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DIY plastic cladding

Plastic cladding is a type of exterior home siding. Plastic cladding is the same thing as vinyl siding, and the installation instructions are the same. The most important thing to remember about vinyl siding is that it flexes with temperature and weather changes. Each cladding piece should be able to move freely from side to side after installation to prevent the cracking of the cladding pieces. A waterproof foundation is also important to a successful cladding installation.

Cut the backerboard pieces to fit over the exposed exterior wall studs. Nail the backerboard in place with 7.5 cm (3 inch) nails and a nail gun. Install flashing tape between all backerboard seams and around all windows and door openings. Tape plastic sheeting over the backerboard to make a weather resistant barrier.

Nail the starter strip to the bottom of the house. Use a chalk line to determine the placement of the strip around the house. Make sure the line is level, and install the starter strip to the same height on all of the walls of the house. Nail the strip in place in the middle of the alignment holes, and leave a small gap between the siding and the backerboard to allow for expansion and shifting of the plastic pieces.

Nail the corner posts in place against all corners of the house. Leave a 6 mm (1/4 inch) gap at the top of the soffit. Place nails every 30 cm (12 inches).

Cut the window flashing pieces so that each piece extends 22.5 cm (9 inches) beyond the length or width of the window. Glue the window flashing trim pieces around each window using silicone sealant. Use nails to hold the flashing in place if necessary.

Nail the J channel pieces 1.2 cm (1/2 inch) from the top of the wall near the roof soffits. Install J channel pieces above each window and doorway as well.

Install the plastic panels from the bottom up, starting with the starter strip. Clip the joints in the plastic cladding pieces into the slots on the starter strips. Continue in this manner until you reach the top of the wall. If you have to cut the cladding pieces, use tin snips to cut the plastic. Nail the top of each cladding piece into the wall, leaving a small gap between the siding and the wall as before. Place the nails every 30 cm (12 inches) along the cladding pieces. Make sure each piece fits over the top of the previous piece.

Fit the last row of plastic cladding into the J channel pieces located under the roof soffits. The final piece should fit over all pieces below it.

Things You'll Need

  • Ladder
  • Nails
  • Nail gun
  • Backerboard
  • Power saw
  • Flashing tape
  • Plastic sheeting
  • Scissors
  • Chalk line
  • Plastic cladding trim and panel pieces
  • Window flashing
  • Silicone sealant
  • Tin snips
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About the Author

Brenda Priddy has more than 10 years of crafting and design experience, as well as more than six years of professional writing experience. Her work appears in online publications such as Donna Rae at Home, Five Minutes for Going Green and Daily Mayo. Priddy also writes for Archstone Business Solutions and holds an Associate of Arts in English from McLennan Community College.