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cutting a hole through exterior wall with vinyl siding

HI: The walls are standard construction, plywood w/vinyl siding. I need to put a 7 1/4 inch hole to push a thimble through for pellet stove pipe. It will be in between studs, insulation pulled aside to expose wood. and I know to drill a hole through the wood where the center of the pipe needs to be. Undecided about drilling holes in a circular pattern around that hole and then taking a jigsaw from one hole to the next (from the vinyl side, or the wood side?) OR using a rotozip. I can't find video instructions on the internet, but assume you use it from the wood side through to the vinyl since it is an even surface?  I would appreciate feedback from anyone who has done either method AND the PROPER method. Thanks---

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Posted 2011-01-21T08:04:37+0000  by jemare jemare

Hello Jemare, welcome to the community. You  have a interesting question about large diameter hole drilling.


My first step would be what you already mentioned, drilling a hole in the center of where you want it.


Then take a 7-1/4" circular saw blade, lay it flat against the surface to use as a guide to outline the diameter of the hole.


Then you will need to drill around the perimeter of outline, drill the holes on the inside of the line as pictured below. If your perimeter holes touch the circle you drew, then your cutting the hole will be that much easier. 


Then using a Jigsaw, cut on the line from hole to hole until you have completed the circle, you may need to find blades that will go all the way through, otherwise you will need to repeat this process from both sides, which is a bit of a pain. Remember that any imperfections to your cutting will be covered by the Thimble.


Hopefully this will help you, good luck installing the Pellet Stove. Please post pictures, let me know how it goes.



circle hole.jpg

Posted 2011-01-21T14:43:32+0000  by Angelo_HD_CHI

Thank You Tangelo. Just two more questions please: Do I use the jigsaw to cut from hole to hold from on the inside of the house along the smooth plywood, OR from the outside of the house in along the vinyl siding? and is there a specific jigsaw blade to purchase? I have a Black and Decker quick release blade jigsaw (if that makes a difference).  Thanks.

Posted 2011-01-23T02:22:45+0000  by jemare

Hello Jemare, it's great to hear back from you.


You can use a Jigsaw, but there are limitations to using that type of saw only because they really don't make a blade long enough to go beyond the thickness that you are cutting. I would assume that your wall thickness is at least  4-1/2" deep, so you need a blade to go well beyond that. A even better choice would be to use a  Reciprocating Saw, these have saw blades can go up to 12", you can rent a Reciprocating Saw at you local Home Depot, or purchase one.


The blade you want to use is a general purpose blade that can cut wood & metal, this will also work on Vinyl--but be careful, regardless of which blade or tool you use, if there is too much heat built up on the blade during use, the vinyl may melt the vinyl.


I would cut from the outside on top of the vinyl siding, not sure where you are if it's too cold outside but  the vinyl siding may crack beyond the hole's diameter you are trying to cut it from the inside. Work on the outside, then you can move slowly and watch the exterior surface as you cut--it's easier to repair the plywood interior than trying to fix the siding.


Let me know how things go, and try to send us pictures of the before and after the cutting.

Posted 2011-01-24T14:24:07+0000  by Angelo_HD_CHI

Thank You Tangelo: I live in the North east and the snow just keeps piling (ha). But the extra pipe that I ordered (since it is not just a pellet stove but also can do corn and other bio-fuels it takes a pipe that goes beyond pellet stove pipe). It seems that the difference is that corn & other bio-fuels need a pellet pipe that is made a little differently on the inside lining to resist corrosion from the extra moisture content of bio fuels such as corn. But now that I have the extra (proper) pipe, my project will be started when the weather is a little less bitter, and snow cleared :-)  I will try to have before and after pictures of the project and thank you for your help. ----Jemare

Posted 2011-02-02T21:49:30+0000  by jemare

Cutting through an exterior wall can be difficult in that the vinyl siding can easily chip or shatter.  What I did in my situation (dryer vent, similar diameter) was to use a hole saw from the inside to carefully cut through the wood.  The pilot bit on the hole saw was set to be long enough to punch through the siding as well.  Once the wood was cut away, I used the same hole saw from the outside  going in, following the orignal guilde bit hole and a very slow speed to keep the hole saw from melting the vinyl.  Worked like a charm.

Posted 2011-02-13T02:05:36+0000  by GrueMaster

Hello Grumaster, you make an excellent suggestion, that's exactly how I normally drill the holes as well, but the OP was looking for a 7-1/4" hole, and I have yet to find a hole saw that was that large in diameter. 


And your comment of "vinyl siding can easily chip or shatter" is so very true, I've seen it happen often, as my customer will bring in pictures into the store asking how do I fix this...

Posted 2011-02-14T14:31:25+0000  by Angelo_HD_CHI

It has been a long time since I was shopping for a hole saw that fits the bill, but I did buy one from Home Depot about 10 years ago.  I did find one on currently that fits the bill for this project.


Posted 2011-02-23T19:33:57+0000  by GrueMaster
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