Screws Or Nails For Vinyl Siding (Things You Should Know) | [2023] (2023)

Deciding which type of fastening is better for your vinyl siding might be difficult, especially if your region has no nailing rule of thumb.

The nail type can determine how good the vinyl siding on your exterior wall will look. Therefore, it is essential to use the better option to get great results.

When deciding the best nail material for your vinyl siding, you should weigh the benefits and cons of nails and screws for the siding.

Nails are better for vinyl siding because they are easy and fast to manage and drive through vinyl siding. Screws are more secure due to their threaded and rough shaft; however, screws can be more challenging to drill through for vinyl siding. Moreover, nails can hold the siding and secure it against strong winds, unlike screws.

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Should I Use Screws or Nails for Vinyl Siding?

Screws Or Nails For Vinyl Siding (Things You Should Know) | [2023] (1)

Using nails for your vinyl siding is a better option screw due to its smooth shaft and ease of use on the siding. Therefore, it is advisable to use nail fasteners for your vinyl siding.

Screws have a rough shaft and cost more to drive into the siding. In addition, to use a screw, you will need a screwdriver, which can slow down the fastening process.

(Video) How to Select Siding Nails

Using screws to fasten your vinyl siding will also reduce productivity, and its shaft can damage the siding. Nails do not have threads but a smooth shaft for easy fastening.

However, if you use a power screwdriver, you can install your screws in the vinyl without any hassles. It will also increase the speed at which you are installing the screws.

Below is a detailed comparison between nails and screws:

#1. Product Type

Though nails are similar to screws based on purpose, they have different features. Nails have a broader head with a smooth shaft, with no threads.

Moreover, it holds well against intense and windy weather; therefore, it will not snap easily. Contrastly, screws have coarse threads around their shaft.

Though they have a higher holding resistance than nails, they might snap while in strong winds.

#2. Benefits

It is more beneficial to use nails for vinyl siding compared to screws. For instance, nails have a large head and do not pop out of place easily from pressure.

It is also smooth and slides quickly into vinyl siding without any problem. Moreover, it will not break from heavy influence.

In contrast, screws have lesser benefits for vinyl siding. For screws, you do not need many long screws for fastening vinyl siding.

(Video) NAILS vs. SCREWS...Which Should You Choose?! (Pros + Cons of Nails And Screws For Your Projects!)

However, ensure you do not tighten the screw to allow room for contraction, or the screw will loosen and fall off.

#3. Varying Features

Both nails and screws have unique features. These characteristics make them different and determine which fastener is better for vinyl siding.

Aluminum nails of two inches hold the siding in place and last for a long time due to their non-rust property.It is also easy to use a hammer to drive it through the siding due to its flat head.

Some stainless steel nails also come in varying colors that match the vinyl siding, with zinc finishing for better rust resistance.

In contrast, screws have rough threads in their shaft, which gives them a stronger hold on the siding.

However, they do not have wide heads, so you will need screwdrivers to drive the screws through the vinyl siding. The small heads also make it easy for the fasteners to pop out.

#4. Tools Required

You can easily fasten vinyl siding with a nail and a hammer since the siding is a soft material.

Though you can use a hammer with a screw, it might damage the vinyl siding. You can alternatively use a screwdriver or a fastener.

Benefits and Cons of Using Nails and Screws for Vinyl Siding

#1. Nails

#1. Pros

  • It is smooth, fast, and easy to use.
  • It holds the vinyl in place
  • It is more cost-effective

#2. Cons

  • It has a lower hold than screws due to its smooth shaft.

#2. Screws

#1. Pros

  • It has a stronger hold due to its rough threaded shaft.

#2. Cons

  • It does not hold vinyl siding for long due to its short shaft.
  • It consumes more time to fasten, thereby reducing productivity.
  • It is more expensive.

Below is a table showing a comparison between nails and screws for vinyl siding:

(Video) Kaycan Vinyl Siding Installation Tips: Nailing

Product TypeIt is smooth, fast, and easy to handleIt has a thread on the shaft, which makes it difficult to use
BenefitsHas more benefitsHas lesser benefits
CostLesser costHigher cost
FeatureIt holds vinyl siding securelyIt does not last long on vinyl siding
Tools requiredHammerScrewdriver or Fasteners

What Screws Are Best for Vinyl Siding?

Zip screws are the best type of screws for vinyl siding. It has a fine threaded design that can easily pierce through soft or hard materials.

Its ability to penetrate through vinyl siding comes from its threading design, which extends from the shaft top to its end.

Once the first part of the threaded shaft goes through the vinyl siding, the second part catches and holds the material in place.

