Start, finish, base and other strips for siding

Siding is an important component of improving the outside of your home because it provides insulation and protection in addition to aesthetic appeal. Strips are one of the most important parts of installing siding among other components. These siding strips—which come in start, finish, base, and other varieties—form the framework of your project and guarantee a strong, aesthetically pleasing, and weather-resistant finish. Comprehending their roles and their contribution to the overall integrity of your siding is crucial for a satisfactory home remodeling project.

First, let’s talk about the start strip, also known as a starter strip. The first siding piece put in at the base of your external walls is this fundamental component. Its main purpose is to give the remaining siding panels a level foundation to work from. The start strip ensures a consistent appearance throughout the surface by assisting in the establishment of straight lines and appropriate alignment. It also serves as a barrier to stop moisture from penetrating and harming the underlying structure by stopping water from leaking behind the siding.

The finish strip is installed at the other end of the siding installation process. The finish strip is the last siding piece installed to finish the project, as its name implies. It provides a clean edge and seals off the exposed ends of the siding panels, fulfilling both practical and decorative purposes. This gives the outside of your house a polished appearance while assisting in the prevention of moisture and insect intrusion. Finish strips that are installed correctly add years of protection and curb appeal to your siding while also extending its overall lifespan.

Let’s now examine the base strip, sometimes referred to as a J-channel or a bottom trim. Installed at the base of the siding panels, the base strip provides protection and support. Its primary function is to support the siding’s lower edge while allowing for expansion and contraction brought on by temperature variations. This lessens the likelihood of the siding material warping and buckling over time. In addition, the base strip diverts water away from the house’s foundation, lowering the possibility of mold development and water damage.

Depending on the particular needs of your siding project, you may use different types of strips in addition to these basic ones. These could be, among other things, utility trim, corner posts, and transition strips. In order to guarantee correct installation, functionality, and visual appeal, each type fulfills a specific function. You can plan and carry out your siding project more intelligently and end up with a better-looking and more functional home by knowing the functions of each strip and how they interact with one another.

Start strip Used to begin the installation of siding, providing a foundation for the rest of the panels.
Finish strip Placed at the end of the siding installation to give a clean, finished edge to the siding.
Base strip Forms the bottom row of siding, providing support and alignment for the panels above.
Other strips Various additional strips used for specific purposes in siding installation, such as corner strips or transition strips.

Siding Installation Guide

Vinyl siding can be installed yourself in a few easy steps. If you follow the instructions in the handbook, everything will work out.

The first step is to determine the starting point

Examine the structure before beginning any finishing touches. Consider where you want to begin repairing the panels. If the house was previously siding, you could install new siding in accordance with where the old trim was placed. On the other hand, for newly constructed buildings, the first row of panels needs to be positioned such that it crosses over the upper edge of the house’s concrete foundation.

For the purpose of mounting the first horizontal row of panels, draw an even marking line. You’ll need a marker and a plumb line for this.

The second step is to install the accessories

You will need to install a number of extra accessories, such as trim pieces, corner panels, starter strips, and so forth, when you finish the house with vinyl siding.Experts advise beginning finishing work precisely with the installation of accessories.

First, make sure the corner pieces are aligned. There should be a tiny space of roughly 5 to 6 mm between the building’s corner top and the cornice.

The third step – fixing the starting strip

The starting strip must be positioned precisely even because it directly affects the quality of installation of all other panels. You had previously drawn a horizontal marking line on the house’s walls.

Draw another even line from this one, allowing it to spread out to the width of the starting strip.

Nails or self-tapping screws should be used to secure the starter strip to the wall. Fastening holes are a factory-applied feature on siding panels. Pinch the fasteners precisely into these openings. Maintain a 1-1.5 cm space between adjacent panels.

The fourth step is insulation of window and door openings

Prepare the panels (strips, moldings, trim pieces, overlays) so that the openings can be finished. It’s prettier to butt strips near doors and windows at a 45-degree angle.

Step five – installation of the cladding panels

Fixing the main panels should come next after all accessories have been installed. Finishing should be carried out gradually from bottom to top, beginning at the beginning strip.

Siding panel should be inserted into the starter strip. This is simple to accomplish by.к. Fasteners have been factory-applied to the panels since the beginning. The panel should be able to move slightly with temperature variations, so don’t insert it "tightly."

Cover every planned wall section with the same material. Every 40–45 centimeters, fasten the panels with self-tapping screws or nails. Allow a space of 0.5–1 cm at the joints between individual panels.

