Expert Tips for a Successful Siding Installation Project

How to ensure your siding installation project runs smoothly while avoiding all the common mistakes home owners make.

Installing siding is more than just an aesthetic upgrade for your house; it's about safeguarding your home against the weather and improving its energy efficiency for years to come.

In this guide, we'll walk you through the essentials for making sure your siding project goes well. You'll learn about common installation mistakes to avoid, the pros and cons of DIY vs. professional installation, the possibility of installing siding over stucco, and tips on keeping costs down.

Let’s dive in and get your siding project off to the right start!

Common Mistakes to Avoid During Siding Installation

A successful siding installation project hinges on avoiding common pitfalls that can compromise the quality and durability of the work. At Keystone Siding and Windows, we've seen our share of installation challenges and have learned valuable lessons along the way. Here are some key mistakes to watch out for (or head over here to uncover the 10 most common and costly siding installation mistakes)...

Inadequate Preparation

Adequate preparation is the foundation of any successful siding installation. This includes precise measurements, ensuring the walls are ready for installation, and having the right tools and materials on hand. Inadequate preparation can stem from rushing the process or overlooking essential steps.

Poor preparation can lead to a range of issues, like misalignment, improper fitting, and potentially the need for rework. This not only increases the time and cost of the project but can also compromise the siding's effectiveness in insulation and weather protection.

To avoid these issues, it's crucial to have a detailed plan in place before starting. Measure the area accurately, prepare the walls by cleaning them and fixing any damage, and ensure you have all necessary tools and materials. If in doubt, consulting a professional can save time and prevent costly errors.

Incorrect Material Handling

Fiber cement siding, the specialty of Keystone Siding and Windows, requires careful handling. It's a durable material, but it can be susceptible to damage if not handled properly. Incorrect handling includes carrying the siding in a way that can cause it to crack, improperly cutting the material, or exposing it to moisture prior to installation.

Mishandling siding materials can lead to chips, cracks, and other damages that affect the aesthetic and functional integrity of the siding. This not only looks unappealing but can also diminish the siding's lifespan and effectiveness.

Handle fiber cement siding with care. Always carry it on its edge and support it adequately to prevent snapping. Use the correct tools for cutting, and ensure that the material is stored in a dry, safe place until installation. Following the manufacturer's handling and installation guidelines is also crucial for maintaining the quality of the material.

DIY vs. Professional Installation: Which is Right for You?

Choosing between DIY and professional siding installation is a significant decision for any homeowner. Both options have their own set of advantages and drawbacks. Let's break down the pros and cons of each to help you decide which route is best for your siding project, or check out our article giving you a complete comparison of DIY siding vs professional siding.

DIY Installation


  • Cost Savings: Doing the installation yourself can save you the cost of labor. This is often the most appealing aspect of DIY.
  • Flexibility: You have complete control over the timeline and can work at your own pace.
  • Personal Satisfaction: There's a sense of accomplishment and pride in completing a home improvement project on your own.


  • Skill Level Required: Siding installation requires a certain level of skill and knowledge, especially when working with materials like fiber cement.
  • Time-Consuming: Without the experience and efficiency of a professional crew, the project may take longer to complete.
  • Risk of Mistakes: Incorrect installation can lead to issues like poor alignment, weather infiltration, and may void material warranties.
  • Safety Concerns: Working on exteriors often involves heights and using power tools, posing safety risks.

Professional Installation


  • Expertise and Experience: Professionals have the skills, knowledge, and tools to ensure the job is done right the first time.
  • Efficiency: A professional team can complete the project more quickly than a DIY approach.
  • Warranties and Guarantees: Many contractors offer warranties on their workmanship, in addition to material warranties.
  • Safety: Professionals are trained to handle the risks associated with siding installation, reducing the likelihood of accidents.


  • Cost: The biggest downside of hiring professionals is the cost of labor, which can increase the overall expense of the project.
  • Less Control: You might have less control over the timing and some aspects of the project.

