Thursday, December 9, 2010

Installing Vertical Siding (Including Board & Batten)

Preparing Wall Surfaces
For the most part, the wall preparation instructions given for
horizontal siding also apply to vertical applications. The key
requirement, of course, is that you start with a smooth, level
and rigid substrate (plywood, wood composite, rigid foam or
fiber sheathing).
NOTE: Never install vinyl siding over open furring strips or
studs. Always check with your local building code official.
With vertical siding, however, you may have to complete an
extra step to provide solid nailing points along the vertical
edge of the siding panel. The need for this added step
depends on the type of substrate used and the nature of the
construction project.
With new construction or remodeling using plywood or wood
composite, there are no additional steps. You can nail into
plywood and wood composite substrates at any point as long
as you do not exceed 12" on center.
In new construction using rigid foam or fiber sheathing, you
must install solid wood nailer strips horizontally to studs
before applying sheathing. Use 1 x 3 wood furring positioned
12" on center.
When remodeling over existing wood siding, you must apply
rigid foam or fiber sheathing, shimming if necessary to create
a level surface.
When remodeling over brick, block, stucco or irregular wall
surfaces, apply furring strips horizontally to create a level
surface, then apply rigid foam or fiber sheathing. See “Tips for
applying wood furring” on pages 21-22 and “Applying over
stucco” on page 22. When reviewing the illustrations for those
sections, remember that furring strips must be applied
Marking a base line
The procedure is virtually the same as that described earlier.
However, instead of snapping a chalk line 2-1/4" above the
low point, snap it 1" above the low point.
NOTE: When installing vertial siding in high wind areas,
position the fasteners at the top two nail slots of the panel.
CertainTeed Vinyl Siding Installation Guide
SECTION 6 – Installing Vertical Siding (Including Board & Batten)
upper edge of topmost
nailing slot
1 x 3 furring
1/2" foam sheathing
center nail in slots
always position
topmost nail in
topmost full nail
slot with vertical
12" 12"
Install outside and inside cornerposts using dimensions and
procedures described earlier.
NOTE: Unlike the preparation for horizontal siding, do not
install a starter strip for vertical siding.
Top and Bottom J-channel
Snap a base line 1" above the low part of the house. Apply
J-channel along the top and bottom of the walls to receive the
siding panels.
Install the bottom J-channel (illustration 1a). Overlap
J-channels 3/4". To do this, cut out a 1" section of the
nailing flange and face return (see illustration 2).
If you prefer to use drip flashing with the J-channel along the
bottom of the wall, fabricate the lengths you’ll need from
aluminum coil stock of a color to match the siding (see
illustration 1b).
Install inverted J-channel along the top of the wall, under the
eave. Here again, leave a 1/4" gap between J-channel and
cornerposts. Overlap J-channels 3/4" to allow for expansion.
When positioning the upper J-channel, be sure to allow for
expansion of the siding panel. In most cases, position the
J-channel at a point equal to the length of the panel plus 5/8"
(1/4" for upper expansion and 3/8" for lower expansion).
If you’re going to install soffit, you may want to install the
receiving channels for the soffit at this point.
The illustrations show alternative approaches for installing
siding and soffit receiving channels.
CertainTeed Vinyl Siding Installation Guide
illustration 2
illustration illustration
1a 1b
If a wall requires more than one course of siding, you can
proceed in one of three ways:
Use two lengths of J-channel, back-to-back, at the joint
between the two courses (illlustration a).
Use a combination of one length of J-channel and one length
of drip cap (illustration b).
Use a double channel lineal and flashing where required.
If using J-Channel
Snap a chalk line parallel to the bottom J-channel, at a height
equal to the length of the lower panel plus an allowance for
expansion. For example, if the lower panel is 144" long and
you’re adding 1/2" for expansion (because the temperature is
above 40° F), you strike a line 144-1/2" from the bottom
J-channel. Nail inverted J-channels along this line to receive
panels from below. Leave a 1/4" gap between J-channel and
cornerposts. Overlap J-channels 3/4".
Prepare for the second course by applying head flashing
above the just-installed J-channel. Then nail J-channel over
the flashing to receive the upper panel.
NOTE: Some installers prefer to use formed aluminum
flashing in place of vinyl drip cap as the receiving channel
for the lower panel. This is also an acceptable approach.
J-channel at Gable Ends
Follow the procedure described earlier under the section
“Preparation for Horizontal Siding” beginning on page 20.
If using double channel lineal: Measure the length of the
lower panel, then add an allowance for expansion. Snap a
chalk line parallel to the bottom J-channel, at a height equal to
your measurement. Position the lineal so the interior peak of
the lower channel runs along the chalk line. Nail. Leave a
