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Just imagine having a beautiful home that never required painting. With vinyl siding, this is exactly what you get. In fact vinyl siding is the most popular choice for maintenance-free siding in homes being built today. Not only is it manageable but you will find that it comes in a large choice of colors and styles. Additionally, you can choose coordinating trim and accessories so the completed copy is stunning. This type of siding comes in all types of colors that range from light to dark. Just remember that the darker colors do fade more than the lighter colors do.

When it comes to choosing the right vinyl siding for your home, you need to remember that the thickness or gauge will determine how durable the siding and the cost. The thicker, the longer the siding will last and the more it will cost. Typically, vinyl siding sold at home improvement stores measures from .040 to .045 inches thick while the best you can buy is .055 inches thick.

You will find vinyl siding, which looks like wood that overlaps one another, leaving a four to five-inch exposure of each �board�. This particular style is called D4 or D5, with the �D� referring to �double�. Another similar option is called Dutch Lap, or D5DL. This style has the shape of what you would find with regular Dutch Lap wood siding. A third option that falls in this line is called T3, which consists of three courses of three-inch siding.

Before you start putting siding up, there are some things to consider. First, for new homes, siding is installed over wall sheathing. For older homes, sometimes it can be installed over existing siding but since siding must be nailed into wood, this is not always an option. If the home has wood siding or stucco already in place, vinyl siding can be installed over these materials but on occasion it would be necessary to install vertical furring strips first.

If you take the old siding off and put the siding directly on the wall sheathing, the insulation of the home can actually be improved. You can choose from foam insulation, cellulose, or fiberglass. A professional can inject or blow these materials to help it get into all the cavities. Once this is done, foam insulation can be added and then the vinyl siding be installed.

For new home construction, house wrap is generally used. This type of installation seals the house against air infiltration while still allowing the house to breath. With the house wrap, drafts are reduced, moisture is not trapped inside, and you can purchase this in large rolls that are then stapled to the sheathing before doors and windows are installed. For the seams, a special tape is used for sealing.

If you will be doing the siding installation on your own, regardless of the type of siding, you need to follow certain guidelines:
  • Rows should all line up the same way around the house

  • The rows should be level. If you find that your house has settled over the years, the siding may be better installed vertically.

  • Avoid using thin pieces of siding around doors or soffits or under windows
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