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Can You Put Vinyl Siding Over Plywood? (How To)

Vinyl siding is no longer the “forlorn poor orphan sister” of house coverings. The advances in manufacturing have improved its looks, strength, and installation processes, making vinyl siding one of the most versatile and durable home coverings. It stands its ground against big contenders like aluminum and natural stone. Yet, it remains one of the cheaper materials to use.

So, if you have a home that needs a siding upgrade, consider vinyl as one of your options. Can you put vinyl siding over plywood? Yes, you can install it directly over existing plywood siding, saving costs and making the whole process much easier.

You can install vinyl siding directly over the existing plywood siding without needing to remove it if it is in good condition without any water damage or insect infestation. Remove any damaged parts of the plywood siding before applying the vinyl cover.

Siding house

Installing vinyl siding over the existing plywood siding can save you money and reduce the workload of the project. It also has the added advantage of providing better insulation for your home by making the outside walls thicker and able to withstand the harshest elements. Better insulated homes decrease their need for heating and cooling, saving you money on utility bills.

Should You Put Vinyl Siding Over Plywood?

Siding house

Deciding whether to remove the existing plywood siding before applying the new vinyl siding will depend on the condition of the old siding. If there is a chance of water damage under the existing siding, you will need to remove and replace all the damaged materials before applying the new siding. Covering the damage with a new layer will not make it go away. It will continue to fester underneath the shiny vinyl, allowing mildew and mold to grow in your home.

You can leave the existing siding under the new vinyl when the existing siding is in good shape. When your house is more than 50 years old and has signs of previous water damage or insect infestation, it is better to remove the old siding before applying the new vinyl siding.

Older homes are prone to harboring damage due to the age of the materials used. Most building materials will last for at least 50 years, provided the house structure was well maintained throughout its life. If you are doubtful about the quality of maintenance, previous owners did. In that case, it is probably better to remove the old siding to uncover any faults that may be hiding behind it.

Taking time to remove the plywood siding may save you money in repairs down the line.

What Tools Do You Need To Put Vinyl Siding Over Plywood?

tools for siding

The tools needed to install your vinyl siding are mostly common items you can buy in any home improvement center. It is a good idea to gather all the necessary tools before starting the project to make sure you don’t get stuck in the middle of a task because you don’t have a tool to proceed.

Here is the list of tools you will need to install vinyl siding over plywood. Hammer, square set, chalk, level, tape measure, fine tooth hand saw and power saw (if you prefer), utility knife or scoring tool, electric drill with the 5/16-inch bit, snap lock punch, and fasteners of choice.

Laying vinyl siding is easy compared to other surfaces. The planks are lightweight and easy to cut into required lengths. Generally, you will need a straight solid surface to attach the vinyl siding, a tool to ensure the vinyl planks lie flat and square, a fine-toothed saw and cutters to cut the required lengths, and fasteners of choice to attach the vinyl planks in place.

What Preparations Do You Need To Put Vinyl Siding Over Plywood?

Siding house

Even though you will lay vinyl over your existing siding, you still need to do some preparation of the walls so they are ready for the additional layer of vinyl. Make sure you remove all the decaying wood from the existing siding and have a layer of waterproofing installed underneath the old siding.

To prepare your walls for vinyl siding installation over plywood, you will need to start with repairing any imperfections in the existing plywood siding, re-caulk around windows and doors, remove all fixtures from the exterior, seal all cracks and check that the walls are even.

Vinyl siding needs a flat, sturdy backing to lie against because the material is flexible. The backing usually consists of sheathing or a backer board to provide a flat, rigid surface. You may need to adjust the door and window frames to adapt to a thicker wall. Use metal flashings on doors and windows to safeguard against moisture.

How To Put Vinyl Siding Over Plywood

confused man standing

Putting up the vinyl siding can be a DIY project. Once you have a flat, firm surface to attach the vinyl strips, start by drawing a chalk line on the old plywood siding – about an inch above the ground. Make sure that the line is straight and goes right around the house. It will be your guide for installing the foundation starter strip that will help you place the rest of the planks straight and level.

When installing vinyl siding over plywood, work from the bottom up. Install the foundational strips first. Their job is to hold the vinyl panels in place at the bottom and top of the wall and the edges. Foundational strips include the starter stip, J channels, and utility trim.

Once your starter strip is in place, you can install the J channels on the corners of the house and the utility trim. Make sure you drive the nails in the center of the fastening slots to allow for expansion and contraction of the vinyl.

Vinyl will expand during the hot months and contract during winter. It is important to remember to include a little space to accommodate this to prevent the vinyl buckling and folding.

Apply the rest of the panels to complete the first row. Let the planks overlap by about 4 inches or according to the manufacturer’s guidelines.

Copyright protected content owner: and was initially posted on January 4, 2023.

Use the same technique to cover the walls completely. When trimming panels to size, use goggles to protect your eyes and a mask.

Remember that no vinyl products are ever completely toxin-free, so it’s better to protect yourself in case.

To achieve a uniform, seamless look, applying one layer of siding at a time around the whole house is a good idea. It will help you align the corners and improve the layers’ continuity. To make sure each row is flat, use a spirit level.

Installing vinyl siding directly over the existing plywood can save you a lot of time and money. However, ensure that the old siding is in good condition to prevent problems of further decay underneath the vinyl.

Suppose your property is older than 50 years, or the maintenance history is patchy. In that case, it may be better if you remove the old siding to ensure that there are no nasty surprises like water damage or pest infestation.

Copyright article owner is for this article. This post was first published on January 4, 2023.

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions when applying the new siding, and remember to place your nails in the center of the fastening slots to allow for expansion and contraction of the material.

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ReadyToDIY is the owner of this article. This post was published on January 4, 2023.

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