How to Measure For Siding Installation

An image of vinyl siding installation.

Soffit installation requires you to measure and install your siding properly. Learn how to do it or have the pros do it for you.

3 min read

Vinyl siding is one of the most popular siding materials, with 26% of homes featuring this durable and beautiful material. If you want to install vinyl siding on your home, then you need to know how much material you need. Getting the siding installation right means that your other exterior finishes will install easier. This includes the frieze board, molding, soffit, and facia.

Use this guide to learn how to accurately measure for your siding.

Soffit and Vinyl Siding

The soffit is the paneling that lines the underside of your roof overhang. It starts at the outer edge, just under the facia, and extends inward to meet with the side of your home. It's essential that you know where this point is because your siding installation needs to come up the side of your home to meet this point.

Measuring for Your Siding

Before you get started, you need to gather the right tools. You'll need a long tape measure, pencil/pen and paper, and a ladder. Your next step is to either create a list of the exterior walls or create a rough sketch of your home.

Take Wall Measurements

Measure the width and height of each wall. Then multiply them together to get each wall's square footage. To make measurements easier, you can break a wall up into basic shapes.

Measure the bottom portion of a wall that creates a square or rectangle. Then measure the top part of the wall that creates a triangle or other unusual shape. Add the two square footage measurements together to get the total for each wall.

Once you've measured each wall, you can add all of your square footage measurements together and get the total square footage of your home.

Measuring Gables

To measure the triangle gable shapes, you should place your ladder in the middle of the gable. Then measure the height from the "bottom" point that you create with your imaginary line. Then divide this number by 2.

You'll then take this resulting number and multiply it by the width of the wall. This will give you the square footage of the gable portion of the wall.

Take Window and Door Measurements

Your next step is to determine the total square footage of the windows and doors. You then need to subtract this number from your home total. This is important because you won't be covering these home elements with siding.

Factor in Waste

The final step is to multiply your total by 20% and add that to your total square footage. This is the waste and mistake factor. You need this additional siding because you'll experience some loss due to cutting specially sized pieces and cutting mistakes you make.

Plan out Your Siding and Soffit Installation Project

By measuring for your siding correctly, you will ensure you have enough siding to complete its installation and have it connect to your soffit correctly. That way, you won't have to stop mid-project for more materials, leaving your home vulnerable to the elements and animals.

For related reading see our article on how to install soffit and how to know when it's time to hire the professionals.

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