How to Install a Vinyl Siding Starter Strip

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Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure

  • Pencil

  • Hammer

  • 1 1/2-inch galvanized nails

  • String

  • Level

  • Chalk line

As its name implies, a starter strip is one of the initial steps during the installation of vinyl siding. You attach the bottom of the first row of siding to the top of this starter strip. For the remaining vinyl siding panels to be installed correct and level, beginning with the lowest row, you must install the starter strip correctly. Remember to make sure the sheathing is smooth before you apply the siding so the siding can be smooth also.


Step 1

Locate the lowest possible corner that has sheathing. Hold a tape measure against the exterior wall, and travel around the house to locate the lowest corner.

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Step 2

Measure a spot that is 1 1/2 inches above the bottom edge of the sheathing at this lowest point, using a tape measure. Mark the spot with a pencil.


Step 3

Drive a nail partially into the marked spot, using a hammer.

Step 4

Wrap a string around the nail, and run the string to the opposite corner of the wall. Use a level to make sure the string is level, and partially drive in a nail at the same level as the first nail, only on this corner. Use a hammer and nail. Repeat this process around every corner of the house.


Step 5

Extend a chalk line from nail to nail. Snap a chalk line between the nails, working around the entire house.

Step 6

Measure the widths of inside and outside corner posts of the walls, using a tape measure.


Step 7

Make a measurement, using the tape measure, allowing for the width of the corner post, plus an additional 1/4 inch, from the corner. Position the end of a starter strip at this point. Place the top edge of the starter strip along the chalk line.

Step 8

Drive a nail in the center of the starter strip's nailing slots, every 10 or 12 inches, using a hammer. Keep the nail heads 1/32 inch, or about the thickness of a dime, out from the vinyl, instead of driving them in tight.


Step 9

Add additional starter strip sections along the wall, and around the entire house, installing nails in the same manner as with the first strip. Measure and install 1/4 inch gaps between the ends of each strip, to allow for expansion, using the tape measure.


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