10 Exterior Siding Installation Errors and How to Prevent Them


All areas of a building must be designed with maximum protection in mind, especially if it is your own home. Every small detail, such as a simple paint job, is important. Similarly, exterior siding for your home is essential.

Siding, also known as wall cladding, is a protective material that is bonded to the exterior of a house. Together with the roof, it serves as the very first line of defense against environmental factors, such as the sun, rain, or snow.

Siding’s resistance to heat and cold results in more comfortable and secure indoor spaces.

There are several common errors that can jeopardize the appearance and durability of exterior siding. Find out the most common mistakes when it comes to siding installation and how to prevent them. 

1. Purchasing Cheap Siding Products

When building a house, it is wise to go all out on the materials for maximum protection. Your home’s first line of protection against harsh weather comes from the exterior siding, so it should be made from high-quality materials to best protect your home.

Cheaper products may be available from siding companies. However, just because they have the lowest price tag does not mean they are the best value.

Choosing a quality product, as in any home improvement project, will likely result in the best outcome. Longevity necessitates the use of high-quality materials. 

The very last problem you would like is to have to pay for another siding installation in a few years or even months because the products you selected did not last. 

Before you buy, research a few different brands and types of siding. Check whether they come with a warranty for additional protection.

2. Omitting the Use of Underlayment

Your house’s walls are made up of several layers. Various elements shape these layers and solidify the walls behind the siding. 

Under the exterior siding of your house, underlayment and structural sheathing should be installed. The underlayment, a weather-resistant barrier, helps protect the wall from moisture and air infiltration. The outer sheath, on the other hand, acts as a base for the nails and reinforces the wall system.

If you fail to add underlayment, your siding will be less water- and air-resistant. It will not be able to sustain damage such as bumps and scrapes.  This damage can be caused by harsh winds or trees rustling roughly against the siding. Additionally, your home won’t have a moisture barrier, which could result in issues like mold and mildew.

The proper underlayment will make your home far more protected against the elements. However, understanding all of the technicalities when it comes to installing the proper underlayment and barriers underneath your siding may be confusing. It’s wise to consult a professional for your siding needs.

3. Inaccurately Installing the Siding

You might think of cost-effective ways to accommodate your budget while building. DIY projects, such as installing a ceiling fan or new kitchen counters, are a great way to stick to a renovation budget.

However, installing siding on your home is probably something you don’t want to DIY. Incorrectly installing your home’s siding could have major adverse effects. You could use the wrong underlayment or be unable to properly smooth it out. As a result, moisture could seep through the walls and make them damp. The air infiltration through the inaccuracies will increase mold growth and other moisture-related issues. 

To avoid a botched siding job, it’s wise to hire a clad siding expert

Siding companies understand the intricacies of exterior home renovation projects. They have the necessary tools and resources, as well as a team of installers to help speed up the process.

Installing siding by yourself can also be a risky job. Evaluate your time and effort against any money you might save trying to go it alone. 

4. Nailing the Siding Too Tightly or Loosely

You can nail the siding to the exterior of your house by using a hammer or a power nailer. Knowing the proper preparation techniques is key. 

Each siding board includes a bottom lock that secures itself over the top portion of the board above it. Some panels have enhanced nail fittings to prevent the siding from moving in rough winds. 

During the warm season, your panels will slightly expand. The expansion is barely visible to the eye. Leaving enough space between the panels to allow your cladding to move freely as temperatures change will increase its durability. 

According to experts, receiving trim at corners, windows, mounting blocks, and other places where the siding is scored should have a one-fourth-of-an-inch gap.

Leaving gaps that are too broad poses problems as well. In windy conditions, the added space around the nails enables the siding to droop or lift. As a result, your siding could come loose or even get damaged from the inside.

5. Gardening Too Close to the House

If you are building your dream house, you likely want to do some landscaping on the property. A few flower bushes and trees in front of the house will enhance its beauty. 

However, if you have recently installed your home’s siding, avoid putting shrubs and plants too close to it. Trees hold moisture in their leaves as a by-product of photosynthesis. During rainy weather, the water falls on and stays in these leaves for a long time. 

