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How to Install the Top Piece of Vinyl Siding

The top piece of vinyl siding requires extra care during installation. If it is not secured correctly, it will be vulnerable to flapping in a strong wind and it could even come loose. Once you learn how to install the top piece of vinyl siding you know your home will remain protected from the elements. During the installation process hopefully you’ve been nailing in the center of the holes as you attached siding to your exterior walls. This is necessary because vinyl siding expands and contracts in hot and cold weather. Nails in the center of the holes allow the siding material to shift slightly without buckling. You’ll also need to follow this rule when attaching the undersill trim. Undersill trim is also commonly referred to as utility trim. You’ll also need it when learning how to install the top piece of vinyl siding.

Directions for How to Install the Top Piece of Vinyl Siding

  1. Snap your second-to-last row of vinyl siding securely against the section below it.
  2. Nail the nailing edge, making sure that nails are in the center of each hole.
  3. Fit undersill trim along the top of the wall against the soffit.
  4. Measure down from the soffit to the top lip on the second-to-last siding row.
  5. Subtract 1/4 inch from this measurement.
  6. Take multiple measurements between the soffit and top siding lip to see if a variance exists. Not every soffit meets the wall perfectly parallel with the siding. You may have to cut the top piece of siding at an angle to achieve a precise fit.
  7. After determining the width of your final vinyl siding piece, cut it on a table saw.
  8. Cut the nailing edge side so that you still have a siding edge to snap into the lower row of siding.
  9. Now it’s time to use the snap lock punch. This is an important step when learning how to install the top piece of vinyl siding.
  10. A snap lock punch is hand tool that you use to puncture the cut edge of the top siding piece. It creates ridges that will grip inside the groove of the undersill trim.
  11. Grip the cut edge of the top siding piece with the snap lock punch.
  12. Squeeze the punch until it pierces the vinyl and forms an exposed edge.
  13. Punch the whole length of the siding material every 6 to 12 inches.
  14. Put the siding piece into position.
  15. Slide the notched edge into the groove on the undersill trim.
  16. Push the bottom of the vinyl siding onto the edge of the lower row.
  17. Make sure you hear and feel them snap together. Otherwise, the siding will come loose in a high wind.
  18. Try sliding the newly installed vinyl siding section back and forth. It should shift a little. This indicates that it can successfully handle the expansion and contraction caused by temperature changes.

Tools & Materials

  • Measuring tape
  • Work gloves
  • Hammer
  • Table saw
  • Snap lock punch
  • Ladder

Get Help From Siding Repair & Installation Professionals

Although you now understand how to install the top piece of vinyl siding, you might prefer help with the job. Time constraints can make it hard for you to complete this essential repair. Perhaps you have reservations about installing vinyl siding on a two-story house. Maybe you don’t have a good extension ladder that is tall enough. Whatever the reason, the home improvement experts at PJ Fitzpatrick can handle any of your siding problems. We repair and replace vinyl siding throughout the Mid-Atlantic. We can ensure that all pieces of siding are properly secured to the walls of your home. Contact our team today for professional siding repair or installation services you can count on.

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