How to Install Foundry Vinyl Siding

February 13, 2017



Efficient vinyl siding installation details for a good-looking job  


Video chapters:

  1. Preparation: 1:22
  2. Vinyl Siding Installation Basics (2:47)
  3. J-Channel (4:38)
  4. Starter Strip (7:06)
  5. Shake/Shingle Panel Installation (8:33)
  6. Foundry Shapes (12:25)


Transcript of video:

Foundry siding reminds the authenticity, quality, and beauty of cedar shakes and shingles but without the problems of wood. Casted with molds cast with genuine cedar, Foundry siding is practically indistinguishable from the real thing—even up close.

Virtually maintenance free, Foundry has a Class 1A fire rating and a limited lifetime warrantee. 

For residential applications, Foundry siding has been engineered to assure a fast and easy installation. By following these simple guidelines, you will provide a finished product that is not only beautiful but provides the home with the most durable protection available. Foundry siding is installed using traditional siding methods. Only basic tools are needed:

  • Tape measure
  • Snips
  • Hammer
  • Utility knife
  • Nail hole slot punch
  • Snap lock punch
  • Trim nail punch
  • Caulking gun
  • Safety glasses

If there is old siding, you’ll also need a siding removal tool.


Preparation: 1:22

A flat plumb wall surface is necessary for proper installation of Foundry siding. Inspect the framing and sheathing to ensure that the walls are structurally sound. Recommended sheathing is a minimum 7/16 inch OSB or 15/32 inch plywood.

A weather resistant barrier should be applied to the house prior to installation. Consult the local building codes for specific requirements in your area.

Use self-adhearing flashing around windows, doors, and other projections through the siding.
  • Apply flashing on the underside of the projection first.
  • Follow this application with flashing on each side, making sure to overlap the bottom strip.
  • Finally, apply the flashing at the top, overlapping the side strips. Note that flashing should always extend past the nail flanges of any accessories to prevent water infiltration. 

As with any siding job, perform the work only when existing weather and forecast permits.

Work should be performed in a safe, professional manner. Be sure to follow the manufacturers installation requirements for all underlayment and any other applications. Comply with any and all local building code requirements.


Vinyl Siding Installation Basics: 2:47

Foundry vinyl siding comes in five foot lengths that is fastened to the wall along a nailing hem. 

  • Use nails with a 3/8 inch head, and a 1/8 inch shank. The nails must be long enough to penetrate the substrate by a minimum of 3/4 inch. 
  • When lapping panels, leave a 1/8 in. gap at the nailing hem.
  • When installing the panels, leave a minimum of 1/4 inch clearance at all openings and stops to allow for normal expansion and contraction.
  • Install each new panel by aligning it with the previous course. then push up from the bottom until the lock id fully engaged with the piece below it. Finally, release pressure on the new panel. It should drop slightly and rest on the panel below it.
  • Then, fasten the top of the new panel to the wall. The panels should not be under tension or compression when they are fastened. 
  • Nail the panels every 10 inches.

So the panels can expand and contract with temperature changes, you must not drive the nails too tightly against the nail hem. Allow a clearance of about 1/32 inch.

Drive the nail straight and level to prevent any restriction of the panel.

Note that face nailing may cause ripples of buckles in the siding because the siding cannot move as it expands and contracts. Face nailing is not recommended.

Panels may be cut with snips or a circular saw. The circular saw should have a blade designed for vinyl or a fine tooth blade installed in the reverse direction.


J-Channel (4:38)

J-channel is used as a receiver around all windrows, doors, projections, corners, and under all eaves, soffits, and gable ends. It should be fastened every 10 to 12 inches.

The depth of the J-channel required depends on the profile of the panel being installed. Clear conceal trim can be used in place of J-channel around doors, windows, and other projections.

When installing J-channel at roof-to-wall intersections, it is recommended to install it at approximately 1/2 inch above the roof line. Chalk a straight line on roof flashing to guide the installation.

NOTE: Do not use red chalk because red dye will stain the house.

When using more than one piece of J-channel, modify the upper piece by notching the back section so it can overlap the lower piece. 

When installing J-channel around a window or door, lap the pieces to shed water. The ends of the J-channel should be notched so that the lower pieces fit under the upper pieces. Use a 45 degree cut on all edges to give a mitered look.

When fitting around a door, window, or other projection, it is usually necessary to cut the panel and remove the nailing hem.

Utility trim replaces the nailing hem securing the panel to the wall.
  • Place the utility trim in the J-channel leaving 1/4 inch space between the trim and the J-channel.
  • Fasten the utility trim every 10 - 12 inches.
  • Cut the panel to fit inside the J-channel.
  • After the panel is cut, use a smart lock punch to create locking tabs every 10-12 inches. Lock the panel into the utility trim and fasten the rest of the panel along the nailing hem.

For the preformed outside corner post, J-channel must be installed vertically along each side of the corner. The J-channel locks into each side of the corner post. Use silicone or vinyl compatible sealant to adhere the pieces together.

When installing the corner post, make sure the courses on the wall align with the shakes or shingles on the corner post.