minimum 3/8" gap between lineal and cornerposts when the
ambient temperature is higher than 40°F. When the ambient
temperature is below 40°F, leave a 1/2" gap.
Where required, overlap lineals 1-1/4". Whenever lineals are
overlapped, you must insert flashing into the upper channel, or
provide additional means of flashing. Nail in place.
CertainTeed Vinyl Siding Installation Guide
aluminum flashing
(required if lineals
are overlapped) or
provide additional
means of flashing
drip cap
a b
Wall Panels
Follow the instructions described earlier under the section
“Preparation for Horizontal Siding” beginning on page 20.
Plan the panel layout
Correctly installed vertical siding should have a balanced
appearance. This means that if you were to draw a vertical line
down the center point of a wall, you’d have an equal number
of panels to the right and left. If you had to trim panels to fit,
the end-most panels would be of identical width.
To create this pleasing appearance, divide the space to be
covered by a partial panel over both ends of a wall. For
example, if a wall required 25 full panels plus 10", you would
rip cut two 5" lengths of panel to create the end pieces.
CertainTeed Vinyl Siding Installation Guide
Expansion and Contraction
In a vertical siding installation, most of the expansion is
downward. So instead of allowing equal space for expansion
at both ends of a vertical panel, leave more space at the lower
end: allow for 1/3 of the total expansion at the top of a panel
and 2/3 of the total expansion at the bottom.
For example, if the total expansion equals 3/4" (3/8" + 3/8"),
allow 1/4" at the top and 1/2" at the bottom. If the total
expansion equals 1/2" (1/4" + 1/4"), allow 3/16" at the top and
5/16" at the bottom.
NOTE: Always position top most nail at the top of the top
most full nail slot (2a). Center the remaining nails in the slots
(2b). When installing siding or accessories vertically, make
sure the bottom of the panel can expand downward without
Cut the first of the partial panels (if partial panels are
necessary). Mark the cut line by measuring from the nail hem
edge. Rip cut the panel. Do not cut off the nail hem. Use a
snap lock punch to create locking tabs along the cut edge.
Space the tabs 6" apart.
Before installing this partial panel into the outside cornerpost,
provide additional support at the cut edge (to compensate for
the locking channel that was trimmed off).
To do this, insert furring into the channel of the outside
cornerpost and nail it to the substrate. After furring, insert a
length of undersill trim into the cornerpost and nail it to the
furring. Finally, slide the cut edge of the panel into the undersill
trim, making sure to engage the snap locks (see illustration).
Using a level, make certain this panel is plumb. Nail every 12".
Follow the same nailing procedures described for horizontal
Install the next panel. Lock the panel into the preceding panel,
then nail every 12". Continue with succeeding panels.
When necessary, cut panels to fit around doors and windows.
When marking the cut, remember to allow for expansion.
The method used to install panels around doors and windows
is determined by the need to cut a panel and the position of
that cut.
If a cut was made next to a remaining V-groove, insert the
panel into the J-channel. If a cut removes the support provided
by a V-groove, use the procedure described above to provide
support for the trimmed edge.
To finish the first course of a wall, cut the final panel to size and
install it in an outside cornerpost, using the method described
NOTE: The cutting and supporting procedure described
above is also used when fitting panels into inside
CertainTeed Vinyl Siding Installation Guide
Installing Gable End Panels
When installing vertical or Board & Batten siding on a gable
end wall, you should try to create a balanced appearance.
There are two ways to do this:
You can start from the center of the wall and work toward the
sides. Begin by finding the center point of the wall (beneath
the peak) and draw a plumb line. Nail two lengths of Jchannel,
back to back, along this line. Be sure to flash
underneath the J-channel to help prevent water damage due
to water seepage between the J-channels. Cut the upper end
of the first panel to the proper height and slope. Remember to
allow for expansion.
NOTE: To guide the cutting of the upper end of the panel,
make a pattern duplicating the gable slope. (See page 55.)
Insert the panel into the J-channel along the gable slope.
Use a level to make certain the panel is plumb. Nail every 12".
Continue cutting and installing panels. Then repeat the
procedure on the remaining half of the gable end.
If you want to work from one end of the wall to the other,
begin by centering a panel under the center of the peak.
Mark the position of the panel on the wall, then measure
the distance from the left (or right) cornerpost to mark for
the left (or right) edge of the center panel.

If you need a partial panel, cut it and install at the cornerpost,
following the procedure described on page 71. Cut the upper
end of the panels to proper height and slope, following the
procedure described above. Remember to allow for

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