Vinyl Siding Tools Article
Some less common tools that make the installation of vinyl siding easier and more professional include:
- Power Saw - Power saws can speed up the cutting of vinyl siding. It is best to use a fine tooth blade (12 to 16 teeth per inch) that is installed in the reverse direction (setting up a saw blade in the reverse direction should only be used for vinyl and never any other type of material). A hand held power saw, bench or radial-arm power saw will all speed up the process, but some types of siding are best cut with a hand held power saw. In cold weather, the saw should be used slowly when cutting the vinyl siding to prevent chipping or cracking.
- Utility Knife, Scoring Tool, or Tin Snips - These tools make it easy to cut, trim, score or shape vinyl siding.
- Unlocking Tool or Zip-Lock Tool - This tool helps to remove a panel of vinyl siding. The curved end of the tool is inserted under the panel and hooked onto the back lip of the butt lock. By pulling down on the lock and sliding it along the panel, the lock is disengaged and the panel can be removed. To relock a panel, a similar procedure is used with the same tool.
- Nail Hole Slot Punch - This tool can elongate a nail hole slot to allow for expansion or contraction.
- Snap Lock Punch - This tools punches lugs in the cut edges of vinyl siding which are used at the top or finishing course under a window or at the top of a wall.
In addition to the actual panels of vinyl siding, some of the materials and accessories that are also needed to successfully complete a vinyl siding installation include:
- Sheathing or Backerboard - Vinyl siding should never be applied directly to studs without a sheathing that provides a smooth, flat surface upon which the vinyl siding is attached. Some styles of vinyl siding can be installed over specific types of contoured foam underlayments or backerboards, but with some vinyl siding configurations, the use of drop-in backers in not recommended. It is best to consult with local building codes to determine sheathing and backerboard requirements.
- Weather Barrier - After the sheathing or backerboard, a weather resistant barrier should be used to stop the infiltration of water. As with the sheathing, it is best to check with local building codes regarding the requirements for weather barriers under vinyl siding installations.
- Flashing - Flashing should be applied around windows, doors, any other openings, inside and outside corners and the intersection of any walls with roofing, to prevent the infiltration of water under the vinyl siding. Flashing is used in conjunction with the weather barrier to prevent water from seeping through into the home.
- Inside and Outside Corner Posts - These provide a finished edge to the inside or outside corners. Channels within the post have openings to accommodate the siding from adjoining walls to neatly finish off the corner. Corner posts come with channels of various widths to fit different types of siding.
- Finish molding and trim - There are numerous materials and accessories that provide a finished look to a vinyl siding installation. These include items such as starter strips, trim, molding, drip caps, F- channels and J-channels. Although these items may not be required to install vinyl siding, they result in a much more professional look.
Having the proper vinyl siding tools, materials and accessories help to ensure that your vinyl siding installation goes as smoothly as possible and results in a professional looking job.