What Tools Do You Need to Install Vinyl Siding?

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The US residential siding market is projected to be worth $8.2 billion by 2021. Over the last 25 years, vinyl siding has been the most popular house cladding material for both new constructions and the remodeling market.

Vinyl siding is engineered from polyvinyl chloride (PVC) resin making it a durable cladding material that's perfect for weatherproofing your house. Vinyl siding is also an excellent option for enhancing the aesthetics of your home. With vinyl siding, you won’t have to worry about applying a new coat of paint every few years.

Some of the key benefits of vinyl siding include:

  • It relatively cheap
  • Does not require a lot of maintenance

Vinyl installation is not a complicated process, and you can even do it yourself. However, you'll need the right tools for the job. Read on to find out which materials and tools are necessary when it comes to vinyl siding installation.



The first step of the vinyl installation process is determining the panel profile to use. There are many different vinyl panels suitable for different types of houses. They vary in color, shape, and texture.

Types of panel profiles include:

  • Triple
  • Vertical
  • Single
  • Double
  • Double Dutch

You should also decide on the type of soffit to use (material that encloses the underside of an overhang or eave). The purpose of the soffit is to prevent moisture accumulation, maximize airflow, and prevent the buildup of heat between the house and siding.

The types of vinyl soffit you can use include vented perforated, solid, and vented basket weaves.

Installation Tools You Will Require

Installing vinyl siding is a job that requires a wide range of tools such as a carpenter’s square, mason’s line level, and felt tip pen, among others. Here's a detailed description of some of the tools:

What Tools Do You Need to Install Vinyl Siding?

Hammer: As with most handy jobs, you will require a hammer for vinyl installation. A claw hammer or regular run-of-the-mill framing will be okay. You will need it to nail the panels to the house.

A quality siding nailer can be used as well if the project is big or you need to complete the job faster.

As you do so, avoid nailing the panels too tightly. They must be firmly fixed but loose enough to move from side to side. Installation is done this way to prevent the panels from warping due to contraction and expansion.

Steel Tape Measure: As you prepare to install vinyl siding, you will require a tape measure to determine the amount of vinyl siding you will need for the job. To do so, you will have to measure the perimeter of your house and the height from the bottom to the eaves.

Take these measurements in feet and multiply the two figures. This will give you the number of square feet of panel required.

Power Saw: If you want to simplify and speed up the process of cutting soffit and siding, you will want to use a power saw. A radial-arm or bench power saw will suffice. However, you may require a handheld power saw in some situations.

If you are doing the installation in extremely cold weather, cut the panels and soffit slowly to prevent cracking or chipping.

Tin Snips: To help you cut the panels with ease and at the correct length, you will need tin snips. If you are left-handed, use the snips with green handle as the ones with the red handles are suitable for right-handed individuals.

Snap Lock Punch: The siding installed beneath windows and for the finishing course at the highest level of the wall should have lugs. A snap-lock punch allows you to make dimples on the panels at the areas where they will be pressed on to the utility trim.

Unlocking Tool: When replacing vinyl panels, you will require an unlocking tool to remove old panels. Also called a zip lock tool, the unlocking tool is essentially a flat steel hook. Use it remove the panels. Always peel panels from the bottom edge.

Nail Hole Slot Punch: To allow for expansion and contraction, it may be necessary to elongate a nail hole. You will require a nail hole slot punch to do this.

What Tools Do You Need to Install Vinyl Siding?


In addition to the panels and tools, you will also require some accessories for the finished job to look spectacular.

Corner Posts

For the siding from adjoining walls to fit together neatly, you will require outside and inside corner posts.

Trim and Molding

For the finished job to look professionally done, you will require accessories such as trim, j-channels, starter trips, drip caps, F-channels, utility trim, and double utility trim.

Why You Should Consider Professional Installation

Though vinyl siding installation is not difficult, you may still want to hire a siding installation pro to do it for you. This is because any mistakes will reduce its effectiveness, which may negate some of its long-term benefits. Also, the warranty may be voided if the installation is not up to standard.

Jose A. Brown

Jose A. Brown is a mechanic engineer and an enthusiastic blogger whose mission is to provide the readers with the best tips, guides in the Home Improvement, DIY Project, and Industry.

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