Exterior Material

How to Install Vinyl Siding

How to Install Vinyl Siding

Follow our expert guide on how to install your vinyl siding!

Vinyl siding is a great, cost-effective alternative to wood clapboard and provides weatherproofing and decoration to the exterior of your home. Vinyl siding also adds insulation to your home, saving energy in both hot and cold climates. It is low cost, low maintenance, and durable as they do not corrode or peel.

It’s no wonder vinyl siding has become one of the leading choices in recent years! The various options in style and low maintenance make it a stunning choice for the exterior of your home.

If you want to install vinyl siding to the exterior of your home, you will need to know what tools to buy and how to install vinyl siding. Our guide is designed to clue you up so that you can easily install your new vinyl siding. Let’s start with getting you the right equipment…

Tools Required

You will need to be stocked up on all the right tools before you start. Check out the HB Elements video for the required tools to get to know what you’re looking for.

Folding Ruler

This can be used to measure your vinyl siding panels for any incisions that need to be made for windows and doors.


You will need a square to make sure you have installed your corner posts at the correct angle.

tape measure

A tape measure is needed to measure the length of walls, windows, and doors.


You will need a level for drawing a level chalk line where your starter panel should be.


A screwdriver will be necessary for tightening any screws needed for your siding panels and corner posts.

Claw Hammer

A claw hammer will allow you to fix paneling and corner posts to the walls, and the claw will help you remove nails if you make an error.

Hack Saw

A hack saw is a handheld saw you can use for cutting the siding panels. It’s best to use another saw if you are working in cold weather to avoid splintering and cracks.

Marking Pen

You will need a marking pen to draw the angle of the gable onto your template siding piece. You will also need it to mark where incisions should be made for windows.

Plumb Line

A plumb line is used to get the proper angle with a vertical line.


Pliers are a useful tool in any DIY endeavor. Here they can be used to bend the bottom pieces of your corner posts and round them off.

Utility Knife

You will need a utility knife to trim and score the material before cutting.

Tin Snips

Tin snips will speed up the cutting and shaping of J channel, utility trim, and vinyl siding panels.

Line Chalk

Line chalk is needed for drawing the line for starting the vinyl siding starter strip.

Power Saw

A power saw or circular saw can be useful for your siding project if you are in a cold environment, as this can cause your vinyl siding to splinter and crack when cut.

Hand Saw

The hand saw, much like the hack saw, will be useful for cutting the vinyl panels. This saw is also not optimal for cold climates as it can cause cracking and splintering.

Nail Slot Punch

The nail slot punch tool will help you to punch wide holes for elongating nail holes in vinyl.

Snap Lock Punch

The snap-lock punch tool will punch holes in the vinyl siding for edges that have been cut to fit a window or the top of a wall.

Unlocking Tool

An unlocking tool, also known as a zip tool, will help you to remove pieces of vinyl siding with minimal damage.

Corrosion Resistant Fasteners

Corrosion-resistant fasteners, such as corrosion-resistant nails and staples, should be in aluminum or galvanized steel.

Safety Gear

You will need to ensure you wear glasses, tie your hair back, and remove loose clothing and jewelry before starting this process. Read more about personal protective equipment you may need to ensure your safety.

How to Install Vinyl Siding

How To Install Vinyl Siding

Step 1 – Estimate How Much Vinyl Siding Is Needed

Before installing vinyl siding, measure the height and width of the exterior walls of your entire house using a tape measure. Once you have these figures, multiply the height by the width to work out the square footage of each wall.

Then, add all of the walls’ square footage together. This will give you the total square footage you need to cover with your vinyl siding.

Since vinyl siding is sold by the square, which is equivalent to 100 square feet, you will need to divide your square footage by 100 to get the number of vinyl siding squares you need to order.

Step 2 – Prepare The Wall Surface

Clear any shrubbage or blockages to the area you wish to work on. Then, determine if you have sturdy flat surface backing for your walls or not. If not, add some foam board cladding.
Once you have a sturdy surface, hammer in some house wrap or roofing felt, and flash the corners to waterproof your surface and act as a moisture barrier.

