How to Put Up Siding


Installing siding on a house to prevent weather damage dates back to the colonial days. These wood planks have graced the exterior of buildings for decades to protect homes from rain, sleet, snow and sun. Siding has progressed over the years from plain wood to wood products and cement fiber. Manufacturers make siding out of metal, plastics, fiberglass and other types of cement products. Standard widths for siding are 4, 6, 8 and 10 inches. A standard length for a piece of prefabricated siding is 12 feet.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Chalk
  • 12-inch builders felt
  • 1/2-inch staples
  • Slap stapler
  • 1 1/2-inch starter strip
  • 8-inch siding boards
  • 7-penny nails
  • Hammer
  • Table saw
  • Caulking sealant
  • Measure the height and width of all the house walls, minus the measurement of the doors and windows, to estimate how much material you will need in linear feet. Take the measurements to any lumber yard and an employee will determine how much siding you need.

  • Weatherproof the walls. Staple a 12-inch builder's felt over all the house walls. Slide pieces of felt behind the corner boards and the casings around the windows and doors. Use 1/2-inch staples and a slap stapler.

  • Secure a 1 1/2-inch starter strip of siding above the water table on the house with 7-penny nails hammered into every other wall stud. Install the starter strip around the entire house perimeter.

  • Apply a full width siding board over the starter strip. Secure with nails hammered into the board across the top 1-inch below the edge. Continue until the first course is installed over the top of all the starter strips.

  • Install the second course of siding boards the same way you put up the first, with a 1 1/4-inch overlap. Mark and trim the siding boards with a table saw when you get to the windows and doors. Nail them up the same way.

  • Use a caulking sealant at all the corner boards to seal off any open seams. Also run a bead of caulking around all the doors and windows.

Tips & Warnings

  • Make yourself two hand held spacing jigs for proper spacing of your siding. Take a piece of plywood 4-by-8-inch. Glue and brad a 1-by-4-inch strip across the bottom of the ply. Attach a gate pole handle to the back. The handle can be as simple as a block of wood or a cabinet handle. Use the jigs, one on each side, to get the exact and correct spacing on each panel as you go up the wall.
  • Don't forget to install the moisture barrier to prevent moisture from getting through the siding and into the plywood, causing wood rot and mildew.

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