Vinyl Siding Installation: The Importance of Trim

Karin Mangan

To get your vinyl siding installation right, the most important element is the trim. Installing trim is the first step in vinyl siding installation because it holds the siding to the structure; it is also the final step because it hides the edges and ends of panels. The trim allows the siding to expand and contract with temperature changes. Different styles of trim are available to provide a decorative finish or give your home a specific kind of period look or architectural style.

There are a number of different types of trim:

  • J-channel trim grips the ends of vinyl siding panels where they run along windows, doors, or other walls.
  • Undersill trim holds the top edge of vinyl siding panels in place under window sills and horizontal edges.
  • Fascias are the panels or boards that run horizontally along the eaves of the roof.
  • Soffits are the panels that run parallel to the ground underneath the fascia.
  • Rakes are the sloping part of the roof moldings that form the overhang.

It is usually best to begin vinyl siding installation by fixing the high trim--the fascias, soffits, and rakes. Then, follow the manufacturer's instructions--you should receive a brand-specific installation manual when you purchase vinyl siding. The Vinyl Siding Institute provides basic installation instructions, as well as a list of VSI Certified Installers or Certified Installer Companies.

Vinyl siding installation is not particularly difficult for someone with good home improvement skills. If that's not you, it may be best to hire a professional contractor to make sure you benefit from the many advantages of vinyl siding, and have a vinyl siding installation that lasts.

About the Author

Karin has worked as a freelancer for over ten years, writing informatively about a wide range of subjects. She has a PhD and a background in education and research.

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