Can You Install Siding Over Stucco?

Home owners with a stucco exterior often consider installing their new siding exterior on top of the stucco. The perception is that this will save time and money, by applying siding directly over the stucco without having to remove the stucco.

In reality, this is far from the case!

Siding professionals will never recommend this approach, and at Keystone Siding & Windows, we never undertake projects of this nature. There are many good reasons for this that are worth keeping in mind. Let's look at some of them:

Why siding shouldn't be installed over stucco

Most projects we undertake that involve removing an existing stucco exterior before applying new siding quickly reveal rot damage behind the stucco. Until you start removing stucco, this rot is always out of sight and homeowners are rarely aware it is present until work begins.

If you were to install siding directly on top of stucco in a scenario like this, the existing damage behind the stucco would likely worsen, and ultimately the entire exterior would likely need removing, and work starting again from scratch.

Far easier to take this approach from the outset, ensure your property is structurally sound, resolve any rot issues that are present, and then proceed with installing your new siding exterior in the knowledge that your new exterior will stand the test of time and preserve your home.

Step-By-Step Guide

If you decide to install siding over stucco here's how to go about it.

First, ensure that the existing stucco is in good condition. Any cracks or damages should be repaired before proceeding. Then kook for any signs of moisture retention in the stucco. Addressing these issues is critical before installing siding. You also need to install a moisture barrier which is a crucial part of preventing moisture damage.

For the best results, install furring strips over the stucco to create a flat, even surface for the siding. Include vents at the top and bottom of the siding to prevent moisture build up and use the right fasteners that are suitable for penetrating stucco.

And of course, if you are in doubt about any part of this, speak to a professional like the team at Keystone Siding and Windows to avoid mistakes and unnecessary costs.

How To Keep Siding Replacement Costs Under Control

When it comes to controlling the costs of siding replacement, several factors play a pivotal role.

Material Choice

The type of material you choose is a significant determinant - whether it's fiber cement, vinyl, or wood, each comes with its own price tag and set of maintenance and longevity expectations. Additionally, the cost of professional installation can vary.

This variation depends largely on the complexity of your specific project and the experience and reputation of the contractor you choose. Furthermore, the size of your project plays a crucial role; larger homes or those with more intricate designs naturally require more materials and labor, thereby increasing the overall cost.

Budget Planning

In terms of cost-saving strategies, effective budget planning is essential. Starting with a clear budget helps guide decisions regarding materials and the overall scope of the project. When selecting materials, it's wise to consider not just the initial cost, but also long-term benefits and maintenance expenses.

Sometimes, investing more upfront in a durable material can lead to savings down the line in terms of repairs and upkeep. Another key strategy is to obtain multiple quotes from various contractors, which ensures you get a fair and competitive price. However, it's important to remember that the least expensive option is not always going to result in the best outcome.

Options & Extras

Frequently siding replacement projects involve other aspects of exterior renovation which will have an impact on overall costs and are worth taking into account from the outset to get an accurate representation of your total investment.

This includes things like replacement of soffit, fascia, frieze boards, crown moulding, window trim and more. Siding options will also impact cost, such as the style of siding you choose for your home. There will be a different overall cost for board and batten compared to lap siding, and again for shake.

In Summary

A final consideration is timing and completion dates for your project. Whilst most exterior renovations typically last between 2 and 3 weeks, projects can be impacted by things like weather conditions and your own availability on site to make decisions and provide input where needed.

At Keystone Siding and Windows, we make sure our teams are on-site from start to finish until a project is completed, rather than switching between multiple sites. This is most effective way to deliver your project in good time with minimal delays and disruption.

You are now equipped with the information to make the right decisions to enjoy a smooth and successful siding installation project!

We always recommend speaking with an expert before embarking on a siding project. For professional help and advice, or to schedule a free home exterior design consultation, contact the team at Keystone Siding and Windows today for the best siding replacements in Atlanta and GA.