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Vinyl Siding Q's and A's

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Vinyl siding installation

 I want to side my home with vinyl siding, I'm a do-it-yourselfer but this is a pretty big job. Some questions I have, do I remove my existing cedar shake siding or just go over it? How big of a job is it really to do or should I leave it to a pro?

How game are you?? Installing vinyl siding can be a do-it-yourself job. Actually the siding part is relatively easy. The trim work is always the hardest part. If you can find an installer that will work with you, maybe you can do part of the job.

You generally install the siding right over your existing siding.

Look at your neighbor's or friend's house that is vinyl sided, and get an idea of what you need.

The corner pieces, the bottom edge, top edge, and the J channels around the windows and doors etc. Again the hard part will be the trim work. Look at the eaves and the fascia. I usually cover that with aluminum. You can rent a brake and do that part too, if you want to give it a try.

Installation directions

Can anyone direct me to a web site that gives detailed instructions about installing vinyl house siding?



Vinyl siding installed over other siding

I have defective hardboard siding which is warped and full of moisture. I'm looking for opinions on whether or not to tear the old siding off of the house or leave it when the vinyl is put on. Also is there a minimum thickness the vinyl should be?

Typically the vinyl is installed right over the existing siding. But that usually is if the present siding is structurally ok. I think you can cover it as long as it is not infested with termites/ants. The vinyl will stop any additional moisture damage.

The thickness is regulated by A.S.T.M D3679 and should be no less than .035 in thickness, premium siding product will measure 40 plus or minus .005.



Cutting Vinyl Siding?

We want to install a chimney and need to cut the existing vinyl siding in order to attach the two by four for the chimney framing. What is the best way to cut vinyl that is in place already ?

If there is nothing under there that will be affected, set your circular saw for a minimum cut and snap a line and run it up the line.

I have cut it with a utility knife, but I wouldn't try it on that job. The saw will give you a nice straight cut, just don't cut too deep, even if the blade only scores it on some sections, it will cut easier then with a knife.



Vinyl Siding in Terrible Color

I'm looking at a house to buy but it has the worst lime green vinyl siding. I don't know a lot about siding but I'm told that I have to live with the house being that color if I purchase it. Is there anyway to turn it into a "house of a different color"? If so, what would the cost of these solutions be?

You can paint vinyl siding. It is an option. Another option of course is to have it resided, this is a much more expensive option. I would recommend a good paint job.




Repairing Vinyl Siding

Three rows of exterior vinyl siding blew during a recent storm. What is the best way to start to replace it? From the top down or bottom up. Also, are there any tips regarding how to assure that it is positioned properly so that when I finish the third row it connects properly with the 4th row (which did not blow off the house)?

If you get each row latched in place you shouldn't worry about the final row mating up with the siding still attached, it should mesh ok.

Work up from the bottom. This is how it is installed originally. That way you can nail it in. The nails go in the top of each piece using wide headed nails like roofing nails. When you nail your pieces back in, nail in the center of the slot, and don't nail it in tight. Snug but not tight. You want the siding to be able to expand and contract, and the slot allows it to both. Place the siding's lower edge and slide it up till the lower lip latches with the upper lip of the piece below. You will have some trouble getting that last piece to latch withthe one above it. You can usually work it in, but I have saved a 16 penny nail I managed to bend just so, to help me slide them back together. They do actually sell a toll for this, but givve it a try without it.

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Broken vinyl siding

A small piece of vinyl siding was broken off so the wood underneath is exposed. (The siding has been discontinued, of course.) Luckily the broken piece is between a window and the corner of the house, so the whole piece is only about 8 inches long, half of it broken off. If I can get a scrap of similar interlocked siding and paint it to match, is it possible to remove the broken piece and install the new one without having to pull off all the pieces above it?

Yes. It takes a little doing to snap the new piece in place, but it can be done. The bottom of the piece will snap together easily with the one below. You will nail the new one in and then have to snap the one above into it.

Repairing siding

An 8 feet long piece of vinyl siding is hanging (from the bottom). I tried to resnap it into place but it continues to fall out. Is there a special tool I need? I have never worked with siding before, but I understand it should just snap into place especially since I am working on just the bottom piece. Any thought or should I just call a siding guy out to make this a permanent repair?

The proper tool for snapping it in is cheaper than the siding guy.. even though you may never use it again.

Actually.. the bottom piece is nailed in. and the piece above it snaps in to it. That may be why you keep having to do it.

So.. pull the one above it out a little and nail the loose piece back in again. The nailing strip runs across the top of the siding. You may or may not see the nails that were there originally. Use a wide head nail like a roofing nail. Don't nail it in tight.. leave it a little loose so it can expand and contract. Nail in the center of the slots. Then snap the one above it back into place again.



