The Best Garden Hose Reel for Vinyl Siding (With Detailed Instructions)

Are you looking to put your garden hose on a reel that attaches to vinyl siding?  This is an installation guide with a list of additional hardware you might need, as well as recommendation for the best garden hose reel for vinyl siding.  

Use the quick navigation links below to find what you’re looking for:

My first bit of advice is to avoid attaching a garden hose to a vinyl wall if you can.  It’s a bit of a tricky, unpredictable project that depends on what is under your siding.

In most cases, it’s easier to install a 4 x 4 pressure treated wood post in the ground, then mount your garden hose reel on that.

An even easier route would be to simply purchase a wheeled hose reel cart and call it a day. 

However, there might be circumstances that prevent both of these options and mounting your hose reel to vinyl siding is your best option.  

So let’s get started helping you get that done!

Why Mounting a Hose Reel to a Vinyl Wall is Difficult

The aforementioned tricky and unpredictable part of this job is the ease with which you’ll be able to find the structural support within the wall that’s best to mount your garden hose reel to.

**Important: You MUST mount your hose reel to the structural frame, or studs, of the house.

You may be tempted to buy a lightweight reel and garden hose hoping that somehow your vinyl siding will be strong enough to hold up your hose reel.

If you do this, the weight of the garden hose & reel will pull off the wall leaving gaping holes in your your vinyl.  It’s just a matter of time.

A large garden hose filled with water on a reel can weigh up to 150 lbs.   Vinyl siding, even the plywood sheathing under the vinyl, is not strong enough to bear that kind of weight over a long period of time.

In most cases, the structural support behind vinyl siding are going to be studs – vertical beams that run vertically from the ground to the top of the house.

Finding those studs can be a bit tricky because they are not always located close enough to the siding for a stud finder to detect them.  

And if there is a gap between your siding and the studs, you now have an additional concern of damaging your siding by pinching it to the stud when you bolt your hose reel to it.  

This could leave your structural support exposed to moisture – not good. 

You may get lucky and find the stud with a stud finder sliding it over the vinyl paneling.   If that’s the case you can probably get away with using the hardware included with the hose reel to mount.

The Best Garden Hose Reel For Vinyl Siding 

The best hose reel I’ve found that includes hardware and instructions specific for mounting the reel to various types of siding, including vinyl, is from Eley.

It may be a little more than you wanted to spend on a reel, but I’ve poured through dozens of forums & amazon review and there are very few complaints about this high quality, durable product.

I’ve also reached out to Eley’s customer service team for installation instructions for this reel and they got back to me within a few hours with even more detailed instructions than are provided with the reel. 

Eley Mounted Hose Reel

Here are some features of the Eley hose reel that might help justify the expense and why it’s the best garden hose reel for vinyl siding.

Vinyl Siding Hardware Included

Mounting Hardware and 6-1/2 ft. x 5/8″ Polyurethane Inlet Hose Included.  This includes spacers needed for vinyl siding and a mounting plate. 

Winter Storage

The reel can be removed from the mounting bracket for winter storage

First Class Durability

Made from high quality aluminum alloy, one of the highest rated reels made

Dimensional Fit for Stud Walls

The lag bolt holes on the mounting plate included with the reel are 16″ apart which is the distance between studs of MOST wood framed walls behind vinyl or lap paneling. 

There are several hose reel’s available on Eley’s website.  Here’s the link to the wall mounted hose reel you want.

I’m convinced Eley makes the best garden hose reel for vinyl siding.  Therefor, we’ll assume you’re using this reel for the instructions below.

However, these instructions are general enough that you can apply them to all garden hose reels when mounting to vinyl siding. 

Finding Studs Behind Vinyl

Ok back to the installation details.   

Try finding the studs with a high end stud finder on the outside of the wall.  You’ll need a good one like this one from Bosch to find the stud behind the vinyl

Another way to determine if you’ve found a stud is to pay attention to how much solid wood your drill bit has penetrated behind your vinyl.