Starter Strip (7:08)

Panel installation begins with a starter strip.

The starter needs to be installed level with the bottom of the wall.
  • Determine the lowest point on the wall where the siding is to be installed.
  • Then, measure up 1/4 inch less than the width of the starter strip, and mark your chalk line.
  • Snap a level chalk line across the wall and repeat the procedure around the entire house.
  • Using the chalk line as a guide, install the top edge of the starter strip along the line.
  • Nail at 10-12 inch intervals using the center of nail slots.
  • Space each starter strip at least 1/4 inch from the next starter strip to allow for expansion and contraction.


For offset elevations, such as a porch, garage, or overhang, use J-channel as a bottom receiver.
  • Snap a level chalk line to position the top edge of the J-channels.
  • Fasten the J-channels every 10-12 inch intervals using the center of nail slots.
  • Drill 3/16 inch diameter weep holes in the bottom of the J-channel every 24 inches for drainage.
  • Then, insert the butt edge of the panel into the receiver to start the first course.


Shake/Shingle Panel Installation (8:33)

When installing foundry shake or shingle panels, the first panel should be installed on the lower left side of the wall, locked securely into the starter strip. Fasten the panel every 10 inches placing each nail in the center of a nailing slot.

The siding expands and contracts with temperature changes, and the panels must be free to move. Continue working to the right adding panels along the wall. When lapping panels, leave a 1/8 in. gap at the nailing hem. Trim the last panel at the right end of the wall leaving a 1/4 inch gap inside the J-channel to allow for expansion and contraction.

For each succeeding course, insert the bottom lip of the new panel into the lock of the preceding course. Push upward until the lock is fully engaged. Release the upward pressure and let the panel settle down to rest on the preceding course. Fasten the new panel to the wall.

For the best appearance, it is important that the keyways between individual shakes are not aligned with the panel below.

To reduce waste, you can use the trimmed piece from the end of a course. Always start each course from the left and trim from the right side of the panel at the end of the wall. Use the trimmed piece to start the new course on the left side. For Foundry cedar or shake panels, each trimmed piece must be at least 6 inches long and nailed in at least two places.

When installing siding on gabled ends, first create an angled template. 
  • First lock a short or scrap piece of siding into the last course before the gable starts and slide it as far toward the roofline as it will go.
  • Then, hold another piece of siding along the underside of the roof and mark the slope of the roof on the horizontal piece of siding.
  • Cut along the line and use this piece of siding as a pattern to cut the rest of the panels. Be sure to check the angle template every few courses.

Fasten the last panel at the gable peak with a 1-1/2 inch trim nail. Predrill a 1/8 inch hole in the panel for the nail.


How to add a foam backer (11:00)

For greater energy efficiency and cost savings, Fullback foam backer insulation can be added behind Foundry Cedar and Shake panels with 7 inch exposures.

Installation is nearly unchanged.
  • Simply lock the first course into the starter then drip the insulation behind the first course.  
  • Nail the siding through the insulation and into the wall.
  • Fasten nails or other fasteners in the center of the nailing slot and make sure the fastener penetrates at least 3/4 inch into a nailable surface. Each insulation panel covers the vertical surface of four courses of siding. 
  • Add new courses of insulation by overlapping the built-in pocket of the top course over the lip on top of the previous course, and continue to overlay the insulation with the siding panels.
When using insulation behind the siding panels, you must also shim out the corner posts.
  • First, assemble a section of corner post by locking a section of J-channel into each side.
  • Place the assembled corner on the wall and draw a line along the exposed edge of the J-channel to indicate where the shims will need to be placed.
  • Remove the assembly and add 1/2 inch thick foam shims from the lines out to the corner of the walls.


Foundry Shapes (12:25)

Foundry siding is available in fish scale and round shapes.

The gable should have a single shape centered at the peak.
  • Start by marking a vertical plumb line from the peak. Position the starter strip, centered on the plumb line, 1/4 inch above the final scallop placement. make sure the starter is level and straight.
  • Next, calculate the number of courses you’ll need. 
    • If the number is even, then you should position the panel so that one of the ‘Vs’ is centered on the plumb line.
    • If the number is odd, then position the first course of panels so that the peak of the shapes is centered on the plumb line.
  • Beginning at the left, install the first panel. Make sure all of the starter tabs are engaged and the panel is level.
  • Nail the panel every 10 inches. Continue installing the panels from left to right.
  • Trim the panel at the end of the gable. You may use trim pieces to start the next course.
  • Fasten the last panel at the gable peak with a 1-1/2 inch trim nail.
  • Pre-drill a 1/8 inch hole in the panel for the nail.


Visit the Tapco website for more information, including additional Foundry products. All residential products are backed by a limited lifetime warrantee.


—This video is from Tapco Tools, one of ProTradeCraft's advertisers. Serving professional siding applicators since 1961, Tapco brakes and accessories bring measuring,  mobility, decorative designs, and strengthening ribs to fascia, window trims, frieze boards, porch posts, and beams. See all of Tapco's content here.