Disclosure: We may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.
If you are looking for a unique aesthetic for your home, you may be considering vertical siding. But you also know you would like to redecorate with budget-friendly vinyl. So can vinyl siding be installed vertically? Siding professionals unanimously agree on one answer.
Vinyl siding can be installed vertically, with no real caveats or exceptions other than how it looks. Some vinyl siding styles do not lend themselves to vertical installation, and others are designed for exactly that. Vertical siding installation will take a bit more time, as it requires the use of nailing strips and a substrate before the siding can be hung.
Continue reading to find out what vinyl siding styles there are and which is best suited to be placed vertically, plus the right way to install vinyl siding vertically.
Vertical or Horizontal Siding - Which Is Best For My House?
While vinyl siding can be installed vertically or horizontally, a quick look at the positives of each style may help you decide which one is right for the exterior of your house.
Vertical Vinyl Siding
Resistant To Water Damage
Vertical siding, because of its position, is more leak-proof. While horizontal siding must be treated with care to avoid water going behind the seams, vertical siding rarely experiences water damage. Any water that does hit the siding can run straight to the ground via gravity, without being trapped behind a seam.
Easy to clean
Because it isn't prone to water damage, vertical siding is also easier to clean. Due to its hardiness, little special care is required. A pressure washer or garden hose can be used safely and easily on vertical siding with none of the problems that horizontal siding poses.
Vertical siding, while not unheard of, is relatively rare in residential homes. If you want a different look for your home, you can almost certainly stand out from the other houses on the street with vertical siding.
Horizontal Vinyl Siding
Since most homes utilize horizontal siding, the installation process is more familiar to most professionals. It can be done faster and easier due to their experience.
Horizontal siding installation is simpler, but additional steps and materials are used for vertical installation. This means added charges, an extra cost that is avoided with horizontal siding.
Just because you like the unique style of vertical siding doesn't mean that everyone else will. If you plan on selling your house soon, you may appeal to a wider range of buyers by sticking to the more traditional horizontal siding.
Is vertical siding more expensive?
There are a couple of factors that make vertical siding more expensive than its horizontal counterpart. The most significant difference when installing siding vertically is that you begin by placing nailing strips (or furring strips) and plywood. The cost of additional materials drives up the cost of the project.
It takes extra time to complete the earlier steps already mentioned. Also, most siding professionals have a certain ease with horizontal siding that they may not have with the less common vertical siding. This can make the project take longer, which factors into your overall cost of labor.
What are the different styles of vinyl siding?
All types of vinyl siding can, technically, be installed horizontally or vertically. However, some styles are designed assuming horizontal installation and will not look right when installed vertically. Siding typically comes in widths of 4-, 5-, 6- or 7-inches.
Also called lap siding, this is what most people think of as standard horizontal siding. It consists of long, narrow planks, all the same size, placed to overlap just slightly on top of each other. This is one of the more budget-friendly options for vinyl siding.
Dutch lap is very similar to lap siding but has an extra beveled notch at the plank's top. This creates a slightly different profile and adds a shadow. This is one of the most affordable styles of vinyl siding.
Beaded siding, like dutch lap, is a variation on lap siding. Unlike dutch lap, with a beveled notch at the top, beaded siding incorporates a groove at the bottom of each plank. This was another attempt by homeowners to achieve a slightly different look for their home. This is also one of the least expensive styles and transitions well to the vertical look.
Shakes and Shingle
In this style, instead of long, narrow planks, the siding has the appearance of square or rectangular shingles or shakes. Several sub-styles are within this category, but it is primarily divided between the straight bottom or staggered bottom. This style is more expensive than clapboard or dutch lap siding.
Unusual except as an accent piece, this was a popular look on Victorian homes. In modern times, this is rarely used as a whole house covering. This is the typically the costliest vinyl siding.
Board and Batten
This is the standard look for vertical installation. In fact, this style was invented when people began looking to side their homes with vertical rather than horizontal boards as a unique way to set their home apart. The boards were placed side to side, vertically covering the wall. The seams were then sealed by a thinner piece of wood called a batten, nailed over the seam. This siding is a bit more expensive but less costly than shakes or scallop siding.
This siding was made to imitate a log cabin's look but offer the affordability and low maintenance of vinyl. It comes in a variety of styles (both colors and mimicked woods). Vinyl log siding falls somewhere in the middle of the price range, more than lap siding and less than shakes.
How do you start vinyl siding vertically?
The most significant difference for installing siding vertically is that you will need to install nailing strips (or furring strips) every 16-inches, and then place a substrate material (such as plywood) no more than 1-inch thick over it.
You will also need to install J-channel at the base of the sidewalls, tops of all sidewalls, and trim around doors and windows.
To see the process, you can learn more from this video:
Vinyl siding can be installed vertically, though it does cost more for the extra time and materials involved in the process. Extra materials used include nailing strips and installation of a substrate such as plywood for hanging siding. While many vinyl styles lend themselves to a vertical installation, the most common vinyl siding installed vertically is board and batten siding.