Face Nail Cedar Impression Vinyl Siding

Can this been face-nailed? If not, how is it installed?
See these photos. The second photo has the nails installed in the siding about 10 inches down from the top course.


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Vinyl siding is not face nailed…it is not “nailed” at all…it is hung. It needs to be able to expand and contract.


It is the last piece under the soffit…that is why they faced nailed it…it prevents them from having call backs when otherwise it often falls down being there is nothing to clip it onto.

This is customary… and allowable as reported by VSI (vinyl siding institute)



The pictures and third and fourth sentences were not there when I posted my previous response but I do agree with securing the last (top) piece like that.

Found out that Certainteed does NOT permit face nailing, while Nailite does.
Jeff, can you provide additional info by VSI about allowable face nailing?

Peter…download the installation manual here.
page 26 talks about face nailing under a gable and snap locking under eaves however I will tell you from first hand experience that snap locking often comes loose, hard to explain but simply put when you cut the last piece it doe not any rigidity to hold the snap lock in place…which is why installers will face nail the last piece…same principle as the gable piece.

Hope that helps…


Peter, the proper way to hang the last course of any vinyl siding is to first nail a spline at the top of the wall under the soffits, the use a special tool to punch a nail slot in the last course of siding, then most siding companies, certainteed included, make a trim piece that snaps into the spline and covers the nail.

The nail slot is large enough to allow expansion and contraction. Vinyl siding should never be face nailed.

I should also add that on many jobs I will do the above and leave out the spline and trim piece. After the last course of siding is hung then install the soffits so they cover the nail or staple.

I’ve never been back to one of my jobs because the siding fell off.

Which means you are nailing the last piece as well…most installers do what I have stated…nail the last piece…be it face or blind. :mrgreen:

At anyrate, the underlying question is, “should it be written up”…my opinion, no…the purpose of the fastener is to ensure it doesn’t fall down…which is why they all allow it the last gable piece…which also could be snap locked yet from experience, installers know that it is easier to face or blind nail the last piece (or course) versus having to come back with a 28ft ladder.

Bottom line is that it is fine as long as its the last course or piece.



Jeff, face nailing does not allow for expansion and contraction. As I said face nailing, in my company anyway, has never been eceptable.

That’s why all my guys have one of these.

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Face nailing is permitted.


Pg. 4 “**[FONT=Times-Bold][size=2]
Note: If face nailing is employed, pre-drill a hole in an inconspicuous area, such as a shingle seam. The hole must be larger
than the shank of the nail or screw, but smaller than the head to allow for possible expansion. The head can be covered with
exterior latex or acrylic paint.”

I guess I should have explained more. Here in NH we have extreme temp. changes and face nailing is a problem. In the winter those small trim nails Pop and the siding will fall off. I’ve been hanging vinyl siding for 22 years and won’t face nail it for that reason. I know a lot of siding contractor that do but it’s just easier in the long run. I tend to over build everything my company does but I have very few service calls.

Here’s a picture of the last big siding job we did. 3 very large Condo buildings, 55 square a piece, 3000 feet of facsia and soffit and composite decks which cost more than the siding. There isn’t on single face nail on this job.

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