Have you ever thought about mounting a TV outside on siding? This is a great option if you want to enjoy the best entertainment and the amazing summer weather at the same time. But you need to be careful when using electrical appliances like TVs outside. This article will give you a step-by-step guide to help you mount your TV on siding, and answer some of the common questions that people have.
- 1 Can You Use a TV Outside?
- 2 Does the Type of Siding Matter?
- 3 How to Mount a TV Outside on Siding?
- 4 Do I Risk Getting Leaks When Installing a TV Mount Outside?
- 5 Should I Cover My Outdoor TV?
- 6 Can I Leave my Outdoor TV Outside all Year Round?
- 7 Are Outdoor TVs Worth the Money?
- 8 Final Thoughts
Can You Use a TV Outside?
Many people have never considered using their TV outside and wonder if it is even possible. The answer is yes, but it’s best to buy a dedicated outdoor TV. Technically, you can use your regular indoor TV in the yard if the weather is nice. But bear in mind that a standard TV is not built to be rained on or left in direct sunlight, so it is likely to get damaged.
Naturally, rainwater will destroy the TV right away, but people forget about the impact of the UV rays too. Even if you’re only using it during summer, the plastic casing is likely to become brittle and discolored if you leave it in direct sunlight. However, if you protect it properly with a good covering, it is still possible to use your indoor TV outside.
That said, your best option is to buy a dedicated outdoor TV. These are built to withstand the elements and can be left in the yard all year round without concern. If you plan to use your TV outdoors a lot, this is the best way to go. You can find a full guide here with more information about using indoor TVs outside and how to find a good outdoor TV.
Does the Type of Siding Matter?
When you are installing a TV on siding, you need to consider how much weight it can hold and how even the surface is. Vinyl siding tends to be quite thin and there are more concerns about the weight it can hold, especially if you have a large TV. That doesn’t mean that you can’t hang your TV on vinyl siding, but you need to make sure that you use mounting blocks that fix to the structure underneath the siding.
Vinyl siding is also more prone to cracking, so take care when drilling holes and hammering the anchors into the wall.
With wooden siding, you will have the same issue with the irregular surface, but it should be sturdier. The most important thing is that you check the condition of the siding and ensure that you are not mounting a TV on siding that is cracked or coming loose.
Checking the thickness of your siding is important too. If the boards are very thin, they will bend under the weight of the TV and could break. If the panels are thicker, you don’t need to worry and you can position the TV anywhere.
However, if the panels are very thin, it is important that you drill through the siding and into the solid wall behind it so you have enough support. You could also consider an alternative, like mounting the TV on a stand.
How to Mount a TV Outside on Siding?
If you want to mount a TV outside, follow these steps to make sure that it is safe and secure.
1. Choose the Position
First, you need to decide where the TV is going to go. The main thing to worry about here is the glare from the sun. If you place the TV somewhere where it will be in direct sunlight, it will be almost impossible to see anything. So, if possible, choose a shaded area for the TV. If you don’t have a covered area, you can get sun shades.
Make sure that it is away from any artificial lighting too. Outdoor TVs have less glare, but you should still think about this when deciding where to put them.
As well as the glare, think about how you arrange the furniture. The TV needs to be in a position where everybody can comfortably see it. When you are choosing a wall mount for your TV, look for a pivoting one so you can easily change the angle to avoid glare and make sure that everybody can see it clearly.
Don’t forget that you need to plug the TV in too. Think about where the nearest outlets are and how you are going to run the cables from the house if you don’t have any outdoor outlets. You don’t want cables trailing all over the patio area because it looks untidy and can be a trip hazard.
2. Drill Holes for the Mounting Bracket
Once you have found the perfect location, it’s time to drill the holes for the mounting bracket. Measure carefully and mark the positions for the holes, then measure again just to double check.
Before you start drilling, use a stud finder to locate all of the studs. You will be drilling into the wall beneath the siding, so you need to avoid electrical cables and pipes that are usually located between the studs.
If you are drilling into vinyl siding you don’t need a special drill bit, but you do need to be careful to avoid cracking. Slowly drill through, making sure to go all the way through the siding and into the structure underneath. Then, reverse the drill direction to gently pull it out.
