Things You'll Need
Vinyl siding unlocking tool
Vinyl siding is a popular, economical building material. While vinyl siding affords a homeowner with a variety of beneficial features, strength is not one of them. The vinyl siding interlocks with itself to form a cohesive, protective shell around the house; but the panels themselves aren't very thick. You can't anchor exterior features directly to the vinyl siding panels. Instead, cut a hole through the siding and affix a mounting block to the underlying sheathing or framework of the house. Your exterior features are anchored to the mounting block and in turn, the structure of the house.
Disassemble the mounting block. The mounting block is sold in two pieces. The inside piece mounts to the structure of the house and the outside piece frames and trims the opening where the mounting block is nested into the siding and affixed to the house.
Place the inside piece of the mounting block on the siding and trace the outline onto the siding panels.
Cut the opening out of the vinyl panels. Depending on the location, you may need to use the siding unlocking tool to separate the panels. Use your tin snips and utility knife to cut away the excess vinyl.
Move the inside piece of the mounting block away from the wall and set whatever accessory you are anchoring onto it. Drill holes for your screws through the accessory and through the inside piece of the mounting block, using the cordless drill.
Set the inside piece of the mounting block back inside with the cut-out on the vinyl panel. Position the accessory over your previously drilled holes and then drive corrosion-resistant screws through the accessory, the mounting block, and into the underlying structure of the house.
Snap the outer piece of the mounting block onto the inner piece. The outer piece has a wider frame and will trim the opening to create a seamless look.
Robert Howard has been writing professionally since 2004 and writes a weekly column for the "Synthesis," a Chico, Calif.-based newspaper. He maintains a blog and has published articles and works of fiction in a variety of different print and online magazines. Howard holds a Bachelor of Arts in visual arts from the University of California, San Diego.