Exterior Coverings-Vinyl Siding

Let’s talk a little bit about vinyl siding. Even if you only install single section manufactured homes, there are still some vinyl siding considerations that you should know.

Creative! But not acceptable!

We can start with how to make a repair to damaged vinyl siding. Maybe the corner post had a close encounter with a telephone pole, or maybe the first course got scraped across a guide rail. The repair is simple! Remove the damaged section of siding and replace it with a new piece!  No, you can’t cut the nailing flange off of another corner post and slip it over-top of the damaged one. And NO, you can’t snap a

I wouldn’t want this on my home!

little piece over-top a hole or other defect or even use caulking to fill a hole. Damaged or defective vinyl siding must be replaced!


Probably the biggest mistake installers make is when they fasten the skirting starter channel to the home. There are two factors to remember when installing the skirting channel: 1. The siding has to be able to freely expand and contract with changes in temperature. 2. There must be no way for water to get between the siding and skirting channels.

I am beginning to see a lot of different approaches regarding the skirting attachment. Some good, some not so good. The recommended approach is to hang the skirting from a separate nailer that is attached to the floor of the home. Most installation instructions tell you to screw a 2 X 4 under the home to fasten skirting. Not easy to do!

OSB sheathing extends below siding for skirting attachment.

Typical in every installation manual

I have seen a few manufacturers extend the OSB wall sheathing below the first course of siding for skirting attachment. Several installers have told me that water seeps into the joint between the siding and skirting. To prevent this water infiltration, I suggest a simple “Z” shaped flashing, slipped under the siding and over the skirting channel to take care of that!

Bottom lap cut off.

Never cut off the bottom lap of siding to install skirting! I have seen this more than I care to admit. It is never a good idea.

Tie Down Eng. Skirt Hang-R

A new device is available that is definitely worth a look. Tie Down Engineering has come up with the “Skirt Hang R” that screws to the bottom of the floor joist for attachment of the skirting channel.

For sectional homes or other home designs that rely on the installer to finish the vinyl siding, there are several other things to consider.

Always remember that vinyl siding is NOT fastened to the home, it is “hung” from the home to allow for lateral movement. Do NOT drive the nails or staples tight against the material. Hang It Loose! Speaking of nails or staples, make sure they are corrosive resistant! Galvanized or aluminum nails and galvanized staples. If the home is new, the manufacturer will provide these fasteners with the ship loose material.

Generally, the siding should be secured at a maximum of 24” on center. Often the siding running under windows and doors will need to be secured by being snapped into under-sill or finish or utility trim using lugs you crimp into the siding. I know that many manufacturers don’t provide under-sill trim….but I think they should! 

Notches needed at top & bottom!

You should overlap siding joints between 1” and 1 ½”. A little extra overlap on hot days, a little less on cold days. Speaking of overlaps, if you have to cut off the factory cut edge, make sure you cut the notches at both the top and bottom of the siding to assure the siding can expand without restriction.

And as always, never just take my word for it. Check the instructions on the siding box and the manufacturers installation instructions!


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