How to Install Vinyl Shake Siding

Vinyl shake siding is low maintenance, durable, and resembles real wood shakes. Installation isn’t that difficult if you follow these steps.

Installing Vinyl Shake Siding:

  1. Pop a level chalk line for the starter strip an inch or two above the bottom of the siding.
  2. Nail the starter strip to the siding, aligning the top of the strip with the chalk line.
  3. Nail vertical vinyl corners to the corners of the house, making sure they are plumb.
  4. Attach J-channel trim strips around windows and doors and along the eaves.
  5. Lock the first row of siding under the starter strip and nail it in place. When nailing siding, don’t drive the fasteners all the way in so the siding can expand and contract with changes in temperature.
  6. Continue installing rows of siding from the bottom up, overlapping any joints.

When siding gables, align a scrap of siding with the gable, and then use it to mark the angle to be cut on the siding.

Watch this video to find out more.

Further Information

Danny Lipford: Like most vinyl siding, vinyl shake installation starts with the application of the appropriate trim strips around the perimeter of the area to be covered. The bottom piece here is a starter strip which is specific to this particular type of siding product. It’s installed along a level line with long roofing tacks.

The upper trim is “J” channel, a very common trim to vinyl siding that both terminates and secures the siding. Once the trim is in place, you can begin installing the shake siding starting from the bottom working up.

Mark angled pieces for cutting by laying another piece of siding along the angled surface you are trying to match. This will allow you to transfer the angle to a piece of siding temporarily mounted in the horizontal position.

These particular shakes interlock with each other at each end. Then you secure them to the wall on the top side with roofing tacks. The fasteners are not driven all the way in, so that the vinyl can move slightly as it expands and contracts with changes in temperature.

The cut ends along the side walls simply tuck under the “J” channel to create a clean, neat finished look.


  1. Can vinyl siding be attahed to a fiberglass motor home? If so, what needs to be done to attach the vinyl siding. Can the vinyl siding stay put on a motor home?

    Thank you ,
    Alby Furlong


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