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Installing Insulation Under Vinyl Siding

by Ryan Wright

When you want to update the appearance and decor of your home, vinyl siding can actually be an excellent solution. One reason for this is that vinyl siding can be installed over other types of existing siding. Always remember with vinyl siding is that it's a good idea to install rigid foam insulation underneath the siding before you put it up. This not only helps increase your home's energy efficiency, it also provides a flat surface on which to attach vinyl siding. The following will tell you how to do this.

What You Will Need

  • Level

  • Measuring Tape

  • Pencil

  • Foam Insulation

  • Chalk Line

  • Corrosion Resistant Nails

  • Hammer

  • Utility Knife

Step 1. Choose the insulation you're going to use under your siding. When making your selection, it's best to use whatever your siding manufacturer recommends, particularly when it comes to the type of insulation and its thickness. Remember, if you have to compress any type of insulation you will reduce its R-value.

Step 2. Closely examine the current exterior of your home. If you have any pre-existing siding on your home, it's essential that it be intact. You don't want vinyl siding that is trapping moisture or allowing it to pass through. Check any siding for indications of water damage or loose components. If there are any loose nails or parts, hammer them back into place.

Step 3. You now need to create your baseline. With a level and tape measure, find the lowest point of the house. From this point, follow the manufacturer's instructions and measure up to the height where they want the siding installation to actually start. Use a pencil to mark this point. From this point, use a chalk line and level to mark the baseline around your entire home.

Step 4. Begin installing the rigid foam insulation. Nail the panels into place using corrosion resistant nails designed for holding up exterior insulation. The nail should be space 16 inches apart both horizontally and vertically along the insulation panels.

Step 5. Anywhere where a panel needs to be cut in order for it to fit, use a utility knife to do the job. When doing this, only cut half way through the thickness of the panel. Then snap it and run your knife one more time along the break to finish separating the two pieces.

Step 6. Once you've finished putting up all of the insulation panels, you can begin installing the vinyl siding.

Professionals like Citywide Painting and Remodeling can also assist you.