Vinyl siding is made of polyvinyl chloride or PVC. It is the most popular maintenance-free material for new construction siding. Found in a variety of colors at major home improvement stores, the easy-to-manage material makes installing vinyl siding a moderately easy, do-it yourself project. The right tools will help the job go smoothly.
Steel Tape Measurer
A tape measure is needed to estimate the amount of vinyl siding material needed to complete the job. In feet, measure the perimeter (P) around the house, the height from the bottom of the siding to the eaves (EH). Multiplying the perimeter by the height gives the main square footage.
P x EH = Main SF
A tape measure is also necessary to measure the length of each vinyl panel during installation.
Mason’s Line Level
Find the lowest corner of the house using a mason's line level. Measure up from that corner the distance specified by the vinyl siding manufacturer and snap a level chalk line all around the house.
Made of flat steel or aluminum, a carpenter's square is the ideal tool to mark a straight edge for cutting.
Felt Tip Pen
A felt tip pen is needed to mark the measured pieces. Unlike a ball point pen or pencil, the felt pen will leave a visible mark on the vinyl.
Tin Snips are used to easily cut the vinyl panels to the correct length. Use the snips with a red handle if right handed and green if left handed. A hand saw is also used to cut panels, however, tin snips offer more control and work well for vinyl siding. Utility knife – Used to score a vinyl panel horizontally where a whole panel is not needed like under a window. Mark the section to notch out. Score with the utility knife horizontally. Snap the piece for a clean edge.
Snap Lock Punch
Use a vinyl snap lock punch to dimple panels where they are pressed into the utility trim. The snap lock punch will secure the vinyl siding and skirting to the finished trim at the top of the wall or underneath a window.
The unlocking tool is a flat steel hook used to grasp the bottom edge of the bottom edge of the vinyl panel and peel it away from the panel beneath. This tool is needed to remove or replace a vinyl side panel.
All vinyl siding panels are nailed in with a hammer. Drive nails straight in the center of the nail slot and never nail any piece tightly. Pieces must slide from side to side or the finished product will warp due to expansion and contraction.
Nail Hole Slot Punch
A nail hole slot punch creates slots in cut panels. If necessary, it is also used to elongate a nail hem slot to allow for expansion and contraction
Monica Dorsey began her writing career in 2001, authoring career and college advice articles online and in print. Her work has appeared in publications such as "Philadelphia Metro,” "Collegebound Magazine” and PC&U publications.