As one of the most commonly occurring kinds of home siding in America, vinyl is affordable and incredibly durable overall but might also need repairs at some point. When that time comes, you’ll likely need to know how to cut a panel of siding or two to make the proper fix.
Though cutting vinyl siding is pretty simple, it can sometimes be challenging to ensure it doesn’t snap or break in the process. Fortunately, this in-depth guide provides three step-by-step methods for how to cut vinyl siding properly, so it doesn’t crack or break on you. Let’s begin!
To start, let’s touch on the top reasons people continue choosing vinyl to protect their homes time and time again.
According to EyeOnHousing.org, vinyl siding covers almost three quarters of American homes across the mid-Atlantic and eastern seaboard, and that’s because vinyl comes with a multitude of benefits (and only a few minor drawbacks):
✅ Pros ✅
🚫 Cons 🚫
Fortunately for the many homeowners across the US with vinyl siding systems, cutting it to make repairs is pretty straightforward. Yep, that’s just one more great benefit to vinyl siding products and another reason to go this route.
Any handy homeowner can tackle this task with the right step-by-step guide and a few basic hand tools that are bound to be buried in the garage or backyard shed. The only problem is finding the motivation to search those cluttered spots so you can start cutting some vinyl strips!
Here’s a checklist of the tools and materials you’ll need to cut vinyl siding:
A staggering 24,534 housework and home improvement-related injuries required hospital admission in 2020 alone, so we can’t stress enough the importance of stringent safety precautions.
Like any other home improvement project, you’ll need the proper safety equipment to protect yourself during the cutting process, including:
Safety goggles and masks protect your eyes and respiratory system from harmful particles in the air, while ear protection can save you from irreversible hearing damage down the line.
In addition, items like long sleeve shirts and pants, sturdy boots, and durable work gloves can minimize your risk of any knicks or cuts (and eliminate the need for that first aid kit, though you should always keep it on hand just in case). You can even purchase cut-resistant work gloves at your local home improvement store specifically designed for wear during dangerous jobs like this one.
Once you’ve gathered your tools and protective equipment and prepped a safe workspace, you can start measuring to cut your vinyl siding. If you’re not sure how to cut vinyl siding just yet, you have a few options:
Depending on how much siding panel you plan on cutting, one method might work better than another, so you’ll need to take exact measurements of each exterior wall. Then, you’ll be better able to determine what best suits your needs.
These are the three main ways for cutting vinyl siding:
When you only have a few short, vertical cuts to make, a pair of tin snips can provide excellent precision instead of dragging out the circular saw (or if you don’t have one at all). The only downside is that this manual method takes a little longer than the others, as you’ll have to inch your way along the line.
Note that tin snips can only be used to cut vinyl siding vertically, and you’ll have to use another method to make horizontal cuts. Here’s how to do it:
Vinyl panels typically range from 4 to 7 inches in width, so you won’t have to work long to make your cuts. That’s why tin snips are mainly used when you only have a small amount of vinyl to cut vertically.
Another fast and easy way to cut your vinyl siding is the score and snap method. Again, this is only recommended for short vertical cuts because it leaves a rough edge and isn’t really that fast compared to using a circular saw.
It’s usually used to cut outside edges and corners that will be covered by trim later since it’s hard to get smooth cuts with the final snap. However, the steps are still quite simple:
For those long vertical cuts or depending on how much siding you have to cut, consider using a handheld circular saw or static miter saw instead of the manual methods mentioned above.
As the preferred tactics professionals use to cut vinyl, this is the primary way to make:
Like any other power tool, circular and miter saw blades are dangerous and definitely not something to mess around with. Always wear safety goggles, cut-resistant gloves, and other protective gear around any kind of saw blade to ensure you get out of this project with all ten fingers intact.
Ultimately, when it comes down to it, it’s up to the individual homeowner or siding professional to decide which method works best for them to cut vinyl siding. If you’re going to DIY this project and only have tin snips or a regular utility knife on hand, you’ll have to work with what you’ve got and go with method #1 or #2.
Professional remodelers with access to a high-powered saw blade (or people who need a solid excuse to buy a circular saw blade) might be more inclined to complete the job using a table or circular saw. As you can see, whatever makes the most sense for your unique situation and skill (or tool) set is the way to go.
Although after reading this step-by-step guide, you might feel more confident in your ability to cut your own vinyl siding, it’s always a smart idea to leave this kind of stuff to the experts to avoid any irreversible mistakes and ensure everything goes smoothly throughout the process. Most vinyl siding companies can get the job done in just a few days, not weeks; this way, you’ll have nothing to worry about.
So, when you want to refresh your home’s siding and start a replacement, put your trust in the team of professionals at Dreamworx. Our expert home exterior specialists can properly cut vinyl siding and install it fast, helping to protect your family, improve curb appeal, and boost home efficiency by a mile.
Make Dreamworx your preferred choice when it comes to vinyl siding. Schedule an appointment and get peace of mind today!
“Living comfortably at home means living in a safe, cozy house that protects you from outside elements.” -Dreamworx Co-Owner, Charlie Anderson