This weekends weather was warm and sunny. It was an excellent weekend to start installing my siding install. The only downside is that the warm weather bring small flies we call “may flies”….I guess because they hatch in May? In any case they are huge this year (think I say that every year), and were a constant annoyance to Ajax and I.
In this post I will describe the method that I use to install the LP Smartside lap siding. Last weekend, the siding was painted with a single coat of acrylic paint in light grey. A second coat will be applied after installation. The siding has been sitting under a tarp for the past week waiting to be installed.
The tools you need are:
- Chop saw some method to support a 16ft length of siding
- Tape measure
- Speed square
- Clear silicone caulk and caulk gun (I use GE)
- Stainless steel or coated screws
- Solo Siders
- Impact driver or drill (I use two, one for screws and one for pre-drilling)
- Misc drive bits and drills
Disclaimer: I am installing this siding over four inches of rigid foam and fastening it into 3/4″ strapping. This is not an “approved” installation by LP and if things don’t work out, they will probably deny warranty coverage….its prorated anyway, and I really don’t give a crap.
I’ll share my thinking on the installation method I picked. LP does approve this siding for use on SIP panels. SIP panels are 7/16 OSB outer shell with a XPS foam core. My installation is 3/4″ wood over a foam core. LP says to use #8 coated (or SS) screws spaced at 12 inches on SIP panels. My strapping is spaced at 12-16 inches with most being closer to 12 than 16. My feeling is that this is close enough. I’ll find out in a few years.
Lets Get Started…
You begin by setting the Solo Siders to a 1.5 inch overlap (or whatever overlap you decide) and hanging them on the siding. Make sure they sit flush or your overlap will shrink.
I like to apply a dab of silicone on the head of each screw. This accomplishes two things. First it seals the screw head from moisture. Second it provides a bit of holding to the bottom of the siding.
You are installing fasteners “blind”, meaning they are concealed under the overlap and can’t be seen. With this fastening method, the bottom has no fasteners and the silicone provides just a bit of additional holding power.
Cut a piece of LP Smartside to length leaving 3/16″ gap at each end. The 3/16″ inch gap gets caulked and painted later. Then carefully coat the cut end with paint. This is very important since wood absorbs water from the ends and you also want a nice primed surface for caulking to adhere to. You do not need to wait for the paint to dry, just set your piece on the Solo Siders.
I like to drill a hole on one end so I can set the 3/16 gap and hold the siding in place. Next I pre-drill the rest of holes since this stuff is a bitch to get screws started in. I then drive the screw at the other end of the siding and remove the Solo Siders. To remove them you simply turn two clicks counterclockwise, push up, pry the siding out a bit, and pull them out. Short pieces you may need to loosen the screws quite a bit to get the Solo Siders out.
Next step is to drive the rest of the screws in. You may encounter an issue where your wall is wavy. In my case the rigid foam insulation created quite a bit of waviness. You can prevent your siding from looking wavy by placing a small shim behind screws where needed. After the screw is tight cut the “tail” off the shim with a sharp knife or multitool (which works better for thick shims).
Rinse Repeat until you are done! I managed to get one side complete and started on the back of the house as you can see from the beauty shots. This stuff is very straight and easy to work with. The 16ft lengths means that there are very few seams. In fact my end wall will have no seams since the house is only 14ft wide!