Vinyl Siding Cost: Here’s What You’re Really Paying For
Low maintenance and easy to customize, vinyl siding is one of the most popular and low-cost ways to refresh a home’s exterior. The average vinyl siding cost—including materials and installation—is $11,107.
- Typical Range: $6,074 to $16,369
- National Average: $11,109
A far cry from the strips of shiny pastel-colored plastic it once was, vinyl siding design has come a long way since its inception—much of today’s vinyl siding is difficult to discern from other exterior treatments. It won’t fade, so the color stays true for decades, and it requires little more than an occasional wash to remove algae and mold growth. Is it the right choice for your home? The answer to this question will depend, and the wide range of costs reflects the variations in the market, the style of the home, and aesthetic preferences. Doing a little research on the cost of vinyl siding and available options will help you make the best choices and save money.
Factors in Calculating Vinyl Siding Cost
The typical range of costs for vinyl house siding is between $6,074 and $16,369, averaging out to $11,109 nationwide, according to HomeAdvisor. This range represents many variables, some of which you’ll get to choose, and some of which are less flexible. