How To Hang Heavy Things On Vinyl Siding

Ryan Womeldorf
by Ryan Womeldorf
Hanging heavy things on vinyl can damage your siding if you don’t take the proper precautions. You can remove a slat on the siding to hang something heavy if it exceeds 12 pounds, but only use a drill as a last resort. Drilling a hole can pose problems such as letting moisture in, so let’s see how you can hang heavy things on vinyl without damaging your siding.

There are times where a homeowner may want to install something like an awning on their vinyl siding. Because these things can be quite heavy, it is important that they are properly mounted to ensure proper safety. But trying to hang heavy things on vinyl siding can be difficult for amateurs.

To hang heavy things on vinyl siding, the easiest and safest way is to use siding hooks. Siding hooks slip between the grooves of the slats and click into place and can hold 12 pounds. However, if you need to hang something heavier, remove a slat, install a wire into the sheathing, then replace the slat.

Never drill holes into the vinyl as it makes it susceptible to moisture and can void the warranty.

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More About Vinyl Siding

There are some homes that have vinyl siding that has been installed halfway. This can make adding any decorations a challenge. With those halfway installations, it is probably easier to install on the other material. This can be wood, brick, or whatever. But it can also undermine the overall appeal that the house has.

Adding decorations or heavier complimentary pieces to vinyl siding can feel impossible. Thankfully, however, there are alternatives that can make installing these additions to vinyl siding much easier and won’t do damage to the vinyl along the way.

Siding Hooks

The safest and easiest way to hang anything from your vinyl siding is to use siding hooks. The hooks slip into the grooves that are between the adjoining slates. It then clicks into place, allowing you to hook things that are 12 pounds or less.

This is a great way to hang up most seasonal decorations on vinyl siding. Keep in mind, however, that anything heavier than 12 pounds likely won’t work. At best, it will fall down. At worst, it will bring the vinyl siding down with it.

Most siding hooks are constructed of stainless steel. This means that they are corrosion resistant and can be easy to remove when you are done using them. For decorations, they can be used seasonally and stored away whenever they are not in use.

So, if you plan to use vinyl siding hooks for things that are larger than 12 pounds, stop right there before you find out the hard way that an alternative is needed.

Where To Buy Vinyl Siding Hooks

If you decide that siding hooks are the best application for your project, they are pretty easy to find. Best of all, they can be found just about anywhere online. Most of the manufacturers will state the designated weight but a general rule of thumb is between 5 and 12 pounds of weight.

When in doubt, check out Amazon; they will likely have just about anything under the sun, including siding hooks.

Hanging Anything Heavier Than 12 Pounds

If you have something that is heavier than the 12 pounds designated for siding hooks, the next step is to remove a slat. While there are some siding hooks that can handle things like window boxes, they aren’t meant for heavy-duty application.

Start by removing the slat and then screwing a wire into the sheathing itself. When you feel comfortable with the wire you have put in place, replace the slat again.

In some instances, it may be required to have a small notch on the lower lip of the slat. This allows the wire to pass through easily. Check out your slats before moving forward so you can know what to expect during the installation process.

When All Else Fails: Drill

Drilling into the siding of your home should be a last resort kind of tactic. There are instances where several siding hooks can be used to hang heavier items, though it will often require removing a slat and using wire instead.

But if those don’t work and you need to install something on the exterior of the home, drilling into the vinyl may be the only way to get it done. Keep in mind that the siding is essentially the finish of the home. So, if you plan on drilling, you get one shot at it.

Use a standard wood bit that is about 1/16-inch larger than whatever the size of the screw is if you are drilling through steel or vinyl siding. If you are drilling through concrete-fiber or composite, use a masonry or carbide bit.

Make sure that the bit enters the siding horizontally and straight. Don’t till the drill and make sure to only drill through the exterior portion of the siding. When the drill bit gets to the boxing that is underneath, stop completely.

Lastly, switch to a diameter that is around 1/16 to 1/8-inch smaller than the screw that you plan to install. Make sure that you drill no more than 1/2-inch into the boxing since the standard thickness is ½-inch.

Screw Insertion Drilling

Make sure to look behind the rim joist to make sure that you won’t be drilling through a cable or a pipe that may be laying in wait. The rim joist is that large board sitting on the edge that forms the perimeter frame around flooring joists.

Find the wall studs if you are drilling the hole above the bottom eight or so inches of the siding. Generally speaking, any pipes or electrical wiring that run vertically are centered between any stud spaces.

Making Larger Holes With A Drill

If you’re drilling bigger holes, make sure that you get a bit that is ¼-inch bigger than the pipe that you plan to install. This gives you room to work when the new pipe goes into place. You can seal that small gap that will be around the pipe later on with caulking.

Keep the pressure light but steady when you drill larger holes because the bit itself is actually sawing into the siding as well as the boxing. Have additional wood hole bits on hand if you plan to drill a lot of holes into a cement-fiber or composite siding.

What’s Underneath The Vinyl Siding?

For residential siding, there is wood that goes underneath. This is known as the exterior sheathing and it is meant to do multiple things. The exterior sheathing is meant to provide structural support, insulation, and waterproofing to the framing.

Not only that, but it will also provide ample surface for nailing in the siding. Sheathing materials are generally plywood or oriented strand board, though other materials can be used depending on homeowner or contractor specifications.

Is House Wrap Required Behind Vinyl Siding?

For the most part, there isn’t a good reason that you wouldn’t have house wrap underneath the vinyl siding. As a matter of fact, most authorities on the matter would argue that house wrap should be mandatory even if local building codes aren’t requiring it.

By using house wrap underneath the vinyl siding, it just adds another level of water resistance. Keeping moisture out of the important areas of the home, where it can potentially cause damage or rot. When this happens, it can be very difficult to remedy the issue alone and will require professional help.

It is better to be safe than sorry and have house wrap behind the vinyl siding. Any additional layers of protection that can be implemented to extend the life of the siding should be taken as replacing siding can be quite an expensive endeavor in the end.

Related Questions

Will command hooks stick to vinyl siding?

Command™ products are wonderful, but the question is will they stick to your vinyl siding? The answer is yes. They will stick to your vinyl siding as well as any surface that is stained, varnished, painted. They will also stick to wood, tile, painted cinder block, plaster, metal, glass, and wallboard. You can also use them on doors, windows, fences, gutters, trim, and decks!

How do you find a stud in vinyl siding?

In order to find a stud inside of the vinyl siding, you will need a good quality stud finder. If you d not have one, you can tap firmly on the wall to listen for a solid noise. Once you have the solid sound that means there is a stud beneath that area.

Another method is checking base molding or crown molding for nail holes that are filled . Also, switch boxes and outlets location will give the stud away as one of the sides are connected to a stud.

What do you use to hang things on vinyl siding?

If you want an easy way to hang something onto your vinyl siding you can create jewels. Use a picture hanger and trim hook, and slip a zip tie into the loop. It should go under the lap and lock into place. You won’t need any tape, command strips or screws to do this.

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Wrapping It Up

Many people feel the potential downside to using vinyl siding is the fact that you can’t hang anything on it, but that can’t be farther from the truth. You can use hoods, command strips, or a jewel that you create yourself. However, make sure that you don’t hang anything heavier than 12 pounds on it unless you have it set up for that. If you hang something too heavy, it can weigh the siding down enough to pull it off of the surface.

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Ryan Womeldorf
Ryan Womeldorf

Ryan Womeldorf has more than a decade of experience writing. He loves to blog about construction, plumbing, and other home topics. Ryan also loves hockey and a lifelong Buffalo sports fan.

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