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What to expect for your siding installation: 7 steps and how to prepare

May 14th, 2021 | 6 min. read

What to expect for your siding installation: 7 steps and how to prepare

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You’ve signed on the dotted line and committed to getting your home siding replaced. 

There’s a lot of research to be done when choosing a siding contractor, what type of style you like, and how much you are looking to pay. But just because you’ve finalized your decision doesn’t mean the research and education should stop.

It’s a big investment, and if you don’t know what to expect when it comes to the installation and all the details, it can create some unnecessary stress. 

Southwest Exteriors has been a locally established home remodeling company for over 30 years. We offer fiber cement siding from James Hardie, and our siding crews and project managers know how to take care of your home.

We want you to be prepared for your installation and know what to expect. 

In this article, we will outline the entire siding installation from the moment you decide to work with us to the finishing touches. 

After reading, you will know exactly what to expect and what the siding installation process is so that you can feel more comfortable throughout your project. 

Before the installation

Once you’ve met with a design consultant and committed to the project, the next step is to schedule a pre-construction conference. 

This will be a meeting at your home with the installation crew leader for your project, the project manager, and you along with any other decision-makers. 

During your original consultation with a design consultant, they will walk around the entire exterior of the home for the project to create a video that will be used throughout the planning process.

With the project manager and crew leader, we will go through the video and walk through what the project is going to look like. We will answer any questions that you have about the project and will also cover a preparation checklist. 

The checklist includes information about the estimated project start date, how long it will take, contact information, plan for possible weather delay, and items to prepare beforehand.

Near the date of your pre-construction conference, you may schedule a color consultation with our specialist Angela Blessing who will help make your vision a reality. This is not required but is offered. 

What to prepare before siding installation day

There are a couple of housekeeping items that we ask you to prepare before the installation crew arrives on the first day of the project. 

Trim all bushes, shrubs, and branches that may hinder the construction area

The crew will work on your property with care, but some damage may occur if any shrubbery is close to the wall. Southwest Exteriors cannot be responsible for unavoidable landscape damage.

Remove all items away from the constructed walls

This includes items on interior shelves, dressers, or tables against walls. Also, remove any items from porches patios in the construction area. Southwest Exteriors cannot be responsible for items that fall and break.

We ask that you prepare these two things before the actual installation so that the crew can begin working at the scheduled time. 

After you have had your pre-construction conference and finalized the details of your project, next comes the actual installation to start.

How your siding is installed

The siding installation process is not complicated to describe or understand. However, as a homeowner, it is comforting for you to know exactly what will happen to your home when your new siding is installed. 

1. Crew arrival

On the first day of installation, the crew leader will contact you to confirm their arrival at the scheduled start time. 

You will become very close with your installation crew as they will be working on your home for about 2-3 weeks. Only one crew will be working on the project, so you will not have to worry about meeting a new crew every day or week.

2. Demolition of the current siding

The first step to the siding replacement is to completely take off the current siding. The wall will be stripped down to the frame of your home. 

This can be a scary sight to see your wall stripped down to the two-by-fours it was built on, but we want to assure you that at the end of each construction day, your home will never be left open or exposed. 

3. Placing the oriented-strand board and weather barrier

After stripping the existing siding down to the frame, next comes the base layer made out of oriented-strand boarding, or OSB.

This is a type of siding that is made out of wood chips that are compressed under high heat and pressure to create a board. It is similar to plywood. 

Once the OSB is down, next comes the weather barrier. This is another layer of protection made out of a breathable material that is also water and weather-proof.

The layers to your new siding are important to not only protecting the frame and interior of your home but to also increase your home’s insulation abilities.

Now that the base layers have been installed, it is time to install the trim, flashing, and actual siding. 

4. Installing the trim

The trim is first placed around all edges of the siding to give it a finished look. While it is also a form of protection around seams and edges, trim gives your home a desired aesthetic.

5. Installing the flashing

The flashing goes on top of the trim and underneath the siding. It adds another layer of protection and acts as a weather barrier to protect against water intrusion.

Flashing is placed underneath windows and around doorways to protect those areas.

6. Installing the siding

Now that the OSB, weather barrier, trim, and flashing have been installed, it is time to start placing the siding panels.

This process is what will take up the majority of the project time as they must be cut to the specific length and angle and installed one by one. 

The panels are nailed into the OSB with hot-dipped galvanized coil nails or 16 gauge finish nails. These nails are resistant to rust and are sturdy against harsh weather conditions, so they will keep your siding in place.

Once all of the siding is complete, it is time for the paint crew to come in.

7. Caulk and paint

There is a specialized crew responsible for caulking and painting your siding. 

First, they will powerwash all of the walls to make sure they are cleaned off. Then, the caulking will go around all edges of the siding to seal it in.

We use caulk with a 50-year lifetime, so it is made to secure your siding and make it last.

After caulking comes painting. Before the crew paints your entire home with a Sherwin Williams Duration topcoat, they will swatch the samples you picked out so you can see what it looks like on the wall and confirm it is what you want.

If you decide you do not like those colors, the process of changing them is simple. You can look at all of the color samples again and choose the colors you like better, and they will be ready within 1-3 days. 

While most clients do not change their minds on colors, it is possible. Though this does add a slight delay to the project, it is important that you are happy with the final product.

Once painting is complete, your siding is done. 

You will then be walked through the entire project, and the project manager will go over your warranty for the Hardie siding and Southwest Exteriors. 

After the project is finished

Once the project has been completed fully, an independent consultant for James Hardie will come out to your house at a later date to inspect all aspects of the installation.

Southwest Exteriors installs siding under the James Hardie best practices, and we want to ensure to you that our work meets the standards of those best practices. 

If anything seems to be missing, we will be contacted and will come out to make it right. 

This is for you to know that your project was completed to the highest quality and all aspects have been taken care of. 

Your siding is complete!

Now you know all that goes into the siding installation process from the pre-construction conference to final inspections.

Knowing what to expect ahead of time helps in clearing any confusion you had, getting your questions answered, and ultimately putting your mind at ease when it comes to your new siding project.

With Southwest Exteriors, it is important to us that you are equipped with all of the information you need. Even if you were not curious about the siding installation process, we want you to be thoroughly educated so that you can trust us with your home. 

Ready to get your siding replaced? Fill out the form on our webpage to schedule a free in-home consultation. Virtual consultations are available for your safety and convenience.