Some zip screws have a hexagonal head shape, making it easy to secure the siding after installation. It also comes in different colors to match the color of your vinyl siding.

You can also use a Phillips head screw since you can easily install it with a Phillips screwdriver.

Do You Nail Vinyl Siding Corners Tight?

It would be best not to nail vinyl siding too tightly, as it could cause the nail to loosen and pop out. In addition, the siding panel will buckle and expand if you nail it too tightly.

Ensure the nails have about 1/8″ to 1/16″ inches of space between the nail head and the surface of the vinyl siding to allow easy movement when the siding contracts and expands.

Also, avoid nailing the visible part of the vinyl siding (face nailing), as it can ruin your siding and cause the panel to buckle with a temperature change.

Center the nails in the open parts of the siding to allow expansion and contraction of the vinyl siding. Also, fasten the nails straight and at regular levels to avoid panel buckling and distortion.

(Video) Installing Exterior Fixtures

What Kind of Nails Do You Use to Install Vinyl Siding?

Due to its corrosion-resistant properties, you need galvanized steel or aluminum nails to install vinyl siding.

The best nail length for fastening vinyl siding is about 1¼ inches to 2½ inches. The shank of the aluminum nail should be ⅛ inches, while the head should have a width of at least 5/16 inches.

However, a unique nail for vinyl siding is known as a siding nail. You can easily install the nail with a siding nailer.

#1. Siding Nails

The nails stay in place once you install them, so once the nails penetrate the siding, they will not easily come off.

Vinyl siding, however, does not require replacement as often as you replaced shingles. Therefore, siding nails are ideal for fastening vinyl siding to your exterior wall.

Here are some features of siding nails:

  • Siding nails are ring-shanked to allow the nails to hold the siding firmly in place.
  • It also requires you to leave at least one inch of space between the siding nail head and the siding panel.
  • Though roofing and siding nails are similar, they serve different purposes, and their installation tools are slightly different.
  • Vinyl siding tends to contract and expand from heat due to its material. For this reason, siding nails attach to the siding once it penetrates.
  • This property will help you prevent possible cracks around the nail area, which can occur as the temperature of the weather changes.
  • Siding nails are less cost-effective than alternative aluminum or stainless steel nails.


It would be best if you fastened your vinyl siding properly to keep it from future damage. For this reason, you must use the best nailing material for your vinyl siding.

You can use nails or screws to fasten your siding to the exterior wall of your home, though you must use corrosion-resistant nails that would hold the siding panel in place.


Should I nail or screw siding? ›

Although ring-shank siding nails are suitable for wood siding installation, screws have better holding power over time. Stainless steel is strongly recommended for all woods and required for modified woods such as Accoya and Kebony.

Is it OK to screw into vinyl siding? ›

Vinyl siding is an easy material for any power tool to get into. Just make sure that you're placing the screw in the correct area. For example, you want to be sure to avoid placing a screw in the middle of a piece of siding.

What is the recommended nails for vinyl siding? ›

What kind of nails do you use to hang vinyl siding? Use electro, or hot-dipped galvanized steel or aluminum roofing type nails with a diameter of 1/8″ and a nail head of 3/8″ or larger. The nails should penetrate 3/4″ into a solid wood base.

Should vinyl siding be nailed? ›

Vinyl siding tends to expand and contract considerably with temperature changes. For this reason, manufacturers design it to hang loosely on the nails rather than to be tightly nailed like wood siding. Learn how to replace vinyl siding.

What are the disadvantages of nails over screws? ›

Cons: Perhaps the biggest con with nails is that they aren't as easy to remove as screws. In fact, removing nails can frequently cause cosmetic damage to the item you're removing them from.

Why do House framers use nails instead of screws? ›

Nails are a favorite for large jobs in construction because they're cheaper than screws and offer shear strength — or the ability to withstand shear pressure, where two surfaces slide past each other.

What should not be used on vinyl siding? ›

To prevent damage to your vinyl siding, avoid using cleaners containing harsh ingredients such as organic solvents, undiluted chlorine bleach, liquid grease remover, nail polish remover, or furniture polish or cleaners, as these can harm the siding's protective surface.

How do you hide screw holes in vinyl siding? ›

Vinyl adhesive caulk is the best product to repair holes in vinyl. In some cases, caulk can be purchased directly from the manufacturer of the vinyl siding so that is an exact color match.

Do siding nails have to go into studs? ›

Siding must be secured into metal studs if the substrate is not a nailable surface such as exterior dry wall, gypsum board, etc.

How long should nails be for vinyl siding? ›

The minimum nail size should be 1-1/2". Example: If you're applying siding over 1/2" structural sheathing, use a nail at least 1-1/2" long (1/2" sheathing + 3/4" stud penetration + nailing hem thickness + minimum 1/16" between nailing hem and fastener head).

