Vinyl siding is one of the few do-it-yourself types of siding. In addition to user-friendly installation, the product provides a maintenance-free exterior. Vinyl siding comes in 12-foot panels, with which you can quickly cover large wall areas; they’re also a snap to cut and fit in the small spaces around garage doors as well. The same rules apply in these restricted areas, and you’ll be amazed at how fast you can install the smaller pieces beside the doors once the first piece is in place.
Things You'll Need
- Stud finder
- Tape measure
- Chalk line
- Vinyl J-mold
- Vinyl corners
- Vinyl starter strip
- 2-inch roofing nails
- Chop saw (optional)
- Aviation snips (or tin snips)
Prep the Garage
Locate the wall studs beneath the boxing, which is the plywood exterior of the garage, with a stud finder and snap a chalk line over each stud. Standard studs sit 16 inches apart. The chalk lines will serve as nailing guides.
Install vinyl J-mold around the edges of the garage doors and windows. Measure from the top edge of the garage doorframe to a spot 3/4 inch below the edge of the boxing. Cut the J-mold to fit, and use 2-inch roofing nails at the rate of one nail every 8 inches to attach the J-mold.
Attach J-mold to the top of the garage door as well. J-mold comes in long strips and fits tightly beside all door and window frames, creating a groove which will conceal the cut edges of the vinyl siding.
Nail the vinyl corners in place. The corners should fit all the way to the top of the wall and extend to a spot 3/4 inch below the boxing.
Starter Strip and First Piece
Measure the space between the corner mold and the J-mold on one end of the garage wall. Whether you have one, two or more garage doors, this process will be the same. You’ll just do one space at a time.
Cut a piece of vinyl starter strip, with aviation snips, 1/2 inch shorter than the measurement and attach it with 2-inch roofing nails to the bottom of the wall between the corner and the J-mold trim. The bottom of the starter strip should be 1/2 inch below the bottom of the boxing. Insert one nail every 8 inches.
Cut a piece of vinyl siding the same length as the starter strip and install it above the strip. You can do this in one of two ways. If the space is large enough, you can bend the vinyl siding slightly to insert the cut ends between the J-mold and the vinyl corner. If the space is less than 12 inches wide, it’s too difficult to bend the siding, but you can insert the piece at the top of the space, between the J-mold and the vinyl corner and slide it down to the bottom.
Nail the siding in place over each chalk line with a 2-inch roofing nail but leave a 1/16 inch gap between the head of the nail and the boxing. Vinyl siding “hangs,” and if you nail it tightly, it will not have a smooth finish.
Install each additional small siding piece in the gap between the garage door and the corner in the same way you installed the first piece. Once the first piece is in, this goes quickly.
Side all the spaces between doors until you reach the top of the garage doors. Here, you’ll have to switch to long vinyl pieces.
Notch the bottom edge of a long vinyl strip to match the configuration of the top of your garage door. Installing this piece, which ties the siding together in a uniform design, requires careful measuring and notching.
Fit and nail the notched siding strip, which will interlock with the strip between the door and the corner. The notched part will be concealed by the J-mold you installed on the top of the garage doorframe.
Measure and install as many more long pieces as necessary to reach the top of the garage wall. Here, you will cut the top strip lengthwise to fit beneath the J-mold at the top of the wall.
Tips & Warnings
- When you’re siding a large garage, snap a chalk line from side to side when measuring for the bottom of the vinyl corners and the bottom of the J-mold to ensure that the bottoms of each siding area are even.
- Vinyl siding strips interlock and each the bottom of each new strip you install will snap onto the top of the previous strip. Check frequently to ensure that the strips are fully interlocked before nailing.
- If you don’t get the bottom of the siding level, the pieces won’t interlock smoothly when you reach the long piece at the top of the wall.
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