The lag bolts that are included are 2 .5″ long.  The hole you drill should be no deeper than 1.5″ to leave room for the mounting hardware.  

Your lag bolts should achieve at least 1″ of penetration into the stud in order to support the reel properly.  

Anything deeper than 1.5″ and you run the risk of damaging your siding because you’ll need to sandwich your siding into the stud in order to achieve a 1″ penetration depth.  

Most plywood sheathing is 1/2″ thick.  If your drill bit has over 1/2″ of sawdust on it and you’ve drilled at the 16″ mark, then you’ve hit a stud.

You can tell that you’ve missed a stud if you feel resistance when you’re drilling and then suddenly there’s no resistance at all after an 1″-2″ of drilling.   That means you’ve drilled through the vinyl siding and plywood sheathing only to find empty space behind them.

Here is a link to Eley’s installation videos for further instruction.

This video below should help as well, but has caveat which I’ll get into below

What this video does not tell you is what to do if you can’t find the stud as easily as he did.   

Why Finding Studs Can be Difficult

  1. Studs are not 16″ on center – most homes are built with studs 16 inches apart, but not always.  They could be 24″ apart.  First try drilling a pilot hole 16″ from your point of reference, then at 24″ if you don’t find the stud at 16″.  You can use the edge or a window (the glass, not the frame) or a corner of a wall as a point of reference for this – you know a stud is there. 
  2. Stud finding tools are not efficient – as mentioned in the video, stud finders often are not sensitive enough to penetrate material on lap siding such as vinyl.
  3. Too much space between vinyl and studs – Sometimes builders wrap vinyl over an existing layer of lap paneling when remodeling a home.  This among other reasons, creates too much space to locate a stud using the method in the video above.
  4. It takes experience – For some, telling the difference between hitting the plywood sheathing and a structural stud is not always easy.

Mounting a Hose reel to Vinyl Siding if You Can’t Find a Stud

This project starts to become more advanced if you’ve tried the three steps below and still can’t find the stud:

  1. A high quality stud finder could not detect one.
  2. Pilot holes at 16″ from a corner or window (the glass, not the frame) did not reach a stud
  3. Pilot holes at 24″ from a corner or window did not reach a stud.

If your pilot holes did not hit a stud,  it’s likely that the studs are too far back from the siding for the hardware included with the reel to accomplish the job. 

The 2.5″ lag bolt included with reel accounts for .5″ of reel mounting hardware, .5″ of siding, .5″ of sheathing plywood, and 1″ of stud penetration. 

So in a nutshell, what you’re going to want to do is find the studs by locating them from the inside of the wall

Then we’re going to create a spacing tube that longer lag bolts can pass through to attach to the stud.

If you want to do a professional level quality job,  Here’s a list of tools & hardware (with links) you will likely need in addition to what is included with the reel.

Finding Studs From the Inside of a Wall

We’ve now determined that the studs are too far back from the vinyl siding to find them easily.

It’s much easier to find the studs on the inside of a wall.   Here are 3 common ways to do so:

  1. Use an electronic stud finder sliding it across the inside wall until a stud is detected
  2.  Find a nail in the base trim of the inside wall.  You can usually tell where they are by finding a spot where putty or paint has been applied to cover the nail hole.  Nails are almost always driven into studs
  3. Find an electrical box, which are usually attached to the side of a stud

Once you locate a stud, mark the sides and center of the stud using painters tape & pencil.   Studs are 1.5″ wide

Now find a point of reference that exits on both the inside and outside of the house such as a corner or window.

Using a window as an example, measure the distance from the window glass (not the frame) to the center of the stud.   Then measure the distance to the adjacent stud’s center.

Be sure to use a level to make sure your lines are level.

If you want to be sure you’ve located both studs, you can nail a finishing nail through your drywall.   You’ll be able to remove the nail and cover the hole with spackle or paint easily. 

If the nail encounters resistance after 1/2″, you’ve found a stud. 

Here you’ll want to make note of the distance between the studs.   If they are longer than 16″ apart, you’ll need to make a platform made from pressure treated wood to attach your reel mount to.  

