A step-by-step guide to installing composite siding on your house

If you've decided to install composite siding on your home, you have a number of options available to you. Professional installation, hiring an experienced composite siding contractor to do the work and provide the materials, will allow you to count on a pro to get the job done right. However, since composite siding prices can be high, you might be motivated to try your hand at installing it yourself after hearing the professional composite siding estimate.

QualitySmith is a great resource for homeowners who want to save time and money by acting as their own contractor for the job. The installation itself isn't overly complicated, and can be broken down into just two steps: preparation and installation.

composite siding

Install composite siding

Preparing your home for new siding may not be too complicated, but it is extremely important to get it right. A serious mistake at this stage has the potential to curse the entire project with delays, false starts and ultimately inferior results. The first thing you need to do is wrap your entire house with a good vapor barrier. This will keep out water and other unwelcome elements, which is essential if you want your siding to last longer than a few seasons.

Next, you'll locate all of the studs in your exterior wall and mark them with a chalk line. This will come in handy during the next step, which includes nailing furring strips on the top of each wall. To attach the furring strips to the wall, put a single nail in each stud. You'll also want to install the trim boards at this stage. Install a second row about a quarter-inch below the first, and continue installing boards all the way down the wall.

With the preparation complete, you're ready to install a row of siding. Nail the siding down directly on top of the furring strips, and then apply a bead of caulk at the joints around the corners to keep out moisture. Starting at the bottom of the wall and working your way up to the top, repeat this process with the rest of your strips. You'll need to trim the top row to fit, and you'll probably have to trim the pieces at their edges to fit horizontally as well. Use a diamond-tipped circular saw, and measure the cut to leave an eighth of an inch free at the ends. This gap will be filled with your corner pieces and sealed with caulk.

Home improvement projects are often elaborate and time-consuming headaches. They can be expensive, and they can bring the additional stress of entrusting your home to a stranger who's handling the work for you. The good news about a do-it-yourself installation of composite siding is that the job is definitely within the reach of almost any homeowner. Furthermore, the DIY approach not only saves you money but adds to the pride of home ownership.