Outdoor surveillance cameras are one of the best ways to improve the security of your home and protect your family. However, if your house has vinyl siding, installing a security camera can be tricky — especially if DIY is not your forte.
To install a security camera on vinyl siding, start by choosing a suitable location for the camera. Then, mark the holes for the screws of the mounting bracket and any wiring using a pencil. Drill holes in the siding or insert no-hole clip hooks, screw the camera on, and push through any wires.
Pro Tip: For the quickest installation and without damaging your siding, I definitely recommend “no-hole” clip hooks like these, found on Amazon.
While the installation process is fairly straightforward, it has its challenges and hidden pitfalls. If you don’t get the drilling right the first time around, your facade will end up decorated with unsightly holes; and if you don’t position the no-hole clip hooks securely enough, the camera might fall off. So, to learn how to do the installation properly, keep reading.
1. Choose an Appropriate Location for the Camera
Before you start the installation process, you need to identify the most effective placement for the camera. To get the best view, position the device as high up as you can. You also want a location that can only be accessed using a ladder to prevent potential intruders from tampering with the camera. In addition, you should also ensure that the view is not obstructed by any trees, shrubs, or neighboring buildings.
If at all possible, you want to have the camera face:
- The entrance to the house
- Your garage or parking space
- As many ground floor windows as possible
- A sizable portion of the street or driveway leading to your home
Of course, it is generally best to install a camera on each outside wall of your house. If that is not within your budget, however, prioritize the main entrance and the back door, if any.
Get Yourself a Reliable Ladder
The next step is to get yourself a sturdy and reliable ladder, like the one I recommend on Amazon. Position it securely on level ground. Ideally, you should have someone help you out by holding the ladder in place as you climb up. Accidents happen all the time, so it is best not to risk it.
2. Mark the Holes for the Screws and Any Wiring
Once you climb up the ladder and are able to reach the location you picked for the camera, position the mounting bracket on the vinyl siding and hold it in place. Using your other hand, mark the holes for the screws with a pencil. If you are installing a wired camera, also mark the hole where you will have the wires go from the back of the camera and through the siding. Make sure that the markings are large enough and easy to spot.
Inspect the Siding to Check What Surface You’ll Be Drilling
Next, set the mounting bracket and pencil aside and inspect the vinyl siding — you want to get a good grasp of the surface you will be working with. Lift the roofing shingles a bit and take a look at the top part of the siding. Peer behind it to find out whether the wall underneath is masonry or wood.
Then, measure the thickness of the vinyl siding using a tape measure. This will give you an idea of the required depth of the drill bit.
3. Get the Right Drill Bit for the Job and Drill the Holes
As a general rule, you want to use a drill bit that:
- Has a diameter around 1/16-inch larger than the screws you will be drilling; and
- Is as long as the depth of the vinyl siding plus one inch
If the bit is too long, place some masking tape on the drill bit at the desired depth measurement.
For brick, concrete, or stucco walls, make sure to use a masonry bit.
- Install the bit into your power drill.
- Position the drill against one of the pencil marks in a way that the bit can penetrate the siding straight and horizontally.
- Hold the drill steady and start drilling. As you do that, be careful not to tilt the drill up, down, or to the sides.
- Drill through the exterior siding until you feel that the bit has reached the boxing underneath.
- Stop drilling and switch to a drill bit with a diameter 1/16 to 1/8 inch smaller than that of the screw you will be installing. Then, resume drilling into the boxing, but drill no more than ½ inch. This is important, as standard boxing is only around half an inch thick. If you go further, you risk hitting a harder obstacle in the structure and damaging the drill, the wall, or both.
- Drill all remaining pencil marks in the same way. Note that you may have to switch to a longer bit to drill the hole for the wires.
Pro Tip 1: It is best to drill into vinyl siding when the weather is on the warmer side. That is because vinyl is prone to shattering at lower temperatures. This is especially true for older varieties of vinyl. So, you might want to wait until the weather picks up. Alternatively, warm the siding for a few minutes using a hairdryer before starting to drill.
Check out this video on how to drill holes through vinyl siding without tearing it:
Alternatively, Insert No-Hole Clip Hooks
If you do not have a drill or simply do not want to puncture your siding, consider using no-hole hooks such as these Huxor Vinyl Siding Clips. With this product, you can mount your outdoor security camera without having to drill a single hole in the vinyl siding. All you need to do is roll the hook into any seam in the siding. No tools, nails, holes, or other damage to the siding are required.
What’s more, these siding clips are just as easy to remove as they are to insert. Simply rotate the clips up and away from the siding, then pull them down and out.
Overall, vinyl siding clips are a great choice if you live in a rental and are not allowed to drill holes into the wall.
4. Screw the Camera on Tightly
Once you have drilled your holes or have inserted the siding clips, set everything aside. Hold the camera up to the siding, ensuring that its screw holes align with those on the siding clips or the ones you just drilled. Then, start inserting the screws provided through the holes one by one and tighten them securely using the drill.
5. Push the Wires Through
Last but not least, if your camera is wired, insert the wiring through the hole that you drilled in the wall for that purpose.
6. Set Up the Camera
Proceed to switch on and set up the security camera following the manufacturer’s instructions.
Installing a security camera on vinyl siding can be quite easy and fuss-free if you know what you are doing. Here is a quick recap:
- First, choose a good location for the camera — the higher up, the better. Aim for a good, unobstructed view of the surrounding area.
- Next, mark the holes for any screws and wiring using a pencil.
- Drill the holes one by one or, alternatively, install no-hole clip hooks.
- Then, screw the camera on tightly.
- Push through and connect any wires.
- Finally, set up the camera as required.
I hope this guide has been helpful. For more, don’t miss Placing Security Cameras Near Lights (Best Practices).
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