Vinyl siding tools and equipment 

Anyone out there who does siding for a living.  What are the tools I'd need to have if I was considering this as a possible part time job??


Tape rule-$15

speed sqaure-$10

framing square-$10

chalk line-$5

small snips-$20

big snips-$40

8 ft ladder-$100

24ft ladder-$225

32ft ladder-$300

4 sets of pump jacks-$100 per ($400)

4 sets stabilizers-$75 per ($300)

aluminum pick (plank)-$800

aluminum brake-$900

Pickup truck-$18,000

Ladder racks-$300

circular saw-$125

mitre saw-$350

table saw-$450

Truck mount tool box-$250

Liability insurance-$1200

pump jack poles-$1600 (aluminum)

crimp tool-$20

zip tool-$5


Figure on about $9000 if you already have a pickup...About $27,000 if you don't.. :-)



Rust on my siding

I have a problem with the sprinkler and the water in the area - I have vinyl (not sure if it is spelled right)siding - What would you tell me how to get it off.... Thank you for your time I will be looking forward to hearing from you!

Try a product called CLR (Calcium-Lime-Rust) available from most supermarkets and hardware stores.

How 2 clean vinyl siding (that was dirtied up by asphalt)

My friend's neighbors house got blasted by a lightning bolt and some of the asphalt went on their vinyl siding of their house. I was just wondering how they could fix it.

Try using paint thinner.

Cleaning rust off vinyl siding HELP !!!!!

I was watering my lawn & the sprinkler was left on for 5 hours. It was hitting the house & I am on a deep well that has very hard water. There is a rust stain on siding that looks very bad !. Any ideas to take it off. I have tried (TSP & bleach) & Armor-all vinyl siding cleaner. This did not help.

I'm a equipt mgr at a private country club. We use "orange cleaner" on everything for enviromental reasons. Best move I made. I use the un-deluted liquid. It takes the grass stains off the equipment,grease,everything. With a brush,it may work. Cheap,too.

If the orange oil based cleaner doesn't work, look for a product called "CLR" at your local hardware or discount store. It is designed for removing calcium, lime, and rust deposits. I have removed rust from a ceramic tub as well as my concrete driveway. Naval jelly would be another option and is also available at hardware or discount stores.


Aluminum vs. Vinyl Siding

We had some hail damage to our Aluminum siding. One of the contractors that came out said they no longer manufacture our siding (the 3" kind?) and he recommended replacing the entire house with Vinyl siding. What are the advantages of Vinyl vs. Aluminum? Do they really not make that 3" aluminum siding anymore? What about replacing the wood framing around the windows and doors with vinyl? .

Vinyl is final.
Yes cover all the wood with vinyl or aluminum flashing.. unless you love the wood look enough to want to paint it periodically.
Vinyl does last better, color wise than aluminum. It doesn't dent, however it can crack under the right circumstances.. Generally vinyl is the siding of choice.. Aluminum is still available, but if I was redoing it, I would go with vinyl.

Cedar vinyl siding

Do they make a vinyl siding that looks like wood cedar siding ?

I wish!!! I think they tried...oh well.


Removing vinyl siding

We're looking at purchasing a house and most of the ones we have seen have vinyl or aluminum siding, which I don't like. Can I remove the siding myself? Is vinyl siding destructive to the original wood siding?

If the house was RE-sided, with vinyl, there is probably wood siding underneath. But it will be full of nail holes (which you could fill if you are going to paint). But if the house has vinyl from new construction, then there is nothing under it but the plywood. In that case, you would remove it and install new wood siding from scratch.
The vinyl siding actually comes off very easy.

Vinyl Siding Removal

I had vinyl siding installed recently. The old asbestos shingles where removed, and some of tarpaper was damage in the process. My family room on the back of the house now has a water leak, where the cathedral ceiling butts to the back of the house. Of course, this guy isn't coming back! I need to remove the siding on the back wall above the family room to reinstall tarpaper over the flashing. Do I have to remove it from the top down? Can I go from the bottom up? As I recall, only the bottom piece of tarpaper was missing (the one that covers the flashing) before he covered it up. Do I need any spec or tools?

You only need to remove the siding that is in the area you will be working. The siding nails along the top edge, so it is easiest to install from the bottom-up, but if you reinstall up to the pieces that were left, you can resnap them together. It is a little tricky and they do sell a tool to do it, but I have managed with a nail bent over into a hook.

No special tools (other than that one, if you want to buy it) are necessary. The siding nails back in, the way you took it off. Leave the nail heads loose, and nail in the center of the slots, this allows the siding to move with the temperature changes. You shouldn't need the tarpaper however. I would look instead at the flashing and how it is worked under the shingles along the roof's edge. When vinyl siding is installed, often no tarpaper is used. But you do need flashing that runs up behind the siding and then under the shingles, with a shingle placed over that piece, then another piece then the next shingle and so on.

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