Vinyl Siding Accessory Installation

Vinyl siding accessory installation is important to maximize the life of your siding accessories. Find out more about how to install your favorite siding accessory. If you missed our first article, please refer to our primer on vinyl siding accessories.

“Many siding accessories actually need to be installed before the siding panels, which is why they are so important. You will need to install the J channels, starter strips, window flashings, and corner posts before the siding panels.”

Vinyl Siding Accessory Installation: The Starter Strip

Step 1
Installing The Starter Strip: The only way to securely install your siding in a level fashion is to use a starter strip at the lowest part of the wall. Begin by locating the lowest part of the wall, and make a chalkline 1/4 of an inch above the width of the starter strip. Make sure that this line is perfectly level.

Step 2
Use the chalkline to install the top edge of the starter strip, and nail it every 10 inches. Make sure to leave enough room for corner posts, J channels and other important siding accessories.

Step 3
While not exactly a separate step, make sure to leave at least ¼ of an inch for the starter strips to expand. And if you plan to use additional installation or backerboard, you will need to accommodate the thickness of these materials and space your starter strip the appropriate distance from the side of the building.

Step 4
Place nails in the center of the starter strip nailing slots and install it all around the side of the building.

Installing Soffits Siding Accessories

You need to make sure that your vinyl siding has a small amount of space when nailing it to the side of your building, because vinyl contracts and expands as the temperature changes. Keep in mind during the installation process that you should be leaving at least 1/32 of an inch in between the siding and the side of the building. This is not much, but it allows the siding to hang from the house, giving it room to move.

Soffits are one siding accessory that you cannot avoid installing. Here is a basic walkthrough of the installation process.

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Step 1
Measure. Before you can install the soffits, you have to know how big the eaves are. Then cut the soffit boards to the proper length using a circular saw.

Step 2
Wrap the soffit boards. Be careful to wrap the soffit boards carefully along the edges of the undersides of the eaves and then nail them into place at the predrilled slots.

Step 3
At the end of a length of soffit board, cut the end at a 90 degree angle to create a neat joint for a perfect corner.

Step 4
If you are trying to install soffit siding accessories on eaves that are wide or flat, you will need to use J channel trims and install the soffits on a 45 degree angle. Begin at a corner to give a proper transition to the soffit.

Step 5
Install the fascia boards. You will need to remove the gutters first, because the fascia board must run beneath the gutters. When you hang the gutters, make sure to use as few nails as possible to prevent leakage of water.

Step 6
You are now ready to start installing other siding accessories, such as trim pieces and corner caps.

Installing Corner Post Siding Accessories

Step 1
You will need a water resistant material to flash the outside and inside corners at least 10 inches before installing the corner post.

Step 2
Place the inside or outside corner posts. Make sure to allow a ¼ inch gap between the posts and the soffits.

Step 3
Position nails at the top slots of each side of your corner posts. Like with installing the siding, leave a small gap for the vinyl to expand and contract with the weather. Begin nailing the corner posts every 10 inches or so.

Step 4
Make sure your post extends almost an inch past the starter strip.

Finally, if you need to use more than one length of either kind of corner post, you will need to cut away the top inch of the nailing end of the top piece. Overlap the pieces about an inch, which will prevent water from seeping beneath your vinyl siding.

Vinyl siding accessory installation requires much more than just the pieces of board siding. You need to make sure you have all of the necessary siding accessories required to properly complete the installation. Afterwards, you can also choose some decorative siding accessories to complete the look of your home.

Related Topics

Siding Terminology
How To Install Vinyl
Proper Cleaning
Vinyl Siding Accessories