How tight should siding nails be? ›

The nails should be at least 1/32 of an inch loose to allow space for the siding to expand or contract due to changing temperatures. Siding that has been nailed too tight will crack, warp or bulge.

Do you nail vinyl siding corners tight? ›

5) Never drive nails tight in vinyl siding. The siding should hang from the nails and be free to expand or contract side to side. 6) At inside corners, slip each siding panel behind the J-channel you previously installed.

What is a major problem with the installation of vinyl siding? ›

Warping and buckling are both problems associated with vinyl siding, these issues only occur when the siding is not installed correctly. Vinyl siding expands and contracts as the outside temperature changes. In the summer, when temperatures are high, vinyl expands.

Is vinyl siding supposed to be loose? ›

You should be able to move one of your siding panels one-quarter to one-half of an inch horizontally. If you can't, it has been nailed too tightly, and you should have a contractor fix it before you start experiencing issues.

Should you screw into siding? ›

If you want to attach items to the exterior of a home covered with vinyl siding, you must drill through the siding first and then into the structure of your home to properly secure them. While special tools aren't necessary to drill into your siding, you must exercise caution when doing so to prevent damage.

Why do carpenters prefer screws instead of nails? ›

Increased Strength

Screws are, in fact, able to create a more secure hold when joining objects than nails because they have a threaded shaft. With that said, nails offer greater tensile strength.

What lasts longer screws or nails? ›

That said, nails are stronger than screws of the same length, and are better able to withstand “shear” pressure—which is the tendency of two joined pieces to slide past each other.

Why do carpenters prefer screws as compared to nails? ›

Explain o be orgogen Carpenters prefer screw as compared to the nail becouse Screws have stronges holding ability thalen 9 nail @ Szzews howe circulas theeads which esou a stronges gzie z lat Scrouts can be taken ee out easile with the help of the screwdriver.

Why would you use a nail over a screw? ›

At one time, nails were preferred over screws because it was much easier and faster to hammer in nails than to use a manual screwdriver or spiral-ratcheting screwdriver (e.g.: Yankee Screwdriver) to drive in slotted screws.

What is the general rule for selecting screw lengths? ›

The most important factor in screw selection is length. The general rule of thumb is that the screw should enter at least half the thickness of the bottom material, e.g. 3/4″ into a 2 x 4. The other factor is the screw's diameter, or gauge.

What is the difference between framing nails and siding nails? ›

Framing nailers use 3- to 4-inch nails made for piercing and joining lumber. A siding nailer uses shorter nails -- typically 1 1/4 to 2 1/2 inches, often with wider heads. Some siding nailers are designed for use with aluminum nails which work better with aluminum siding.

Is it OK to power wash vinyl siding? ›

Using a Pressure Washer to Clean Vinyl Siding

Pressure washers are easy to operate and are perfectly safe for cleaning your siding, contrary to what you may have heard before. The trick is to use lower water pressure so the water doesn't get behind your siding or damage the surface.

What is the average life expectancy of vinyl siding? ›

Typically, vinyl siding lasts between 20 and 40 years. This seems like a big window, but its lifespan depends on several variables. The amount of sun your home receives, the weather and other forces can affect how long it lasts.

How do you seal nail holes in siding? ›

Filling Nail Holes

Nail holes in exterior surfaces, just as with cracks or gaps, can be dealt with using a good caulking. Take the time before you apply any paint on your next project to fill all of the gaps, cracks, and nail holes.

Do you need foam board under vinyl siding? ›

Installing foam insulation under vinyl siding is a wise choice for homeowners who are seeking to protect their homes against moisture infiltration as well as improve energy efficiency. It also serves as an air barrier.

What do you install before siding? ›

6 Tips to Prepare your House for Vinyl Siding Installation
  1. Remove all shutters, downspouts, and fixtures. On older homes, replace any rotten wood and securely nail all loose boards, siding, and wood trim. ...
  2. Don't forget flashing. ...
  3. Install furring. ...
  4. Apply Housewrap. ...
  5. Don't forget insulation. ...
  6. Lay the groundwork.
Aug 17, 2017

Should siding nails go through sheathing? ›

Next, there's insulation material between the studs to keep the house warm. Many homes have a layer of sheathing added over that. The siding must nail through this into the studs to ensure proper attachment.

Why do nails pop out of siding? ›

There are a few reasons why nails pop out of siding: Expansion and contraction of the wood; The nails are not ring-shanked or long enough; The nails are not in the studs.

