Siding installation is offered both by shops selling finishing materials and specialized team of james hardie siding contractors. But you can do this work yourself if you read our instructions on how to sheathe a house with siding.
Calculation of the required material
A story about how to sheathe a house or an outbuilding with siding must begin with the calculation of the required finishing material. The easiest way to calculate is by using an online calculator on the websites of sellers of finishing materials. In the fields provided, you need to enter the results of measuring the finished facade of the house (excluding door and window openings) and the name of the collection (series) of siding. But using an online calculator gives only approximate values and has several features:
- The online calculator allows you to calculate only the number of basic accessories (H-profile, start and finish panels and other elements).
- The required number of special accessories (sheds, flexible J-profile, edging profile, and others) will have to be calculated independently.
- The names of the elements from the supplier may differ from those that you entered in the fields of the online calculator, so ask the supplier for the overall and mounting dimensions of the panels of the finishing material.
After completing the calculation, increase the result by 10%, which will slightly increase the price of finishing work, but it is necessary to take into account the costs associated with cutting and fitting panels.
Continuing the step-by-step instructions on how to properly sheathe a house with siding, it is necessary to mention the set of tools that you will use to install the finishing material. You will need:
- Plumb and level (electronic or water).
- Stepladder or ladder.
- A hammer.
- Tape measure or similar measuring tool.
- Hacksaw and scissors for metal.
If you will sheathe a brick, cinder block or concrete building with vinyl or other siding, then you will need a drill to drill holes for attaching a wooden crate. To speed up and facilitate the cutting of panels, we recommend using a grinder.
Waterproofing and wall insulation
The story of how to properly sheathe a house with siding, we continue with a list of the work necessary to prepare the walls. Preparation of the facade begins with the dismantling of decorative elements and hanging trim (lamps, gutters, and so on). Check the condition of the walls, especially if the building is built of wood, and strengthen (treat with specialized materials) and be sure to replace all rotting elements. Foam concrete walls are recommended to be treated using a deep penetration primer.
To facilitate the work, clear the area near the walls of the house at a distance of 1-2 meters. Eliminate anything that directly touches or is near the wall of the building (trees, bushes, drainpipes, lights, and so on).
Collection of crates
An important factor in the story of how to properly sheathe a building with siding is the installation of a wooden or metal crate. The rails can be installed both vertically and horizontally, subject to the following conditions:
- The guides are located perpendicular to the siding panels.
- For reliable fixation of the panels around the corners of the building, openings, at the installation sites of drains, lighting sources and other elements that load the finishing panels, additional rails are installed.
- The distance between the profiles should be in the range of 30-40 cm.
- When installing a wooden crate, use antiseptic-treated guides with a residual moisture content of up to 20% and dimensions of 60 × 40 mm.
For proper installation of the crate, you need to mark straight lines on each of the walls and get a closed loop as a result. The horizontality of the lines is controlled by the level. The next step is to measure the distance from the base to the line drawn at the corners of the building and find the minimum size. Having found the lower point, it is also necessary to draw a second line strictly horizontally. In the further list of works, this stage is necessary to prevent the panels from being skewed and to install the starting bar.
Guides are mounted using U-shaped brackets. To ensure a snug fit of the profile to the walls, it is recommended to place pieces of dense foam or wood between it and the walls. The level of verticality of the outer surfaces of all rails to which the panels will subsequently be attached should be checked.
After completing the installation of the guide elements, you proceed to install the panels directly. Their installation is extremely simple. To do it correctly, you need to insert the first siding into the starting profile and secure it to the battens. Subsequent panels are inserted from the bottom up and fastened with hardware to the frame. To ensure a tight connection of the panels, insert the bottom lock of the top panel into the lock of the bottom panel and push a little.
Skill in connecting siding panels is acquired quickly enough, and for a significant number of homeowners, finishing a medium-sized one-story building takes 1 day.
- Do not tighten the fasteners fixing the siding to the stop and leave about 1 mm from the hardware head to the surface of the siding. This will compensate for compression or heating, which respectively reduces or increases the length of the panel within 1%. Failure to follow this recommendation can lead to a violation of the integrity of the siding in excessively hot or cold weather.
- When choosing the length of fasteners, remember that they must enter the crate by at least 30 mm. The diameter of the caps of the self-tapping screws should not be less than 8 mm.
- Leave a gap between the guides and slats 8-10 mm. The gap size depends on the air temperature, and when working on a hot day, reduce the recommended gap. It is also recommended to protect the finishing material from the sun when cladding buildings with siding in the summer.
- Work on finishing the house with siding can be performed even in winter. However, on such days, be aware that when the air temperature is below -10 ˚C, the panels become more brittle, which can cause them to crack when cut. To minimize the risk, it is recommended not only to carry out the work with extreme caution, but also to use a mechanical tool, and to remove the panels before starting work so that they can “acclimatize”.
- When decorating old buildings with vinyl panels, there are usually no problems. If you are going to sheathe a newly built building, then wait until it settles. Otherwise, the finishing panels will certainly be deformed, and even increased gaps will not save the situation.
Numerous photos of sided houses have prompted many homeowners to choose this particular finishing material. If you follow this checklist, follow the manufacturer’s recommendations, and leave expansion gaps in the right places, your home will look as good as the ones the pros did.