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LP Smartside Install Best Practices

Here is a quick article on a few technical practices we use on our exterior remodel projects. We will start with laying out the house. A common way to layout a house for lap siding is to start a row on the lowest elevation and then use tools to space the siding appropriately, working backwards as needed when the elevation changes. This is common and often works out just fine.

We like to mitigate risk of the unknowns and also make efficient use of manpower. After all of our prep work (vapor barrier, trims, flashing) is complete we set up our laser and shoot a control line around the entire house - every wall. From here we go to the lowest elevation and set a level or piece of lumber at our spot above grade where our bottom piece of siding will sit. Once that is complete we mark our control line location on the level or grade stick as well as the bottom piece of siding. After that the level can come off of the wall and we mark our siding width minus our lap (reveal). example: if we have 6 inch siding and our lap is one inch our reveal is 5 inches and that is the number we use to layout our grade stick or level.

Once that work is complete we go to each corner of the house and in between windows with this template and set the mark on the level with the control line on the house and simply transfer our layout. If we feel the need we will then snap each wall with a chaulk line.

What this does for us is ensures that our elevations with line up around each corner and with the soffits and window lines around the entire house. It also allows us to work efficiently because we can now work in multipe locations and know that our siding will match at the corners no matter what. The other big benefit is that the cut guy can be proactive and cut far ahead of the install guy because he knows that exact location of each piece in relation to windows and trims before they are even installed.

Jumping back to prep work. One item that is critical to a good looking finish versus a mediocre finish is the trim. It is very easy to install incorrectly and will have lasting negative affects on lifespan and appearance. The most common way LP trim is installed is each side of the window is measured, each side cut individually and each nailed in individually.

Most windows have a nailing flange and when each piece of trim is installed individually they do not sit flat against the house and the corners where they meet are almost never flush. To overcome this we measure each window and door on the entire house prior to siding, enter the dimensions into a spreadsheet we have created and then build each window trim set to completion before it is even installed. This ensures a durable frame that seals well to the house and window and also requires far less nails which equates to less penetration through the face of your cladding. Follow our process throughout the following photos.

Cut List Generated

Dean at the cut station.

Pocket hole station

To the router for a tight fit to the wall and window

Touched up with paint

Installed on to our Marvin Windows!

We are always trying to improve our process and product! We have a passion for our work and our industry. Thanks for following along, we hope to hear from you!

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