close up of vertical steel siding installation

Posted On: April 20, 2021

Steel Siding Installation: Your 2024 How-To Guide

Want to learn the ins and outs of steel siding installation?

Yes, steel siding is a thing! More and more people have been choosing metal for both siding and roofing materials because it’s highly durable and lasts a long time. It doesn’t hurt that it also happens to look really nice as steel siding is not something you’ll see on the average home.

If you’re interested in steel siding installation, here’s our best input.

Whether you plan to use it on your home or an outbuilding, we’re going to go through the steps of installing steel siding: specifically vertical siding.

Pros and Cons of Steel Siding

There are several reasons people have been choosing to install steel siding on their homes instead of the basic asphalt or wood, for example. As amazing as the benefits are, metal siding can still come with its fair share of downfalls as well. That’s why we want to take an honest look at the pros as well as the cons.

steel siding installation



Metal is a recyclable material and won’t end up rotting away in a landfill like other roofing or siding materials.

Beautiful Curb Appeal

The options have grown quite a bit when it comes to metal siding. Homeowners can get corrugated, seamless panels, different colored metals, and even siding that mimics the look of wood grain but with the benefit of steel instead of wood.

Fire & Damage Resistant

Steel siding is very thick and strong and can resist damage from most hail and debris hitting it. It’s also resistant to fire and can be beneficial to homeowners living in areas prone to wildfires in the dry seasons.

Very Low Maintenance

It takes little to no maintenance to upkeep metal siding. It’s impervious to most elements like weather, temperature changes, mold and mildew, and critters like termites and rodents.


Poor Insulation

Metal siding is not going to insulate as well as other siding types, so it will require adequate insulation to be installed underneath it for proper efficiency.

professional contractor installs insulation along with steel siding

High Cost

The upfront costs are much higher to install steel siding as it’s heavier and more expensive in general, but also labor costs go up as it’s a little more complex to install.

Susceptible to Rust

Steel siding should hold up pretty well, but if there’s any damage to it, it can risk rusting. Much like a vehicle that has damage, those areas have lost their integrity and will rust sooner than the rest.

Not 100% Resistant to Damage

Powerful winds that bring large hail can still damage your metal siding if it hits hard enough. And any type of metal is also susceptible to scratches if something very sharp were to scrape it.

luxury steel siding installation designed by KNB
Image from: https://vwartclub.com/?section=projects&profile=knb-team

How to Install Vertical Steel Siding

Installing vertical steel siding comes with its fair share of challenges, and we always recommend hiring a professional. But if you follow the right steps, it can be a seamless process that gives you a flawless end result.

Step 1: Level All Walls

Ensure the walls are level before starting any installation. Steel siding is going to look its best when installed on a flat surface. If any part of the wall is uneven, it can be leveled out fairly easily by shaving off bits of the frame or using wood to build up any unlevel areas.

Step 2: Install Furring Strips

Install furring strips horizontally and about 16 inches apart (especially if the wall is uneven). These horizontal strips will allow the proper support for installing your vertical steel siding. These help flatten out the siding, so it’s even and seamless.

Step 3: Install Sheathing

Install 1-inch thick sheathing on top of the newly installed furring strips. This will help insulate your home and create a flat working surface to install all of the panels.

NOTE: You can skip installing furring strips and sheathing if you are working on a perfectly flat surface, such as with a new build rather than a siding replacement.

Step 4: Install Corner Pieces

When you order your steel siding, it should come with the corner pieces that will adhere to each corner of the house where the siding is being installed. These will get nailed in place.

installing steel siding with key corner pieces

Step 5: Install J-Channel

Install your j-channel. The j-channel is an installation piece that allows the steel siding panels to be installed seamlessly, with no visible nails or bolts. These will have holes in them to allow for nails to adhere to the bottom, top, and corners of the house and the window sills. Basically, anywhere an edge of the siding will be placed. They can be cut to size using a tin snip or power saw.

Step 6: Measure Walls

Measure each wall to determine how many steel panels you’ll need to install. Divide the measurement you get by the width of each panel to get that number. If it’s off, you will need to use partial panels, and you can pre-cut those panels using tin snips or power saw again.

Step 7: Install Partial Panels First

Word to the wise, before you begin installing all your panels, install your partial ones first. It can look a lot better if you split the partial panels on each end. This means rather than having all your panels installed then one partial panel on the end; you can split that partial panel in half and have one on each end for a more even look.

Step 8: Install Panels

Start by clicking your first panel or partial panels into the corner pieces you’ve already installed. They should snap and lock in place easily. Secure by pounding nails into the pre-made nail slots.

Step 9: Overlap Panels

Install your next panel by overlapping it to the first one, and continue until the entire wall is filled with steel siding panels. Keep in mind, you will have to cut any to size to fit around windows. This can be done before or during your installation. But this will take some extra time. Keep repeating until complete.

steel siding installation
Image from: https://www.bridgersteel.com/blog/pros-and-cons-of-metal-siding

The Best Way to Handle Steel Siding Installation

We love this aesthetic because it takes on a more sophisticated than the board and batten siding but with a more seamless and more durable design.

If you are thinking installing the steel siding on your home is a little intense, it might be best to bring in a professional to take care of it. While siding isn’t the most difficult task, it does take some skill, and any errors can have massive ramifications down the road.

If you happen to be near the Twin Cities, make sure to contact our team at Northface Construction for all of your metal siding needs!


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