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kristinski 08-22-2009 07:30 PM

Vinyl siding and window trim
Hi. I have a very old house with vinyl siding in good shape. When they put up the vinyl siding (before we bought it) they put the siding right up to the windows, either covering or tearing off the window trim (I'm not sure.) It looks awful. It's like a big white mass with holes. I really can't afford to tear off the siding and start over and there isnt enough room for shutters. So, my question is - is there anyway I can add some trim to my windows and keep the existing vinyl siding?I'd really appreciate any ideas.

oldognewtrick 08-23-2009 07:03 AM

Kristen, welcome to the site and there is a fix for you present situation. Vinyl siding comes in 10' sections and is generally a 2 or 3 board piece. They are secured to the wall with galvanized roofing nails. There is a seam where the pieces interlock and you can buy a zip tool that is made for separating the seams. If you are careful you can separate the seams and use a small nail puller and remove the siding without damaging it. When you remove the pieces around the windows number them on the back side so you know which one goes back and where. Piece of tape works for this.

After you get the siding loose or removed make a picture frame out of 1X4" treated wood and secure it to the outside wall around the window. Now you can either paint your picture frame, which will require maintenance over the years, or you can wrap the frame with "trim coil" painted metal. Then run "J" channel around the frame and reinstall your siding with roofing nails. Do not drive the nails down tight but leave them about 1/8" from the siding to allow for expansion of the vinyl, also place the nail in the center of the slot on the lock strip of the siding. If you see warping of the walls on a sunny day the nails were overdriven. It is not a difficult job but will require a little effort and finesse on your part, working on ladders or "pick boards". It will make a tremendous visual improvement over your current install.

Hope this helps. If you think this is more than you want to tackle, go to a local vinyl siding supply house and ask the people at the counter to refer a installer who would do a repair job as you have described. They will have the tools to fabricate the metal trim, but this is something you can DIY.

kristinski 08-23-2009 07:29 AM

Thanks for the reply. I think I get most of what you're suggesting. One question I had was evidently I'm going to have to cut the siding to accomodate the 1 x 4s, right? How does that work? Is there a special tool for cutting it?

oldognewtrick 08-23-2009 07:41 AM

The siding will have to be cut the dimension of the frame and J channel plus leave a small amount of space to allow for movement. The siding is cut with snips or shears.

kristinski 08-23-2009 04:39 PM

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So, I have more questions. As I mentioned I have a very old house (ca. 1890.) It's been added onto and on one of the back porches you can still see what the original siding and trim looked like (that's the green picture) awhat it looks like now (blech!) Personally I'd like to tear off all the ugly siding and paint, but that's been vetoed. So my next question is: based on the green picture, would you think they just sided over the existing 1 x 4 trim? There'd be no reason they'd tear it off, would there? If it's there, do I just nail my new 1 x 4s on top of the old?

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