Keeping your space in top shape is likely a priority if you’re among the 230 million Americans who own homes. The #1 item on your checklist should be ensuring that your roofing and siding are in top shape. After all, these are your home’s basic structural needs.

Replacing siding can be a challenge, but it’s a necessary one. Plus, it’s much easier when you know how to cut vinyl siding the right way. Read on for a step-by-step guide to this process.

vinyl sidings being prepared to cut before installation on construction site

1. Talk With a Professional

The first step to cutting vinyl siding the right way is to talk to an expert.

Different homes have different needs when it comes to siding. You’ll need to know what materials will best protect your home. You also will need to know which siding cut will best work with your roofing.

Vinyl is a versatile material and can be cut in a wide range of ways. You can install it vertically or horizontally depending on your aesthetic and practical needs. 

An expert will be able to inspect your home and give you tips on your siding, roofing, and more. They’ll tell you what you need to replace and how to install it. They also will help you with the installation process so you can stay safe and replace it the right way.

2. Use the Right Tools

Regardless of what the next steps are, you’ll need some basic tools when cutting new vinyl siding. Safety gloves are essential so you don’t hurt yourself. You may also want goggles to protect your eyes from small shards of plastic.

Besides that, you’ll need:

  • A tape measurer
  • A pencil
  • A pair of tin snips
  • A carpenter’s square so you can make straight lines for clean cuts
  • A utility knife
  • A circular saw

Make sure that you assemble these things on a flat workspace. A table or workbench will work perfectly.

3. Decide How Much Siding You Need

At this point, you’ll take your measuring tape and figure out the length of the wall you plan to install siding on. Then measure the vinyl panel’s length and subtract it from the wall measurement.

You’ll know how much of the panel you need to get rid of this way. Take your pencil and precisely mark where you need to make the cut. Make sure that it’s visible against the color of the siding – you don’t want to be in a situation where you can’t tell where to make the cut.

4. Know Your Type of Cut

builder working on cutting the wood house siding wearing gloves

Making clean cuts on your vinyl is essential when cutting siding. You don’t want it to have an awkward fringe. You also don’t want unevenly-sized pieces.

It’s also important that you cut your vinyl in an aesthetically pleasing way. Market Square siding is made to look like a more colorful version of wood. It’s vinyl and durable, but it has texture and visual appeal in addition to its artful colors.

This means you’ll need to cut it in a way that makes the most of the pattern. You want to showcase it to advantage and make it look awesome. Cutting it the right way is the best method of boosting your curb appeal and making your property look amazing.

There are two common ways to cut siding: horizontally and vertically.

Horizontal Cutting Tips

If you mean to make a horizontal cut, score the siding along the line that you drew. Push the knife as far into the panel as you can so that it’s easier to snap it off later.

Hold onto the siding on each side of the score as firmly as possible. Bend it along the line so that the cut can be clean and then snap. If the vinyl doesn’t break, you’ll need to score it again and try again.

This is a pretty easy process, so the biggest challenge you’ll face is probably measuring. You need to be extremely precise with every panel. If you’re off by even a few millimeters, your wall is going to come out with odd gaps in the siding.

Making Vertical Cuts

You can also choose to make small vertical cuts on your vinyl. This would happen with a circular saw.

Take your saw and make sure the blade is pointed in the opposite direction that the blade spins in. This will ensure that the cut is smooth and you’re not left with jagged edges.

Then, you can mark the siding and carefully cut into it with the saw. Make sure that the part you’re trying to slice off hangs off the side of the bench. If you don’t, it’s going to cut into the bench and ruin it.

To get the most precise cut possible, make sure that you grip the siding with your free hand so it doesn’t slide around.

5. Enlist Expert Assistance

Cutting your own vinyl siding can be a challenge. Luckily, home improvement professionals can help with expert installation.

You don’t need to make exterior renovations a DIY project. Professionals have the knowledge and experience to perfectly cut your siding panels and install them evenly. This doesn’t just mean that your home looks great – it also means that your walls and interior will stay protected from the elements.

Beyond How to Cut Vinyl Siding

new siding being installed on house by worker

Now that you know how to cut vinyl siding the right way, it’s time to get started. Andes Roofing offers detailed inspections, professional advice, custom estimates, and expert-led projects to improve your home or commercial building.

We’re committed to ensuring that your roofing and siding are free of damage, so contact us for a quote today.