Install panels last, encircling pipes and openings. For challenging areas, you can either make the corresponding holes yourself or purchase special facing elements.

The sixth step is the installation of the upper wall edge

Lastly, it will be up to you to complete the upper wall edges. During this phase of the project, exercise the utmost caution. The profiles at the top of the walls should be positioned similarly to how they were when the area around the openings was clad.

Siding strips cannot be used in their entirety beneath the roof. Only the placement of the cut strips on the gables is permitted.

Use a finishing overlay or a special J-profile to lay the final row.

Thus, independent vinyl siding fastening is not difficult at all. You are now aware of the primary phases and features of this cladding’s technology. Learn these other crucial pointers to ensure that the task is as simple as possible and that the outcome is of the highest caliber.

There are significant subtleties in vinyl siding installation technology.

Video – Installation of vinyl siding with your own hands

The materials that are thought to be the most dependable for exterior insulation work are metal or vinyl siding. They will shield the exterior of the house from outside influences while also enabling the installation of extra thermal insulation materials within.

Additionally, if you follow specific instructions, you can complete all of the work with your hands.

Installation of H-profiles

The purpose of H-profiles is to draw attention to the siding panel joints. Places for H-profiles should be chosen in advance in accordance with the overall architectural and design concept, as they are typically done for decorative purposes.

With the exception of the fact that these profiles are placed on the house’s facade, the installation of an H-profile is done vertically and is quite similar to that of corners.

Experts advise fixing H-profiles and all other vertical elements starting at the top and working their way down. The first nails should be driven as close as possible to the upper edge of the fixing hole, and the remaining ones should be driven in the center of the holes, leaving a gap of 200 to 400 mm.

Two elements are joined with overlap using the same principle as corner profiles if the profile’s length is insufficient.

Two more battens can be installed here, or the battens’ orientation can be switched from vertical to horizontal to correct the H-profiles. The second option is simpler because it does not require exact grid location adjustments to account for profile width.

Installing the finishing strip for the siding

You can get to work once all the tools are ready. You can rest assured that there is nothing difficult about this procedure.

All that matters is to adhere to the guidelines and exercise extreme caution.

The first thing you should do at home is prepare the wall surface. All imperfections must be eliminated, outdated paint must be removed, and the plaster on the H-profiles must be fixed. Generally speaking, the surface needs to be as smooth and clean as possible.

The purlin laying process is the next step. It will support a portion of the lath as well as the siding itself at the same time. Wooden or metal sheathing (especially aluminum). Insulating film or fabric is placed inside the purlins.

The cladding installation should then come next. It is necessary to install the first strip and corner components here. The siding’s last profile is put in last.

Hence, the finishing strip needs to be ready when the penultimate element is left. You must file the strips and measure the length gaps in the purlins in order to accomplish this. One large plank can be installed under the cornice instead of being sawed into smaller pieces to save time and material. However, there’s a possibility that the installation won’t be level this way.

Installing the finish strip itself is now required. Nails or regular screws work well for this. The direction of the lath’s holes must be downward. It’s locked up. Don’t turn the screws all the way through. Ideally, you should leave a 1 mm space. Fix every five to six holes.

After calculating the distance from the penultimate piece siding, add 3 mm to the desired length and cut. Using perforated pliers, holes are made on the end that will be inserted into the lock at a distance of 5 cm. The final piece can now be fixed into the finish plank profile lock.

That is the entire procedure. The process of installing in a vertical position is done in exactly the same way.

Installation of horizontal siding

It’s very easy to install horizontal siding panels on a solid wall. All of the panels in the row are full-size; the outermost ones only need to be trimmed if they are too small for the wall’s width.

But there aren’t many blind walls in contemporary homes. There are windows and door openings more frequently found on building facades. Additionally, if there aren’t enough panels stacked in the row next to the opening, they need to be cut and overlapped horizontally.

The section "Required tools" provides guidelines for cutting siding. However, joining panels in this manner has certain peculiarities. Cutting, for instance, should be as tidy as possible, and the ideal tool for this is a circular saw fitted with a plywood saw blade.

Another option is to use a grinder—also referred to as a bolt cutter—that has a cutting wheel. In this instance, you must position the Bulgarian disk so that it sawed the back of the teeth in order to cut vinyl panels. This cutting technique is prohibited for other materials due to its potential for danger, particularly for harder materials.

Two panels can be sawed at once with an electric saw, or bolgarka, but the disk must always go completely through each panel. The sawing speed should be reduced in colder air.

It is not required to bring metal scissors’ cutting edges to a stop when cutting with them. By doing this, torn edges can be prevented.