Planting trees too close to the house exposes your siding to excessive moisture levels. Even though siding is designed to keep the rain out, exposing it to constant moisture can cause problems.

The added moisture can cause the wetness to start seeping into the materials underneath the cladding and into your walls. Damp walls will not only weaken your home structurally but could lead to major mold issues. 

6. Choosing Short-length Panels for Siding

There are a few house hacks every homeowner should know. However, DIY projects, such as installing siding in your house, require a bit more expertise. For starters, you may not have the right tools to cut your panels to the perfect length.

If you inspect a few homes in your neighborhood, you will notice that Longer-length siding panels with fewer joints make the finished project look more refined. The seams are less visible and more aesthetically appealing.

This is why better-quality manufactured vinyl siding panels come in extra-long lengths. 

When the boards are longer, it reduces the chances of moisture seeping through the siding. 

Even though lengthier siding pieces are slightly more expensive, you save money on labor because they can be installed more quickly. When you consider the aesthetic and protective advantages, longer-length panels are preferable.

7. No Maintenance Work on Your Siding

Maintaining a home requires a lot of work. With seasonal weather changes, the exterior and interior of your home face several challenges. 

While siding may not be something that requires annual maintenance, it doesn’t mean it can be neglected altogether. If the area you live in faces severe weather changes, you will need to inspect your exterior siding panels periodically to ensure they are in good condition. 

If you ignore little problems, they will build over time until it necessitates an emergency call to a contractor. Maintaining a routine home maintenance schedule will help you catch any issues early on, which you will likely be able to fix yourself.

Keep a lookout for any cracks in the sealant or exposed nails. If iron nails are exposed for too long, they will start to rust, causing them to weaken the structure’s stability. Siding inspection is recommended yearly and after any severe weather conditions.

8. Ignoring the Weather

The weather has a huge impact on your house, especially the exterior. You have to put extra effort into maintenance; we recommend having a check-off list for winter.

Your siding does not have to be hit by a boulder to be damaged. During storms or high winds, any debris that flies toward your home will leave its mark on the panels. Inspect it to see if there are any signs that it needs to be repaired or replaced.

During a harsh winter, icicles can build up on the siding. These can then melt, then seep through and freeze inside the gaps in the boards. This water intrusion is a huge risk factor to the longevity of your exterior siding. 

It is important to call your contractor and have them check for abrasions or possible damage to your siding if your home has faced a harsh winter.

9. Not Choosing Weather-appropriate Siding Panels

You should consider the cost, appearance, and warranty options of the siding options when shopping. Another important aspect to remember is the climate of your area.

Depending on where you live, you could experience everything from seaside salt and sand to boggy humidity or mountain winds. It is important that your siding agrees with the weather. 

Vinyl is resistant to water and is less likely to get brittle or decay. It is also resistant to heat and wind. Even so, if your home receives a lot of sunlight, the vinyl will show signs of fading due to UV exposure.

Traditional wood siding, while beautiful, struggles more with the elements. In moist climates, it is vulnerable to decay, molding, and infestation. Temperature fluctuations cause it to expand and contract, to fade and wear the surface.

Fiber cement and brick or stone absorb more moisture and cause molding in humid weather, while steel and aluminum siding has the most resistance. 

10. Not Thinking of the Color Combinations

Be careful not to go overboard with your colors and designs when painting your wood or vinyl siding or using colored plastering. 

Not only can the exterior of your home have mismatched colors, but shades that are unusual to someone’s personal taste may create difficulties if you ever wish to sell your home. 

If you intend to stay in the house indefinitely and those are the colors that will create happiness, there is no reason to stop it unless your neighborhood’s architectural plan disallows it. If you want to increase its profit potential during a sale, commit to more neutral colors. 

Final Thoughts

When installing the siding of your home, remember to select weather-appropriate panels for your area. Install a proper underlayment and purchase quality materials.

The safety of your home is dependent on the siding, so accurately install and regularly maintain it. For better safety, avoid gardening too close to your exterior siding. 

Make your home’s exterior beautiful and unique to you with beautiful siding options.