If you're planning to install siding, preparation is probably the single most important aspect of the job. Believe it or not, a huge percentage of siding issues that appear years after the installation can be traced to improper preparation! The exterior surface you will be installing the siding over will, of course, play a very important role in your siding preparation steps. Here are a few things to think about regarding preparation for siding installation, and a few helpful tips about siding products and the various surfaces they can cover.
Vinyl Siding Preparation
When installing vinyl siding, preparation is a matter of insulating as well as smoothing the surface over which the vinyl panels will be installed. Though some vinyl siding products are backed with an insulating material, many are not, so it is extremely beneficial to fill in any cracks that may allow heat transfer with caulk. When dealing with a material that expands and contracts as much as vinyl, preparation for siding installation is obviously going to involve some very careful measurements. Protuberances like dryer vents and window and door trim should be put into place before the siding is installed, and care should be taken to allow a bit of wiggle room so the expansion and contraction of the panels doesn't cause the installed siding to bow or buckle.
Surface Preparation for Siding with Wood
When dealing with wood siding, preparation is typically focused on identifying (or in some cases, creating) an appropriate base to nail the siding pieces into. Since wood siding can be anchored with nails into your wall studs, there is very little preparation involved when installing horizontal wood siding. Preparation is far more involved when installing wood siding panels vertically, which may be one reason why horizontal siding jobs are far more popular.
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Preparation for Siding a Masonry Wall
One of the most daunting variations of siding preparation is the preparation for siding a masonry wall. Because it would be rather tedious and difficult to put each anchoring element directly into a brick or stone wall, the installation of furring strips to which the siding can be more easily fixed is generally the most effective solution. Siding manufacturers often have specific instructions for installing their products on masonry surfaces, as well as specific surface preparation requirements for this situation.
Professional Preparation for Siding Installation
An experienced siding contractor will typically understand the process of siding preparation backwards and forwards. However, expecting a contractor who specializes in vinyl siding installation to put on your new wood siding is often unrealistic. All siding materials have their own distinctive properties, and the preparation and installation of these materials reflects each products unique characteristics.
One of the best things you can do as a homeowner looking to install any cladding material is to get quotes from multiple companies in your area. Not only is this likely to give you a better idea of how much your project should cost, it will also give you the chance to ask questions about the materials each company is most comfortable installing.