A vinyl siding panel should be sawed or cut in a specific direction, beginning at the lock and finishing at the mating hook. The panels that need to be joined must have their locks and mating hooks cut at the same level.

Panel cutting should not be done at the expense of safety. Safety glasses should be worn for all work.

To guarantee a 25-millimeter overlap and a double temperature gap when joining the panels, nail strips are cut as the illustration indicates.

Designation of fittings

As a starting point, the starter strip is used. It serves as the foundation for installing siding. The top of the panel with the latch-latch lock is known as the starter profile. The last step in installing panels and other components is the finishing strip. Every horizontal cut has the strip installed. The final strips at the top and bottom of apertures and regions beneath the roof are covered.

The purpose of exterior and interior corners is the same. They are employed for corner panel joining. The cut joints on the inside and outside corners of vinyl panels are held and connected by fittings. Every vertical edge is finished using J-profile. It is employed to support soffits and frame openings. Additionally, the strip is utilized for sloping lines at the gable end where the wall and roof meet.

It resembles two J-strips joined together in shape. Siding strips are joined together with it. When the panel’s size is insufficient to cover the full length of the wall, it is utilized. Although they can be used in place of one, two J-bars won’t create an airtight joint.

Cornices and ceilings are finished with soffit. There are two varieties: solid and perforated. There is a continuous soffit covering the ceiling. Perforated strips are used in situations where ventilation is required.

A trim is used to adorn windows and doors. When the apertures and walls are on the same plane, it is utilized. Its shape is similar to a J-profile, but its measurements are larger.

A different fitting is used if the windows are set into the facade. We refer to it as a window profile. With the exception of the vinyl shelf that takes the place of the slope, this plank is essentially the same. The sill serves as the slope’s bottom plane. They are positioned above the plinth as well.

When it comes to siding installation, understanding the crucial role of start, finish, base, and other strips is essential. These strips form the foundation of your siding project, providing structural support, weatherproofing, and a polished finish. The start strip sets the initial alignment and ensures a straight installation, while the finish strip gives a clean edge to your siding, enhancing the overall appearance. Base strips provide stability and protection against moisture, safeguarding your home"s interior. Other strips, like corner pieces and J-channels, add detail and reinforcement to corners and edges. Mastering the use of these strips is key to a successful siding project, ensuring durability, aesthetic appeal, and long-term protection for your home.

Mounting operations

The following steps are used to install the starter strip:

Establish the lower reference line. This is accomplished by beating a horizontal line from one of the basement level’s corners. If the building’s walls have sagged, begin in the basement’s lowest point. There should be no more than 1 mm of height difference between the line’s beginning and end. Attach the H-profiles, corner rails, starting strip, and trim.

Fixing things is important to know. Horizontal guides are fastened with screws or nails at a distance of +5 cm from the beaten line.

Vertical elements are fastened from top to bottom, and work is done from the center outwards. Temperature gaps of 6 to 12 mm between the mating edges are required. Check the level after installation. Each slat needs to hang precisely horizontally and be able to move freely on the fasteners inside the socket’s perimeter. Install the panels straight away by hanging the finished siding (see photo).

Non-ferrous or anodized steel nails are used to fasten the final siding to the purlin profile. Rust streaks on the front panels are not acceptable, so choosing a fastening material must be done carefully. The purlins’ material determines the kind of fasteners needed. Aluminum nails are used to attach panels to wooden laths, and self-tapping screws are used to secure the metal profile. The ideal fastener diameter is 3 mm.

From the starting strip, mount the panels bottom to top. A specific pitch is fixed for every panel.

It’s crucial to adhere to the manufacturer’s instructions when attaching the product to the panel’s laths or profile:

  1. When fastening horizontal sheets, the fastener must be in the middle of the fastening groove.
  2. Vertical elements are nailed at the top, the screw (nail) is located at the upper edge of the fastening cutout; at other points – in the middle.
  3. A 1 mm gap must be left between the flat bar and the panel (see photo).

Following the guidelines to ensure thermal gaps must be followed when laying each row. There should be 6 mm of free space on each side of the horizontal sheet between the horizontal panel and the closest adjacent edge of the vertical panel, and 12 mm between the two. It is not permitted to nail siding straight through the plastic. If this becomes necessary, a hole punch should be used to extend the fixing hole by up to 12 mm.

Siding is installed while maintaining constant control over the laying angle. Every second or third row, the installation’s horizontality is inspected.

