Installing Vinyl Siding on Stucco

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Vinyl siding changes the appearance of any home.
Vinyl siding changes the appearance of any home. (Image: Michael E Whicker)

When you finally tire of trying to make that stucco on the house look great, you tire of the annual power washes or you just want a change, then it's time for vinyl siding on the stucco. You can actually install it yourself. It takes some time, but the results are worth the effort.

Things You'll Need

  • SDS rotary hammer with wide chisel bit (optional)
  • Hammer
  • Wood boards
  • Nails
  • Level
  • Tape measure
  • Weather barrier (optional)
  • Chalk line
  • Large-bladed tin snips
  • Smaller aviation snips
  • Circular saw fitted with a fine-toothed blade (optional)
  • Ladders

Assess the stucco. If the stucco is crumbly and in extremely poor shape, you might consider removing it. Use either a hammer with the widest cold chisel available or an SDS rotary hammer with the biggest chisel bit available. This saves your body from a lot of stress.

Strip it out if your stucco is in good repair. Stripping it out is a term for putting boards all the way around the house at 16-inch intervals. Before you begin, make sure the walls are level. A level surface is important to the success of siding. If your walls aren't level, adjust the height of the boards with shims to make them level.

Start with the flashing and a weather barrier, if you use one, before you begin. Flashing stops the flow of water where the siding butts up against adjoining material. Use the flashing and type of nail that the manufacturer recommends.

Install the accessories. Start by installing the corner posts, window flashing, trim and J-channels. If you're going to paint the trim, do that now, before you put on the siding or accessories. Use a level on each.

Begin the starter strips. Make certain that the siding starts level. To do this, mark a point on the wall where you want the siding to start. Measure up 1/4 inch less than the starter strip's width and mark the spot by pounding in a nail. Tie a chalk line to the nail, level it out with a 4-foot level and snap the chalk line. Continue around the house until you complete all lines for the starter strips.

Nail or screw the siding down loosely. You need to allow the vinyl siding to slide so it can expand and contract freely. The same is true of the accessories like the J-channels.

Vary the seams on the siding by alternating the short pieces on each end in different rows.

Tips & Warnings

  • Always wear protective gear when removing stucco or cutting and installing the siding.

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