Does vinyl siding need 2 coats of paint? ›

It's best to avoid dark colors as a final coat unless the paint you are using is safe for vinyl. Vinyl siding will warp from heat build-up. Darker colors absorb heat which makes them hotter and more likely to cause warping. One coat will give you good protection but we always recommend two coats.

What is the average labor cost to install vinyl siding? ›

Labor. Depending on where you live, labor costs could vary, but the average labor cost to install vinyl siding is $3.70 per square foot, with the general range being from $2 to $5 per square foot.

What size nail is best for siding? ›

Nails for lap siding, such as LP SmartSide Trim & Siding, should be 0.113-inch smooth shank diameter hot-dip galvanized nails.

How much overlap on vinyl siding? ›

When panels overlap, make sure they overlap by 1" on the face of the panel. 7. Overlap panels away from entrances and away from the point of greatest traffic. 8.

Do you stagger seams on vinyl siding? ›

Stagger the siding end laps so that no two courses (rows of panels) are aligned vertically, unless separated by at least three courses. Always overlap joints away from entrances and/or away from the point of greatest traffic. This will improve the overall appearance of the installation (Fig.

Why does my vinyl siding keeps coming loose? ›

Wind is often the culprit responsible for working loose a piece of aluminum or vinyl siding. In most cases, homeowners can quickly learn how to fix loose siding, especially with help from this article. You'll probably only need to reconnect the J-shaped buttock with the top locking ridge.

Does vinyl siding decrease home value? ›

Putting in new vinyl siding will increase your home value by about $12,500, according to the 2022 Cost vs. Value report. This also assumes that about 1,250 square feet of new siding is being installed and represents a 67% return on investment.

Does vinyl siding crack over time? ›

As homes settle, subpar vinyl siding materials can tend to crack. Gaps and breaks from loosened siding allow rain to seep in between panels and into your home, creating the perfect environment for unhealthy mold and mildew to grow. Unfortunately, cracks also make way for pest infestation.

Is thicker vinyl siding worth it? ›

Siding thickness is a good factor to consider first. Remember the simple rule that thicker siding usually indicates greater quality. Thicker siding stays strong in extreme weather conditions and usually resists minor fading from sun exposure better than thinner styles.

Do you nail vinyl siding? ›

What kind of nails do you use to hang vinyl siding? Use electro, or hot-dipped galvanized steel or aluminum roofing type nails with a diameter of 1/8″ and a nail head of 3/8″ or larger. The nails should penetrate 3/4″ into a solid wood base.

Should you nail into siding? ›

To make your home more beautiful or to celebrate different holidays or seasons, you may want to hang decorations on the side of your house. This can be tricky with a vinyl-sided house because you shouldn't drill or nail through the siding. Holes can cause water to seep behind the vinyl, creating problems for your home.

Should siding be nailed to studs? ›

Siding must be secured into metal studs if the substrate is not a nailable surface such as exterior dry wall, gypsum board, etc.

How long should screws be for siding? ›

If screws are used, use non-corrosive, self-tapping, pan head or washer head screws or oval head with countersunk washer screws with at least 5/16" diameter head, 1/8" (3mm) diameter shaft, and at least 1-1/8" (29mm) long.

What happens if siding is nailed to tight? ›

The nails should be at least 1/32 of an inch loose to allow space for the siding to expand or contract due to changing temperatures. Siding that has been nailed too tight will crack, warp or bulge. As an experienced siding contractor, you can rely on us to install your siding correctly.

Should siding be tight? ›

Nailing Siding Too Tightly: Vinyl siding will expand and contract with temperature changes. If the contractor nails the siding too tightly, it will restrict the movement and the siding is likely to crack. As a general rule, contractors should use a clearance of 1/32 inch between the siding and nail head.

What kind of nails do you use for siding? ›

The best type of nails to use for siding include hot-dip galvanized nails, which boast strength and durability to complete your siding installation successfully.

What is the best fastener for vinyl siding? ›

Use aluminum, galvanized steel, or other corrosion-resistant nails, staples, or screws when installing vinyl siding. Aluminum trim pieces require aluminum or stainless steel fasteners. All fasteners must be able to penetrate a minimum of 1 1/4” (32mm) into nailable material, such as wood sheathing and framing (Fig.

How long should vinyl siding nails be? ›

Most contractors agree that nails used in siding projects should measure at least 1 ½ inches long—or up to 2 ½ inches if you're installing backerboard with the siding. Nail heads require a 5/16 inches minimum in diameter. Nail shanks?

Should I nail or screw into stud? ›

Nails Versus Screws

In all honesty, there probably won't be a difference between the two, as long as you're driving the nail or screw into the stud behind the drywall. However, when it comes down to the gritty details, many say that a screw provides greater support and tension.


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