When installing strips near window openings, the siding is trimmed so as to ensure a loose fit between the panels and the trim (see "Nailing the siding directly through the plastic"). photo). If the window with the wall is located in the same plane, platbands are not placed. In this case, on the outer horizontal boundaries of the window opening are hinged starting and finishing profile for siding, and row elements of cladding are attached to them, respectively – from the top of the window opening, from the bottom. If necessary, the siding is trimmed. Fasten the material with the help of landing holes, which are cut with a special perforator at the desired height.

Final operations

A finishing profile, J-profile, or other final element is used to help fasten the last siding panel at the edge of the roof. Siding finishing strip installation is done in the following manner:

  • the required profile is fixed at the given height;
  • measure the distance between the locking elements of the bottom panel and the end profile, subtract the size of 3mm;
  • The row panel is cut to the required level;
  • punch perforate the siding sheet at intervals of 0.2 m, the resulting tongues are bent outward;
  • meshing the last panel from bottom to top.

The finishing of the gables and prominent features begins after the main planes are clad.

Utilizing connecting components for both internal and external corners, boxes are performed over the projecting sections. Poryadovku operated in compliance with the specifications provided by the manufacturer. finalizes the siding finishing strip construction.

Gables’ final process. J-panels surround the perimeter of the wall’s upper triangular section. Attach them in the same manner as vertical planes: put the top screw under the fastening cutout’s edge first, and the remaining screws in the slots’ middles. Siding installation on gable ends in a unique way: the finishing strip is screwed into the lath or profile through the front surface.

Proceed to the installation of siding

Only initially, it might appear difficult:

  • All siding is taken outside before starting work. You can store the material on the balcony, if there is no insulation yet.
  • To obtain the dimensions according to the temperature it is necessary to keep the material in such conditions for at least 2 hours.

By doing this, the panels are guaranteed not to warp in the future.

Installing the drip trays

  • Gutters (see. ) fixed on the wall, in its lower part. According to the level, they must be strictly in a horizontal plane.
  • Compared to the rest of the parts, the drain strips are almost the most rigid ones. So it"s easier to align them exactly on the level.

Mounting the panels

The drain strips themselves have the starter strips attached to them:

  • Next, the first panel is fastened by itself.
  • Other elements are installed on it. The upper lock of the previous panel is fastened into the lower lock of the next panel. The top panel is fastened to the battens with self-tapping screws.

Final steps

They don’t have to be fastened together:

  • In the inner and outer corners of the siding panels should not rest tightly. The panels themselves should be slightly shorter than the distance between the corners.
  • The gap can be up to 10 millimeters throughout the year.
  • Panels will swell if there is no such gap.
  • Siding is necessarily covered and roof overhangs.
  • You can use panel scraps, there are usually quite a lot of them left over.
  • But it is better to use special panels, which have perforations.

Horizontal or vertical fastening is possible.

  • For fastening usually use "snaps", but the system of "tongue and groove" is also allowed. The lower edge of the previous panel is clicked into place with the neighboring panel. The top part is nailed to the wall.
  • Trimmed board is the most popular material for creating the purlins. Usually the size of 100 by 30 millimeters is purchased. Often a 40 by 50 millimeter timber is also used. If the installation is horizontal, a spacing of 30-40 cm is observed.
  • All corners of the house and window openings are fitted with timbers. It is on these bars then mount the window siding.
  • Plastic panels can be used to finish the slopes themselves. In the upper and lower area where the siding is located, the bars are also installed.
  • For fixation suitable and galvanized nails. They are hammered only in special technological holes, right in the center.

Installation of corner elements

Special corner elements are used in the design of the building’s exterior and interior corners. If the house has a sunken or flat plinth and the corner profile’s length is longer than the wall’s height, the profile’s bottom should be trimmed to make it longer by three millimeters.

Corner profiles are applied to building corners so that the top edge is between one and three millimeters from the roof’s eaves. Next, two self-tapping screws or nails are used to secure it through the upper fixing holes on both corners. The upper edge of the holes is where the profile should be fixed.

The following nails are driven in from top to bottom, 200 to 400 mm apart, in the center of the fixing holes.

The lower corner profile nail strips can be pre-trimmed to improve the cladding’s aesthetic appeal by preventing them from poking through the siding when it expands thermally.

Two corner elements must be joined together when the house wall is higher than the corner profile’s length. In this situation, the top profile is often cut to the necessary length, accounting for the 25 mm overlap, and the bottom profile is typically mounted completely and initially.

Nail strips are also cut off in the lower part of the upper element; this part, along with the shaped elements, is laid with overlap over the lower profile.

