough, so just count how many inside corners you have and how many outside corners you have.

For a two or three story house, you´re going to be stacking the corners on top of each other, so you have to know the total height of the corner and divide it by 10 (the length of corner pieces). If you get anything less than 1/2 as a remainder, you will probably be able to use the other half on another corner. If it´s over half, like 2.7, you´ll have to have 3 pieces for that corner.

Starter Strip

Starter strip goes all along the entire bottom edge of the house. You should measure from corner to corner, inside and out.


You may also want to replace your Soffit. In most instances, this can be done before or after you replace the siding. Measuring and installing soffit will be covered in a seperate article.

Other Accessory Pieces

Another thing to look for is any outside outlets, faucets, or vents. These will all need special accessories to make the job look nice. I don´t typically install these though until I get the siding very near them. This way, if you need to move it a bit to make it sit on the siding better, you can make that adjustment. Plus, there is no point in installing a vent up high on a gable until you are already up that high installing the siding.

Let´s start installing your new Vinyl Siding

OK, you´ve got your tools and your materials and you are ready to begin! Let´s get started by checking out the tools you´ll need for installing vinyl siding.

Vinyl Siding: Hip Roofs and Porches

As you get close to the top, you'll start feeling better about your decision to side your house! You'll find though that once you are no longer using two pieces per course, things get a little more difficult. Now you have to cut both ends of the same piece and have to worry not only about the angle, but the length as well. Hopefully, by now you have got a feel for the needed angle and have a good template. Have your helper hold your tape measure up inside the J channel (not on the outside) and measure to the same location on your end.

Vinyl Siding Installation: Most Gable Ends Have a Vent for the Attic

Installing Vinyl on the Next Level

If you're house has a hip roof, consider yourself blessed. For the rest of us, dealing with a gable end doesn't have to be that difficult.
Turn your J upside down and run it up the gable where the wall meets the overhang. The Gabled Endstoughest part will be cutting this angle on each piece.

Cut Corners and Nailing

Fit the Top First

Once you´ve got the top fitting nicely, you´ll have to cut the bottom to length. I will say that, depending on the length of your piece and your landscaping, you might have to shorten the corner just enough so that it can be put in place while you´re getting the top to fit properly. Just try not to cut too much off.

Installing Vinyl Siding Corners: Learn How to Cut it, and Tackle The Gable Ends

Which Corner is First?
Find the lowest corner and start there

Earlier, in our Basic Steps article, we discussed how to locate the lowest corner of the house. This is where you´ll want to start and where you´ll install your first corner piece.

Cutting to fit

Since this is a Home Improvement site, I am handling all the instructions here from that aspect, assuming your home is already built. Things are done a little differently for new construction.

Siding Measurement and Scaling: Figuring and Ordering Materials

How to Figure Siding Materials for your House

OK, so you have your siding picked out, maybe even the color. Or perhaps you have a couple of selections and want to compare costs. First, you´ll need to figure up how much siding you´ll need for your house. Siding is typically sold by the square. 100 square feet is 1 square. It can also be sold by the board, or by the lineal foot.

How many square your house is

To figure how many square your house is, you need to break each surface down to either a rectangle or a triangle.

Corner to Corner - Vinyl Siding: Before you Move On - Installing the Next Corner

Corner to Corner - Vinyl Siding

Before You Move On

Once your first corner is installed, you need to measure from the bottom edge of the corner post, to the mark you made when locating the lowest corner. Whatever this measurement is, you will need to make it the same on all inside and outside corners, except if you have a Patio or wrap-around porch, that totally changes the location and size of the post.

Installing the Next Corner

Next, move to the next corner, whether it is inside or outside.

Finding the Pitch of your Roof: Learn Method To make the Cut and See How It Fits

Finding the Pitch of your roof

There are several methods for doing this. A trained eye can usually guess the pitch just by looking at it, but you can find it very easily with a small level and a speed square. Just get a ladder and position yourself at a gable end. Climb up to where a good portion of the rake is eye level. Place the level so one end is laying on the roof. A small spirit level is real good for this. Leaving this end on the roof, raise or lower the other end until it is level.

Vinyl Siding: Getting a Straight Line - Installation of Strip Start

One Wall at a Time

The starter strip is very important. It not only holds the bottom piece of siding secure, it also establishes a straight line which all the siding goes off of. To install it properly a chalk box is the best tool.

Getting a Straight Line

Measure the width of your starter strip. Then add ¾" and measure up from the bottom of the corner post. Place a mark on the house and put a nail on the mark, leaving ½" or so out. Go to the next corner and measure the same distance. Place a nail there in the same manner.

Wrapping Around The Log House: Getting Ready to Move Up with Viny Siding

Continue making your way around the house in this fashion until you reach the last plane. This is the last wall surface that needs to be sided. You're going to do this wall in just the same way except there is one difference that needs to be noted. You now have two corners that must match up.

The first course should go pretty easy since the starter will help it go from point to point, but on the second course, start paying attention to your corners.
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