How to install vinyl siding



That’s the key to success with any project, and it’s doubly true when it comes to installing vinyl siding, soffit, trim and accessories. If you use the right materials and the right tools in the right order, you’ll complete remodeling and new home installations in less time, with less effort, and with far greater satisfaction. Since you’re using CertainTeed products, you’ve already taken the first step toward success. CertainTeed sidings, soffit, trim and accessories provide premium quality, rugged durability and outstanding appearance. Quite simply, they’re made to look great—on the day they’re installed and for years after. The second ingredient of success —using the proper tools, techniques and procedures—is covered in this book. As you’ll see by scanning the table of contents, this book guides you through every step of the installation process, from estimating materials to attaching mailboxes and shutters.

Every major installation project is covered: horizontal; vertical, including Board & Batten; soffit and fascia; porch ceilings; and decorative trim. Where various approaches to a particular installation procedure are possible, the book presents practical alternatives. To make the instructions as detailed and complete as possible, hundreds of illustrations accompany the text. As you’re reading—and while you’re working—keep in mind the most important rule of thumb for successful installation: allow for movement. All vinyl siding, soffit and accessories used in exterior applications must be able to move freely as they expand and contract with temperature changes. 




CertainTeed provides quality vinyl siding and accessories that are backed by one of the industry’s best warranties. However, even the best products fall short of expectations if they are not installed properly. Following these ten recommendations—the basics of a professional installation—can help ensure a quality installation that fulfills homeowners’ expectations and reduces call backs.

1. Install all siding and accessories over a smooth, flat surface.

 Always install siding over a rigid sheathing, and never install it over open studs

2. Vinyl siding is not a watertight material.

 Install a weather-resistant barrier, like CertainTeed CertaWrap, and flash around all windows and doors before installing vinyl siding and trim.

3. There are three recommended ways to cut vinyl siding:

For rip cuts, score the panel with a knife or vinyl blade and bend the panel back and forth. Use aviation snips or shears to fit panels around windows and doors. For cross cuts, use a circular saw with a plywood blade in the reverse position.

4. Leave room for expansion and contraction

 Always leave room for expansion and contraction into receiving channels like outside cornerposts, inside cornerposts, and J-Channel. If the temperature is above 40°, leave 1/4"; if the temperature is below 40°, leave 3/8"

5. installing horizontal vinyl siding panels

When installing horizontal vinyl siding panels 12' 6" in length or shorter, overlap the factory notches 1" to 1-1/4" (depending on the temperature).

6. Always nail in the center of the nail slots

6. Always nail in the center of the nail slots: 16" on center for siding; 8" to 12" for accessories.


Always leave 1/8" to 1/16" between the nail head and the wall surface to allow for movement when the panel expands and contracts.

8. Hang vertical accessories from the top of the top nail slot. 

If the accessory is longer than 12', hang it from the top two nail slots.

9. Lap away from the highest traffic pattern, typically the front of the house. 

Keep laps at least 3' apart from course to course, and install three courses between laps above each other.

10. Finish the last piece 

Finish the last piece of siding into utility trim or dual utility trim.