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How much does vinyl siding cost?

By bluecorona Jan 27, 2014

Several factors affect the cost of vinyl siding, as well as other types of home siding.  The material cost is significant, but calculating the cost based only on the cost per square foot times the square feet of your home is not an accurate method for determining the actual cost of siding.

Comparison of different types of CT home siding

In terms of the cost of the siding itself, vinyl siding is definitely one of the least expensive options.  The cost of vinyl siding runs between $2 to $4 per square foot, totaling $7,000 for a 2,200 square foot home (the national average.) For the same sized home, wood would cost $13,000, fiber cement: $14,000, aluminum: $8,000, stucco: $15,000, and stone: $50,000.  Again, these are only the material costs.

The cost of vinyl siding, including installation ranges from $3 to $10 per square foot installed, or between $8,400 and $28,000 for a 2,800 square foot exterior surface area.  We will explain what factors affect the price of the materials, the installation costs, how to calculate an estimate for your home, and finally reveal some hidden values to consider along with the cost.

What affects the price of vinyl siding?

1)   Thickness: The thickness of vinyl siding ranges from 0.035′ to 0.055′.  In general thicker vinyl siding is better.  It costs more, but in the short-term, but it is a better long-term value because it can withstand wind, hail, and other sources of damage.  Thickness one of the better indicators of quality, but quality does vary between manufacturers.  Again, in terms of the best long-term value, select vinyl siding from a high-quality manufacturer that offers a good warranty.

2)   The size and number of panels: Obviously, the more panels you need, the higher the cost will be.  Longer panels wider panels cost more than short skinny ones, but you wouldn’t need as many.  Talk to your contractor about the most cost-effective balance between size and number, and your designer about will look best.

3)   The color and pattern: There are many different vinyl siding styles and colors.  Some are smooth, others are textured, and some are even dyed unevenly to create an authentic weathered look.  The style you choose will affect the price.  For more information, see our guide on selecting vinyl siding colors.

4)   Insulation properties: Thicker vinyl siding usually insulates better and costs more.  Insulated vinyl siding is another good option for CT homes.  You will recover some of the extra cost through reduced heating and cooling costs.

5)   UV Protection: Vinyl Siding that is reinforced with titanium dioxide (which is the same ingredient used in sunscreen) or that has been extruded for sun protection will maintain their color longer.  Most high quality siding is pre-treated and engineered to resist fading and it is worth the extra cost since vinyl siding colors are meant to last without painting.  For example, the performance-engineered copolymer compound from Alside resists fading from UV exposure and chemical weathering. For more information, read Alside Siding Reviews.

6)   The warranty: Part of what you pay for if you choose high quality siding is the warranty that comes with it.  The best vinyl siding manufacturers offer excellent warranties.  The price you pay to have professionals install your siding is worth it for the purpose of maintaining your warranty.

What affects the installation cost and total cost?

1)   The condition of your existing siding and exterior walls: Your old siding needs to be removed before new siding can be applied.  It is not uncommon to discover rotting wallsduring this process, which will add to the total cost of the project.

2)   The shape and size of your house: The cost estimates above apply to an average sized, simple box-shaped home.  If your home has a more complex configuration, it will require more J-Channels and the installation will take longer.  The same goes for large homes.

3)   Your Windows: The size, style, and number of windows you have will also affect the labor costs.  Window channels add to the material cost, and installing siding around windows increases the time it takes to complete the project.  Shutters are also usually installed along with siding: more windows means more shutters.

4)   Supply and Demand: The supply and demand for both the materials and the labor will affect the price.  Supply and demand fluctuates seasonally, and by area.  Re-siding your home during an off-season can save you a lot of money.

5)   Siding Accessories: Trim, fascia, soffit, and molding have attached costs, including installation.

Some people try to cut costs by installing siding themselves.  If you have the time, tools, and skills to do it, do it, but if you don’t or if you are unsure, we recommend hiring professionals.  Even if you purchase the highest quality siding, an improper insulation will make it vulnerable to damage, and it will void the warranty.  Vinyl siding can blow off if it is not secured properly, neglecting to consider the function of siding and vapor profile of the wall can cause the underlying building materials to rot and mold, and improper spacing that does not allow for expansion and contraction can lead to deformation.  (Vinyl Siding Installation Guide) It is also important to consider the weather conditions, and to get the job done quickly so that your home is not exposed.

How to calculate an approximate estimate for your home:

Vinyl Siding Price Guide provides an example of the breakdown of the total cost to install new 2,800 square feet of new siding:

Vinyl Siding: 2800 square feet x $4.50 = $12,600 (includes installation/labor)
Builder’s Permit: $200.00
Finish Strips: 6 pieces at $3.30 each = $19.80
J-Channels: 55 x $3.60 each = $198.00
Starter Strips: 15 pieces at $2.75 each = $41.25
Outlets/ Vents/Hydrants: for plug-in outlets, light fixtures, replace gable vents and hydrant faucets : $300.00
Garbage Rental: $250.00
Inside Corner: 9 pieces at $5.40 each = $48.60
Outside Corner: 2 pieces at $9.85 each = $19.70
Shutters: 12 pieces at $39.00 each = $468
Nails: $40.00
Delivery Charge: $45.00
Cost to have the old siding removed: $1,000

Total Cost = $15,275.35


We created a blank guide for you to use to create your own estimate:

Measure the square footage of the sides of your home:
2(Length x Width x Height of short side + Length x Width x Height of long side) = ____________ft
Times $____________ per square foot of material =_________
Times $____________ per square foot for installation/labor =_________
Plus $_________ to remove existing siding =_________
Plus $_______ for builders permit = ________
Plus ($3.30) times ________# of finish strips =_________
Plus ($3.60) times ________# of J-channels =_________
Plus $_______for outlets and vents = __________
Plus $_______for garbage rental = __________
Plus ($5.40) times ________# of inside corners =_________
Plus ($9.85) times ________# of outside corners =_________
Plus ($39.00) times ________# of shutters =_________
Plus $_______for nails = __________
Plus $_______for delivery = $__________

Other Hidden Values of Vinyl Siding:

Return on Investment (ROI): Installing new vinyl siding or fiber cement siding is one of the top home improvement projects in terms of ROI and the hidden value is significant. The ROI for vinyl siding is around 73%.  To make numbers simple, let’s say the total cost of vinyl siding for an average size home is $10,000.  Upon selling your house you would get 73% back, which knocks the cost down to $2,700- deduct savings on heating and cooling, subtract what you would have spent on maintaining other siding, and you knock the relative cost down even more.  It is even easier to net positive with fiber cement in the long term.  The ROI for fiber cement is 103%.  The initial cost may be more than it is for vinyl siding, let’s call it $15,00 for an average sized home (again, just to simplify numbers) but if you sold your house immediately after siding, you could expect to sell it for $15,450 more than you would have without new siding, which puts a free $450 right into your pocket.

Maintenance: The low maintenance of vinyl siding is a hidden value.  Plywood siding, for example, needs to be painted every five years. Wood siding needs regular oil stains and mildew repellents.  Vinyl siding never needs to be re-painted or weather-treated. There is no question that vinyl siding is a lucrative investment:

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