Metal siding is the material of choice for many homes and outbuildings. It’s economical, it’s sturdy, and it can be surprisingly customizable with many different colors. However, there’s one thing that can be a little challenging when installing new metal siding around your home; your doors and windows!
It’s important to cut around the metal siding in order to fit a door in, but how exactly is this done and what are some tips to make it cleaner and easier?
Steps for trimming metal siding around a door or window
- Use the right tools. Depending on what tools you’re using, it’s important to wear the correct equipment. This means leather gloves, protective clothing, and also glasses to stop shards of metal from coming in contact with your face while you work.
- Measure and mark. Make sure you measure the desired door opening on the metal and ensure that you have the right dimensions of your door. While it’s fairly easy to cut down extra metal to fit the door, you should aim to get it as accurately as possible the first time.
- Make use of a pry bar. Fit a pry bar under the bottom row of your metal siding close to one of the edges of where your door will be installed. Use the bar to gently lift up the siding in order to loosen it enough that you can get a tool underneath it to start cutting. This makes it a lot easier for you to get started with the cutting process.
- If it’s too high, use a stepladder. If your door opening is too high to comfortably cut down the siding then make use of a stepladder. It’s much better to make half of the horizontal cut, move your ladder, and then continue making the rest of the cut.
- Finish with trim to keep sharp edges away. Once you’re done cutting the metal siding, you’ll need to hide away the sharp metal edges you’ve made. This is usually done by burying it under the door trim. There will be trim for the top and the sides, but also potentially the bottom as well. This will typically require caulking to secure the trim in place and ensure that it’s installed securely.
These are the basic steps that you need to follow when trimming metal siding around a door.
Extra tips to make trimming metal siding easier
There are a couple of things that you can do to make the project easier and more successful.
For starters, make sure you have a way to cleanly cut the siding to make the door hole. Sharp tin snips or power tools can both be convenient, but it’s all about being able to handle them comfortably so that you don’t cut off more siding than you need. In some cases, if you’re unable to cut the metal siding then you may need to remove the entire sheet of siding to cut it. In this case, you’ll want to mark the metal siding first so you know exactly where to cut. Once you fit the siding back into place, you can clean up any edges and install the trim over it.
We generally wouldn’t recommend any loud and hot tools. For instance, an angle grinder may seem like a power tool of choice, but in reality, it creates far more noise and runs very hot. This means that the paint near the cut can burn, leading to accelerated rusting if you’re not careful. As such, a pair of snips is usually the most flexible option but does require a bit more manual strength.
It also helps to pick a quality trim that provides extra rigidity and is made from quality metal that won’t degrade over time. The siding you choose is also important as you might find yourself cutting into it too easily if you don’t buy from a reputable manufacturer. If you cut off too much siding, it can be hard to weld together another piece to fill in the gap.
Lastly, make sure you wear some proper safety equipment. If you plan to cut the metal with snips then make sure you’re wearing plenty of protection. This is because cutting the metal usually involves drilling a hole and then widening it with snips. This puts your hand in close contact with the metal, meaning there’s a chance for you to cut yourself if you’re not careful. With proper work gloves, you avoid this risk and get the job done quicker.