Remember the mount that comes with the Eley reel has mounting holes 16″apart, assuming that’s the distance between your studs.  More often than not, that will be the case. 

You can now use these distances to determine the location of the center of the stud on the outside wall, using the same window’s edge as a point of reference.  Mark locations with pencil & level. 

Creating a Pass Through with a Hole Saw

Now that we’ve marked the location of our drill points, we need to create holes for the lag bolts to pass through.

We do this by creating 4 tubes made of PVC pipe that span 1/4″ beyond the vinyl siding to the wood sheathing covering the structural studs.  Our 4 lag bolts will pass through this siding and drill into the studs. 

We want the reel to “float” above the vinyl siding without coming in contact with it. 

This will ensure that the weight of the reel is being distributed  properly so as to not damage your vinyl siding. 

**Important: Before you start drilling, make sure your the location of your reel is at the proper height, which is 12″ above the knees, and clear of any pipes.    

Water pipes run vertical, so make sure your water hose bib does not lie directly below your reel location.

Using the 1″ bi-metal hole saw attachment, drill 4 holes at your marked location on your siding.   Here’s a video demonstrating how to do this properly. 

Continue drilling with your hole saw, checking often, until you’ve reached the wood sheathing beneath.

Once you’ve reached the wood, replace your hole saw with the 3/32″ wood drill bit. Begin drilling to ensure that a stud is behind the sheathing.  

If you encounter resistance after 3/4″ or more of drilling, you know you’ve found the stud.

If you didn’t hit a stud, re-check your measurements and try again. 

Once you’ve located a stud, you should now know the distance between your studs.   Use those measurements to drill 3 more holes with the hole saw for each of the lag bolt locations.   Be sure the holes are plumb & level. 

Drill 2″ pilot holes into the wood sheathing & studs at the 4 mounting bolt locations.

Creating Pass Through Spacers with PVC Pipe

Once you’ve hit the wood sheathing with your hole saw and made sure there’s a stud behind it, measure the distance from the wood sheathing to the surface of the siding. 

Add 1/4″ to that distance and cut 4 pieces of PVC piping to that length.  You don’t want the reel to lie flush on the siding, which is why we add a 1/4″ gap. 

You should now be able to determine what length lag bolts you’ll need to mount the hose reel properly.   Take the length of your PVC cuts and add another 2″.   This will allow for the lag bolts to pass through the spacer, 1/2″ of wood sheathing plus 1.5″ into the stud.

Find 1/4″ diameter lag bolts that meet or exceed that length at your local hardware store and purchase 4 of them. 

Mounting Your Garden Hose Reel

Now that we’re created 4 pass through holes, 4 PVC spacers, and purchased our extra long lag bolts, we are ready to mount the reel.

First assemble the reel according to the instructions provided with the reel. 

Apply silicon caulk to any errant pilot holes you’ve drilled trying to find a stud.   Then apply silicone calk to the holes you cut with the hole saw into your vinyl siding. 

You want to simply cover the surface of the wood sheathing within the hole with the silicon caulk.  This will created a waterproof barrier between the PVC spacer and the wood sheathing.

Fit the PVC spacers you’ve cut into each of the holes.  Remove any excess caulk with a wet towel. 

Pass your lag bolts through the washer, mounting frame & PVC spacing tube.  Tighten each bolt just enough to inhibit any movement of the mounting plate.  ​

Don’t over-tighten!

Continue with the hose reel instructions provided until your hose reel is fully assembled and attached to hose bib. 

Eley Hose Reel Vinyl Siding Installation Video

Here’s one more link to the Eley wall mounted hose reel and the best instructional video we could find on YouTube to help you install.


This might not have been as easy of a job as initially expected but if done right, you now have the best garden hose for vinyl siding mounted and ready to go.

If you have any thoughts, suggestions or improvements on how to best attach a garden hose to vinyl siding on a home, please leave them in the comments below.

1 thought on “The Best Garden Hose Reel for Vinyl Siding (With Detailed Instructions)”

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