How to Calculate Area for Siding
A little simple math can help you save big
By Glyn Sheridan
Carefully calculating area required for your siding can provide an accurate estimate of cost and eliminate unnecessary expense. When figuring your siding requirements, you must consider the type of siding you're going to install, the number of windows and doors present, the amount and the type of the desired trim and the type of siding accessories you'll need to complete the job.
- What You Need to Know
- There are two basic shapes found on the exterior of houses or garages the rectangle and the triangle.
- You may need to make repairs to your home's facia boards, soffits, and guttering prior to installing siding.
Measure the height of each individual exterior wall and multiply that number by the length. Hold the measuring tape approximately 2 inches below the wall's sill plate and measure all the way up to the highest point of the wall, just under the eave of the roof. Round each measurement up to the nearest foot. For instance, if your wall measures 19 feet 3 inches long, use 20 feet as your number.
Figure the area of windows and doors if they are a significant factor in the exterior of the home. One or two small windows in a large exterior wall need not be subtracted from the square footage of the wall, but if you have a door and many large windows, subtract the square footage of each from the total square foot area of the wall.
Calculate the siding needs for triangular areas on gables by measuring the widest part of the gable and multiplying it by the height, then dividing by 2. Add 10 percent extra to this figure if you're installing siding that comes in long strips, such as vinyl or steel siding, to allow for cutting away the sharp angles on the ends of the strips during installation.
Add the measurements for the siding accessories needed to complete the project. This includes trim molding around windows and doors, which sells in long strips by the linear foot, and starter strip for the entire perimeter of the house, as well as trim channel, which installs along the inside of the gables and covers the cut edges of the siding. In addition, inside and outside corners must be included in your calculations. All of these items sell by the linear foot.
When calculating vinyl or steel lap siding, remember that there is a small overlap on the bottom of each strip where it joins the previous strip. This is approximately 1/8 inch and will not usually affect walls under 8 feet high. However, if you're installing siding on walls higher than 8 feet, allow 1 inch more for every additional 8 feet of wall height when making your initial measurements.
About the Author
Glyn Sheridan is a regular contributor to DexKnows.
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