If you rush, you can easily break the siding. Avoid drilling into vinyl in cold weather too because it will be more brittle and far more likely to crack. If you absolutely have to do it in the cold weather, use a hairdryer to warm the area first.
3. Put Anchors Into the Siding
If you have wooden siding, you can use standard plastic anchors to give strength to your screws. Once you have drilled the holes, you simply need to gently hammer the anchors into the holes.
Using plastic anchors in vinyl siding is risky because it’s very easy to crack the boards. Gently knock them in, but be aware that they may not be that sturdy.
4. Using a Mounting Block for Vinyl Siding
When attaching a TV to vinyl siding, you may be better off using a mounting block. These attach directly to the structure of the house and can hold a lot more weight.
Start by tracing the shape of the mounting block onto the vinyl siding and then use tin snips to cut away a small portion of the siding. You then drill the inside part of the mounting block into the frame underneath the siding. The outside part attaches to the inside part to give you a strong block, which you can then attach your bracket too.
I would definitely recommend this option because, even though it is a little bit more work, it gives you a much more solid base for your bracket.
5. Secure the Bracket
Now that your anchors or mounting blocks are in place, you can attach the bracket itself. The exact process for fixing the bracket depends on the type of bracket that you buy. However, a lot of them will use a bolt fixing system because it gives the most strength and weight bearing capacity.
Use the lag bolts that are supplied with your bracket and make sure that you tighten them fully with a wrench before you put the TV on.
Always read the included instructions in full before you start trying to secure the bracket, even if it seems straightforward. If you make mistakes here, your TV could fall off the wall when you try to put it on.
6. Put Cables in Place
Before you put the TV on the wall, get all of the cables in place so you are ready to hook it up easily. It’s best to bring the cables underneath the siding and secure them, so they look neat and tidy. You can also use cable straps to fix them to the wall so they are not dangling around behind the TV.
If you are screwing cable straps into vinyl siding, it is best to use stainless steel screws or screws with a vinyl coating for the best hold, and to reduce the chances of damage.
7. Attach the TV
Finally, you are ready to attach the TV. Depending on the type of bracket you are using, you may need to fix some extra nuts and bolts to the back to hold it in place, but this is not always the case. Refer to the instructions and follow them closely.
When you put the TV onto the bracket for the first time, make sure that you are supporting it and you let go gently, to make sure that it holds on its own. If you make mistakes with the fixings and you let go, it could fall and break.
Now all that is left to do is to enjoy your new outdoor entertainment system!
Do I Risk Getting Leaks When Installing a TV Mount Outside?
No, leaks should not be an issue when you are installing a TV mount, as long as you are careful about where you drill. Make sure that when you go through the siding, you are not going too far into the structure underneath. There is no need to go that deep, and the TV is likely to be in a covered area anyway, so you don’t need to be concerned about water getting in.
An outdoor TV is designed to get wet without breaking, unlike a standard TV. However, it is still a good idea to cover it to keep in good condition for longer. If you have a covered patio area or pergola, it’s a good idea to put the TV under this anyway, so you shouldn’t need an extra cover.
If your TV is out in the open, you can buy a simple plastic cover to put over it when you are not using it. This gives it extra protection against moisture and UV rays.
Can I Leave my Outdoor TV Outside all Year Round?
Technically, you can leave your outdoor TV outside all year round because they are designed to withstand all weather conditions. However, they’re not indestructible, and protecting them from the harshest conditions will make them last longer.
You probably won’t spend that much time in the yard watching TV in the middle of winter. So, if you have space to store it inside, it may be worth bringing it in.
Are Outdoor TVs Worth the Money?
This all depends on how often you will watch TV outdoors, but if you want to add an entertainment system to your patio, outdoor TVs are definitely worth the investment. They are excellent for dealing with the glare problem, and they can actually withstand the weather without breaking after a few months like an ordinary TV would.
Attaching an outdoor TV to your siding is a great way to turn your patio area into an entertainment hub. Just make sure that you are careful when attaching brackets to vinyl siding because they are not always as strong. Always read the instructions on your bracket carefully too because they are all slightly different.