Vinyl siding was first introduced to the exterior cladding market in the early 1960s and steadily grew in popularity over the next four decades because of its durability, versatility and ease of maintenance. The product is manufactured primarily with polyvinyl chloride, a material that gives it impact resistance, rigidity and strength.

Vinyl Siding is the Number One Choice for Residential Siding

Vinyl Siding

Today, vinyl siding is the number one choice of exterior cladding across the country. U.S. Census Bureau statistics show twice as many homeowners side their homes with vinyl than with any other material. The facts are that vinyl siding is available in a broad palette of colors, profiles and trims to assist architects, builders and homeowners in customizing their new construction and renovation designs, and can complement historical restoration projects.

Residential Vinyl Siding

While traditional pastel and earthy color options are still available, today’s vinyl siding offers a comprehensive array of darker color combinations including bold, rich tones like barn reds, hunter and sage greens, deep blues and more. You’ll find selections that are ideally suited for a variety of architectural styles.

Any look — historic to contemporary — can be achieved with today’s vinyl siding. Vinyl siding has the widest array of profile offerings of any other cladding material including:

  • Horizontal and vertical panels
  • Shakes, Scallops, Shingles, Fishscales
  • Traditional lap
  • Dutch lap
  • Beaded designs in various profile widths

Siding Terminology

Vinyl Siding Terminology

Backerboard — a flat material used on the face of the house, applied between the studs and the siding (or over existing wall surface), to provide an even surface for installing vinyl siding.

Butt lock — the bottom edge of a siding or soffit panel, or accessory piece, opposite the nailing slots, which locks onto the preceding panel.

Channel — the area of the accessory trim or corner post where siding or soffit panels are inserted. Channels also refer to the trim itself, and are named for the letters of the alphabet they resemble (e.g., J-channel or J-trim, F-channel, etc.).

Course — a row of panels, one panel wide, running the length of the house from one side to the other, or, in the case of vertical siding, from top to bottom.

Drip Cap/Head Flashing — an accessory installed with vertical siding to ensure that water drips away from panels and does not infiltrate them.

Double Channel Lineal — a siding accessory that joins two soffit panels.

Face — refers to the side of a siding or soffit panel that is showing once the panel has been installed.

Face-nailing — the action of fastening directly onto the “face” side of a panel (instead of using the nail hem slot). This practice is generally not used in siding installation.

Fascia — the trim covering the ends of roof rafters.

Fascia Board — a board attached to the ends of the rafters between the roofing material and the soffit overhang.

Fascia Cap or Cover — the covering around a fascia board.

Flashing — a thin, flat material, usually aluminum, positioned under or behind J-channels, corner posts, windows, etc., to keep draining water from penetrating the home.

Furring/Furring Strip — usually a wood 1″ x 2″ strip used to even a surface in preparation for installing vinyl siding. To “fur” a surface means to apply these strips.

Lap — to overlap the ends of two siding panels or accessory pieces to allow for expansion and contraction of the vinyl product.

Lug/Crimp — the raised “ears” or tabs on a siding panel, created by a snap lock punch, which can be used to lock a siding panel into place when the nailing hem has been removed.

Miter — to make a diagonal cut, beveled to a specific angle (usually 45°). Sometimes miter cuts are made into an overlapping siding or soffit panel surface, to provide a neater appearance.

Nailing Hem (or Flange) — the section of siding or accessories where the nailing slots are located.

Plumb — a position or measurement that is truly and exactly vertical, 90° from a level surface.

Rake (roof) — the inclined, usually projecting edge of a sloping roof.

Rake (wall) — the board or molding placed along the sloping sides of a gable to cover the ends of the siding.

Scoring — running a utility knife blade, a sharpened awl, scoring tool, or other sharp implement across a soffit or siding panel face without cutting all the way through the panel. This weakens the vinyl surface in a specific area and allows the panel to be bent and broken off cleanly.

Sealant — any of a variety of compounds used to fill or seal joints in wood, metal, masonry, vinyl, and other materials.

Shim — a building material used to even a surface prior to installing vinyl siding.

Soffit — material used to enclose the horizontal underside of an eave, cornice, or overhang. Soffit is designed to be installed lengthwise from wall to fascia.

Starter Strip an accessory applied directly to the surface of the building and used to secure the first course of siding to the home.

Underlayment — weather resistant material placed under vinyl siding panels.

Utility Trim — a piece of trim used any time the top lock has been removed from the siding, to secure a siding panel. Also referred to as “under sill” or “finish” trim.

Weep Holes — openings cut into siding or accessories to allow for water runoff.

Zip Lock Tool — also known as an unlocking tool.

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