If you are applying vinyl over old siding, nail down loose boards and remove any rotting wood. Remove any protrusions, such as light fixtures, and seal cracks. Then, board over the old siding and check for evenness.

Step 3 – Place Inside Corner Posts

When placing your inside corner posts, you will need to put them 3/4″ below your starter strip and 1/4″ short of the eave. You will need to use specially shaped corner posts for vinyl siding installation. All of these requirements are necessary to accommodate for expansion and contraction due to temperature changes.

Use a plumb line so you can hammer the nailing hem in at the proper angle. Hammer the nail head into the top of the nailing slots so that the posts hang from the nails. Never hammer them in tight.

Step 4 – Place Outside Corner Posts

Once you have done the inside corner posts, you will need to secure the outside corner posts. Use your squaring tool to ensure that you are hammering the outside posts in at the proper angle.

If more than one piece of post is needed, trim 1″ of the nailing flange on the top piece so that the top piece overlaps the bottom piece by 3/4″ when placed together.

Step 5 – Install Vinyl Siding Starter Strip

Draw a chalk line at the lowest point to be sided. This chalk line is for the start of your vinyl siding. Then, align the top of your starter strip with the chalk line. Leave a 1/4″ gap between adjacent pieces of the starter strip and where the strip meets the corner post.

Step 6 – Install Window Flashing

You will need to install under sill trim before installing the window. Do this by using window trim wrap. Remove the membrane, place it along the window sill, rub it down, stretch it over the wall and rub it down. Then use a roller to rub it further down.

If your window is installed, you will want to use window trim wrap strips to flash the side and top edge of the window. You should never flash underneath your under sill trim, as this limits the possibility of drainage.

Cover around the window, with the strips, flush to the sides and top edge of the window, but not the under sill trim, covering the nailing film. Then smooth out with your hands and use a roller.

Step 7 – Install J Channel Around Window and Doors

Wherever siding will have to go around windows and doors, you must put J-channel around it.

Get measurements of the sides of your windows and doors, and cut your J-channel accordingly. Cut each side of the J-channel, and then fold to snap.
Then, nail the J channel flat to the wall around your exterior doors, but do not nail them in tight.

Step 8 – Finish The Corners

Snap the quarter-round corner inserts into your corner posts. Start from the bottom, pressing until they click into place.

If you have a super corner, a.k.a a one-piece corner, this step is not necessary.

Step 9 – Installing Vinyl Siding Panels

Lock the first panel into the starter strip, and then slide it over to meet the corner post. Nail your strips in with nails 16″ apart at most. Nail the center of the panel first, working your way outwards.

When you are moving up your wall, nailing in your pieces, you should be making checks that your new siding is lined up perfectly and that your panels can move.

When it comes to windows and doors, cut your pieces to fit the corners and slide them into the utility trim on the J-Channel.

Step 10 – Finish The Top Course Around Gable

Measure the desired height of the last panel, and trim your siding so that it will slot into place. Install the J-Channel and trim to the top side, and then install the top siding panel, ensuring that it locks into the previous one.

For gables, make sure a water-resistant barrier, such as house wrap, has been installed.

To cut your pieces so that they line up with the angles of the gable, you will need to place one piece at the bottom of the gable and line it up with a piece laying at the angle of the gable.

Then, mark the angle into the horizontal piece, and trim it. This will be your template to ensure all your vinyl siding installation lines up with the angle.

The last piece must be face-nailed. You can then add vinyl soffit paneling to the underside of the roof here or replace the existing soffit with a vinyl soffit for a refreshed look!

How to Install Vinyl Siding

In Summary

Your vinyl siding is relatively simple to set up. If you follow these steps carefully, you should have accomplished a perfectly fitted vinyl siding installation. If you’re thinking of completing your vinyl panels with some extras, you may want to look into HB ELEMENTS.

HB ELEMENTS can create millwork and molding for your vinyl exterior and provide you with finishings to complete your look, such as brackets, rafter tails, soffit ceilings, and columns. Don’t miss out on completing the architecture of your home with these features for a stunning finish.