Thinking DIY For Your Vinyl Siding Installation? Think Again!

Thinking DIY For Your Vinyl Siding Installation? Think Again!

It can’t be that hard, can it? You watched an episode of your favorite home renovation TV show and you know what to look out for. You’re confident that they covered all the bases, but still you did your own research, just to be sure, and the YouTube videos all made it look like child’s play — one guy even whistled while he worked.

You found a reputable vinyl siding manufacturer, picked a color, and have credit card in hand. You’re ready to start your DIY project!

But before going any further, consider the following. It just might save you a lot of time, money, and aggravation.

What Lies Beneath?

That old siding has gotten pretty ugly. But that’s only what you can see. Have you ever wondered what could be going on beneath the surface? Beauty isn’t the only thing that’s just skin deep.

Lift off that beat-up old skin and you might just find some rot. It can’t be covered up in the hopes that it will fix itself. What’s worse, you might not even know that you’re looking at something that needs fixing. Expert eyes with years of experience can spot things in an instant that a novice may not notice.

If carpentry work is required you’ll need to get that done before your new siding is installed, instead of discovering a year or two later that a problem has grown to hair-raising proportions.

Would you know what to fix or how? While you look for answers and expertise, your siding project has suddenly suffered an unexpected delay. Or if you were too eager to complete it and overlooked important repair work, you’ve set yourself up for more expense and aggravation later.

Tools You Must Use

Notice we haven’t even gotten to the part where you install the siding? Well, we still aren’t there yet.

Imagine the boxes of siding have been delivered and they’re sitting in your driveway. Now what? It’s like a gigantic puzzle and all the pieces are sitting in neat and tidy bundles. But unlike the jigsaw variety, this one is really big. You will need more than your hands and a humble hammer. You might also need …

A square, chalk line, level, tape measure, fine-tooth hand saw, power saw, utility knife, electric drill, tin snips, snap lock punch, nail hole slot punch, unlocking tool, fasteners, staples, safety glasses …

And a break. No, not the kind you take when you’re tired. This kind of break is an expensive piece of equipment that bends metal to conform to the shape of your trim. It comes in a variety of sizes to suit your needs, but you’re not likely to ever use it again anyway. So, add that to the rental fees you’ll have to pay, or be prepared to pay someone to bend your metal.

You might quickly decide the cost of buying, renting and figuring it out on your own outweighs the cost of hiring a pro who has the right tools to do the job properly in the first place.

Never Underestimate The Secrets Of The Trade

Experts always make their work look easy, don’t they? Watch them closely and you start to see just how much they know without realizing that they know. For them, it’s as natural as breathing.

Consider that each town or city often has its own rules and regulations. One may require a permit for a major renovation like vinyl siding installation, while another won’t even have it on their radar. An expert will know.

Consider that vinyl siding comes in a variety of thickness grades and while some leave an empty void between the panel and the wall surface, others provide an additional layer of foam backing. What kind of insulation do you already have installed? Should you install more? What about house wrap? An expert will know what you have and what you need.

Did you know that vinyl siding shifts, expands and contracts with temperature changes? If nailed in too tightly, the siding can buckle and create waves on your house walls, while too much movement can also create unattractive gaps between siding panels. It’s all avoidable, if handled correctly. There is a way to leave enough space between the nail and the surface, and add enough overlap to mitigate gaps. An expert will know.

Time To Install

Finally, we’ve gotten to the part that you’ve watched on YouTube: the install. This is when it’s supposed to be straightforward, right?

Not necessarily. Have you got help? How much time have you allotted for this project?

Even if you’ve addressed all of the above items successfully and you’ve made it this far, you could still be facing the combined hurdles of time and labor: too much time required and not enough labor to complete the job.

This is not a typical home improvement project that you can check off on your “honey-do” list in one weekend. A professional team with a full crew of experienced team members can take up to a week to complete the job to your specifications.

Remember, we all have a tendency to believe that we can do something more quickly than is humanly possible–our eyes are often bigger than our schedules. So ask yourself how much time you really want the installation to take, and then consider, honestly, how long it will take you to do it in between work, family, vacations, walking the dog and even setting aside an hour or two to sleep.

What About The Garbage?

TV and video experts don’t often share this part of the process, maybe because it isn’t pretty. But before you can put on the new, the old must be stripped off, and it has to go somewhere.

Try as you might, it’s highly unlikely that your municipal garbage service will be willing to take away your old siding.

Enter debris removal services. You’ve probably seen them on your neighbor’s front lawn during a renovation but, again, who really gives a dumpster a second thought? Now you need to, and it typically involves a rental cost. Depending on the area you live in, you may also have to pay additional fees to have the debris dumped, or even obtain permission to host a dumpster on your lawn.

There’s also the clean-up challenges post-installation. Professionals have the necessary equipment to scan and scour the surroundings of your home, ensuring that any stray scraps and sharp nails get picked up properly, rather than landing in a pet’s foot or a child’s curious hands.

There’s so much to consider when facing a project of this size. So, before you begin, it’s a good time to call an expert. Let’s talk. We’ll give you a free estimate and answer all of your questions.