When trimming, keep in mind that the portion that is cut off should be longer than the entire gap in order to account for thermal expansion (this can range from 2 to 9 mm, depending on the weather at the time of installation).

The end product should be a corner that extends down from the bottom edge of the original profile by 4-6 mm and stands 1-3 mm from the eave or soffit.

It might be impossible to install the corner element in the conventional manner due to protruding plinths and other protruding architectural features and structures on the building’s corner. The profile needs to be trimmed a little bit more in this instance so that it is 1-6 mm away from the obstruction. The same technique is applied to cladding porches, where an existing floor may present a challenge.

The installation process for the inner and outer corners is the same.


Using our professional experience as a guide, we can state that choosing and buying the siding accessories you need is just one step in the process; the other step is skillfully installing them in accordance with the guidelines.

Here, specialized knowledge is needed; otherwise, the work’s quality could be subpar. Once you are comfortable with the technology involved in using vinyl planks to clad buildings, you can apply decorative cladding yourself.

Siding trim pieces are meant to give the facade a polished, tidy appearance and to provide a decorative finish. Depending on the brand, siding accessories can have different configurations and colors. Additionally, even though the majority of manufacturers follow widely recognized guidelines, their measurements may differ.

Peculiarities of installation

As previously mentioned, there are a few fundamental types of extra components for cladding strips that are affixed to the facade at various phases of installation.

The starter profile gets fixed before the main panels are installed. It is fastened to the frame with self-tapping screws or nails. The first siding sheet then slides under it.

J-Trim is used to close the side panels, and a unique profile is used to cover small recesses and adorn the window and door openings. Use an f-profile suitable for fixing soffits and a connecting segment if necessary to dock plastic panels in length so long as their sizes match.

While accessories for vinyl material may differ slightly from one another, they are similar to accessories used in the work with other cladding panels. For example, a corner segment and a wider starter strip are used when finishing a plinth. Complementary boards up to 6 meters in length can be ordered for metal panels.

Installing decorative strips on the metal profile is recommended, even if we are working with a flat facade plane. An analogous structure composed of wooden planks is less efficient and more difficult to construct.

It requires extra antiseptic treatment, unlike galvanized battens.

Advantages of purlins

The frame’s primary benefits can be referred to as:

  • the ability to visually level the walls of the house;
  • ventilation facade equipment;
  • insulation of walls, which will positively affect the climate inside the room and help to save on heating.

It is appropriate to select a siding purlin profile with a 2,7×6 cm cross section and unique edges that function as a sort of stiffener. The dimensions of the primary cladding components must be considered when installing the base. Regular self-tapping screws work well to secure the laths to the wooden frame; dowels are needed to attach the laths to a brick or concrete wall.

The spacing between metal profiles should be smaller the heavier the finishing material. The standards state that for vinyl and metal materials, the distance between the battens of the purlin is 0.06 and 0.04 meters, respectively. The installation of the frame rails is done perpendicular to how the ornamental cladding is fastened.

For the heating and insulation systems in your home to last a long time and function well, selecting the appropriate siding strips is essential. It’s not just about looks; performance and functionality are also important. Evaluate your climate and surrounding conditions first. Think about the materials that provide the best weather resistance in your region.

Give longevity and suitability for the siding material you have chosen top priority when it comes to finishing strips. These strips act as a barrier against moisture and pests in addition to giving the area a polished appearance. Make sure they are put correctly to avoid any openings or weaknesses that can allow the insulation in your home to be compromised.

The base strips actually serve as the structural cornerstone of your siding system. They give the entire structure stability and support. Purchase base strips of superior quality that will not deteriorate from moisture and can support the weight of the siding material. In order to stop shifting or warping over time, proper installation is essential.

Finally, remember the significance of additional strips, like corner and transition strips. These elements improve your home’s overall thermal performance while guaranteeing a smooth, expert-looking installation. To get the best results, pay attention to small details like alignment and spacing.

To sum up, choosing and installing siding strips are essential steps in building an energy-efficient and well-insulated house. You can improve the way your property looks and works by using the right materials at the beginning, finishing with accuracy, and adding strength with base strips. A comfortable and sustainable living environment for many years to come will ultimately result from meticulous attention to detail at every stage of the process.

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Video on the topic

siding. Mounting the last panel. Finishing strip

Installation of the siding finishing strip

Installing the siding starter strip

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Sergey Ivanov

I like to help people create comfort and comfort in their homes. I share my experience and knowledge in articles so that you can make the right choice of a heating and insulation system for your home.

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