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How to Repair Vinyl Siding (when you find a giant hole in your house)

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Inside: Tips for easy repairs to vinyl siding, including how to fix a hole in the siding with a patch. We discovered a huge hole when we removed an old propane stove.

Have I buttered you up enough with the last couple of ‘pretty’ posts? I sure hope so guys. Because today’s post is all about being super practical. It’s great to be a homeowner, except for those days you are forced to repair a literal gaping hole in the side of the house. 

My goal is to always tell the truth and never be boring on this blog; to offer you some insight in a real, unstaged, DIY situation and I think this might be as real as it gets. Today, my hard learned tips for how to repair vinyl siding…. cue music. how to repair vinyl siding

How did the hole in the vinyl happen? 

Well. Let me tell you. I don’t friggin know. 

Okay, that’s a lie. I do know. Bad planning and not-to-code installation of a heat device. That’s how it happened. 

Let’s back up. When we moved here six years ago, my office was a sitting room and it had a giant propane stove in one corner. I knew immediately I wanted to get rid of the stove because it took up valuable real estate and I didn’t like the design. 

What I didn’t bank on was the mess that would create. Before we removed it, we had it inspected by a professional. I mean, we weren’t even sure if it was safe to move ourselves or if we had to have a pro cut lines or turn off the gas or I don’t know. 

The silver lining was the stove repair guy who inspected it, offered to take it off our hands for $100 to use in his cabin. Deal done. But if you’re removing a stove, definitely make sure you know it’s safe to do it before cutting anything yourself. 

But then we were left with a HUGE hole in the vinyl siding and we needed to figure out how to patch it temporarily and then repair it permanently. 

How to Patch and Repair Vinyl Siding

You don’t need a lot of tools to do this, mainly a vinyl knife and then a couple lengths of vinyl that match your house. Of course, we couldn’t find that *eye roll* – so our new vinyl is a slight variation on the original stuff. And to be honest, I don’t care because no one can see it anyway.

We created a clean sized square around the hole on the exterior of the house and then a larger square hole on the interior in the drywall. 

Then we reinforced the outside square with a few pieces of shim wood so that we could nail in some vapour barrier. The important thing to remember when cutting the vinyl is to do it at a right angle so the new piece will fit snugly into the original pieces. Ugly picture below, but you get a close up view of how the original vinyl was cut with the bottom piece at a 90 degree angle. 

Then we stuck the vapour barrier up on the exterior making sure to really cover anything that can’t get wet – like wood. 

Discoloured or warped vinyl

A quick word about discoloured or warped vinyl; it happens if your vinyl is too close to a heat source or if the wrong kind of nails/screws are used. In this case, the previous homeowner had BOTH problems going for him with an improperly vented heat source that was literally baking the vinyl and with non-galvanized screws holding the contraption to the house. 

This obviously caused rust stains and discolouration as well as massive warping (that you can’t see in this pic)

The discoloured parts we were able to scrub a bit with some CLR and a wire brush, but we definitely didn’t get it all the way clean. It’s now just a small area of the vinyl, so we’ve left it until we have to re-side the entire house. 

Installing the new Vinyl Pieces

Using the vinyl snips, we cut patch sizes out and clipped them in on the outside. We had a bit of insulation from our basement that we used in the middle before patching up the hole with drywall. 

And … dirty little secret, because we lived with the bead board for a couple of years, we put some hardboard over the dry wall to smooth it out and then just shoved a chair there so it wasn’t as noticeable. 

This is real life people. 

You better believe that I was overjoyed when we finally prioritized my office and I got to demo the entire wall including the hard board and the bead board!

Yes, I had to do a LOT of dry wall patching and mudding, but that’s okay. 

This is what it looks like now! All patched and painted plaid and you’d never know there as a lifetime of DIY problems in this corner. 

A professional approach to repairing vinyl siding

Fully realizing that the story I just told you is the truth, but likely boring, and not entirely full of professional advice about vinyl siding repair, I feel it’s necessary to at least link you to the site that we consulted while doing ours LOL #notacontractor

We love This Old House for repair advice. I could binge watch that show all day. 

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