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Four Common Mistakes Do-It-Yourselfers Make When Trying To Install Vinyl Siding

Vinyl siding is one of the most popular siding options for homes and for good reason. It's relatively inexpensive in comparison to other options, it looks good, it comes in many colors, and it's easy to care for. It's also easy to install if you are a skilled do-it-yourselfer with intermediate or advanced skills and aren't afraid of some research, hard work, and heights. However, there are common mistakes many people who try to do the job themselves make. Here's a look at four of them.

Choosing The Least Expensive Vinyl Siding

For some building supplies, such as nuts and bolts, it can make sense to buy the cheapest option that will do the job. However, the least expensive siding is rarely the best option. This vinyl siding probably doesn't have an insulated backing. This is important both for the extra structural strength as well as the insulation properties.

Additionally, if you live in a hot, sunny climate, inexpensive vinyl siding will fade much faster than a better counterpart. In an extremely cold environment, the siding will be more likely to crack. If you're trying to stick to a tight budget, choose a mid-range vinyl siding rather than the cheapest one. You won't be saving money if you just have to repair it and replace it sooner.

Improperly Nailing The Siding

Vinyl is a material that will expand in the summer heat and contract in cold of winter. When vinyl siding is installed, it needs to be done with this expanding and contracting in mind. It can't be too tightly or loosely nailed. It also needs to be positioned with a little bit headroom horizontally in between each piece. How tightly or loosely you nail depends on the temperature outside when you install it.

Using The Wrong Nails

Most of the time, the nuts, bolts, and other hardware you choose doesn't matter; other times, it matters a lot. Have you ever noticed a home with vinyl siding that has dirty streaks running down it every few feet? The cause of this unsightly siding job is caused by using the wrong nails. Galvanized steel or other corrosion-resistant nails need to be used.

Not Staggering Seams

It's natural to think if you place each piece of siding in the same position as the one above and the one below, you'll have fewer seams and it will look better. In reality, this will be more obvious. It will also increase the likelihood of water getting in behind the extended seams. This can lead to mildew, mold, and rot behind the siding. 

Unless you're extremely confident of your skills and are comfortable working on a ladder at potentially dangerous heights, siding your home is a job best left to a professional contractor. Let a contractor who does vinyl siding in your area know what your budget is, and they will help you choose the best option for your area and wallet.