Before Doing Your Own Siding Installation

You’ve decided to buy siding for your home, but now you’re faced with the decision to install it yourself (and save money) or hire someone (and spend more money). If you’ve tackled some home improvement projects in the past, you might be tempted to DIY siding. When you’re on a budget, it sounds counter-intuitive to bring in a contractor, but it could end up costing less in the long run.

Many exterior finishing or siding companies base the cost of a siding installation on the complexity of the installation, the type of building (taking into account its height and size), and the type of siding material and other materials needed such as house wrap, nails, etc. This means that the price stated in the free estimate includes everything – you don’t have to purchase materials separately as you would if you did the siding installation yourself.

You will need to figure out:

  • what kind of siding you want for your home
  • how much siding you will need – factor in 10% more to accommodate miscalculations
  • how much the siding will cost
  • tools and equipment needed for the installation – if you DIY siding and your home is two or more storeys, you will need some kind of scaffolding or platform from which to work from.
  • if any permits/permissions are required
  • an installation plan including a scheduled time, number of helpers, etc.

Other things to consider are:

  • adding house wrap over the sheathing (found between the exterior wall and the siding) as an extra layer of protection from any moisture that might get in behind the panels
  • if this is your first DIY siding project, have at least one person on your helpers-team that has done a siding installing from start to finish
  • tricks of the trade that will help you end up with a siding installation that looks professional – you will want to be aware of things like hammering in nails to leave room for expansion and contraction; overlapping joints in such a way they won’t be as noticeable; and how to cut different types of siding material to reduce the risk of cracking or shattering panels

Depending on the type and complexity of the installation, a siding crew can typically install your siding in one day or less. A siding professional will also be able to deal with any unexpected situations that arise, and alert you to any potential problems that need immediate attention.