Stucco siding panels, made from fiber cement, are brittle, so installers should predrill nail holes when attaching the material with a standard hammer and nails. A pneumatic nailer, available for purchase or rent, eliminates the need to predrill and makes the work go faster.
Prior to installation, users should store fiber cement panels covered on a clean, flat, level surface to protect them from weather and warping. The sheets are heavy, so installers should enlist a helper to carry them and provide adequate support when cutting the material.
Cutting these panels requires a diamond-tipped blade. Installers make smaller cuts using a medium- or course-grit carbide jigsaw blade. If available, a diamond-tipped jigsaw blade is also useful for cutting panels.
Prior to installation, all window and door openings require flashing. Some manufacturers also require the use of a weather resistant barrier under the fiber panels.
Most manufacturers require installing the siding over sheathing, plywood or oriented strand board. The siding should be dry before installation. Wet siding shrinks as it dries and leaves significant gaps between sheets.
After nailing the siding in place, installers should caulk all seams. Caulking protects the sheets from weather wear and tear and is essential for the longest life of the materials.