6 essential tools for installing clapboard siding
Installing new clapboard siding is a home improvement project that can give your abode a welcome makeover and could even increase your property value. If you want to install new clapboards yourself, then you are likely to need a helper, some detailed installation instructions from the siding manufacturer, and the right tools for the project.
6 necessary tools for DIY clapboard siding installation
- Miter saw: The work horse of any horizontal siding installation job, a miter saw is an important tool, if you want your home's new siding to look like it was installed by a professional. A miter saw is used to cut siding boards to length and is able to make square-end cuts, and angle cuts. A compound miter saw can also cut a bevel on the end of a siding board, which is often needed to help hide the unsightly joint where two pieces of siding meet.
- Tape measure: A quality, steel tape measure is an essential tool for any homeowner hoping to tackle a DIY, siding installation project. Your tape measure should have easy-to-read markings for every 1/16-of-an-inch, and a locking mechanism to keep the tape from retracting when you are trying to measure long, siding boards.
- Table saw: Useful for making long, rip cuts in siding boards, a portable table saw is the best tool for custom fitting the final row of clapboard siding on your home's wall. A hand-held, circular saw may also do the trick, but keep in mind that it can be difficult to make accurate straight cuts in long narrow siding boards when using a hand held saw.
- Caulking gun: In order to keep rain water from getting behind your new siding, you should run a bead of exterior-grade caulking along any joints in the siding or seams, where the ends of the siding boards butt into the window and door trim. The more expensive caulking guns have a quick release button, which helps prevent the caulking from continuously running out of the tube.
- Scaffolding: While an ordinary ladder may help you reach the high parts on your home's exterior, a set of scaffolding is much safer to use when working side-to-side installing horizontal clapboards. While working high off the ground, a set of scaffolding can also provide a level platform on which to safely place your tools. Scaffolding can be expensive, so you may want to borrow or rent it for your project.
- Hammer or nail gun: Depending on which type of horizontal siding you choose, you will need a hammer or nail gun to hang the siding. While some brands of engineered wood siding should be installed with a nail gun, other types of siding, such as cedar siding, are traditionally hung using a handheld hammer and nails. Use whichever tool is recommended by the manufacturer of your specific siding.
Like all home improvement projects, you will also need some protective gear for your body, particularly your eyes and ears. When installing new siding, measure accurately, work carefully and keep your cutting station organized and clutter free. Always remember, "Safety first."