by Jamie Schultz
Once the last bite of Thanksgiving pie is gobbled up, it’s time to untangle the outdoor light strands and start designing. Decking the exterior of your home with sparkling lights seems to ring in cheer all season long. And installing them properly and safely boosts standard cheer status to straight-up jolly.
We’ve got the tips and tricks you need to hang your lights carefully, without damaging your home’s siding and trim — it’s enough to make even a humbug light up. Be sure to also explore these outdoor decoration ideas from a design expert.
When you’re up on a ladder, walking on your roof and working with electricity, you could be dealing with a triple threat. Instead of pulling a lampoon moment, amp up your safety smarts.
The holidays may get you in the mood to sport your favorite holiday sweater and gloves, just be sure they fit properly so you don’t get snagged on parts of the roof or siding that may jut out. Tip: Also, wear a pair of safety glasses or sunglasses to protect those peepers.
Start the light-hanging project with someone home or nearby, after all, you never know when you may need another hand.
Tips for Hanging Lights on Siding
When hanging lights and holiday decorations on your home’s exterior, avoid nails, staples and glue — this can easily damage your siding and trim.
It's typically best to seek out hanging options or solutions that do not involve your siding, such as damage-free clips made for outdoor use, gutter systems, or clips for roofing shingles.
If you do choose to hang items from your James Hardie siding, it is possible and we have general guidance. If you're not comfortable with small projects, it may be best to hire a handyman. Generally speaking, items can be attached to James Hardie siding by using either corrosion resistant nails or screws. The fasteners must be long enough to go through the siding and into wood or metal substrate (e.g. sheathing or studs). The fastener should be ¾ to 1 inch from the bottom edge of the plank if you have horizontal lap siding.
Once you’ve hung your lights, plugged in the last strand, and your neighbors are coveting the radiant sparkle from their windows, stand back and pat yourself on the back. You completed a could-be precarious project with ease—you and your siding are unharmed and can bask in the afterglow. Looks like it’s now time for the brightest season of the year.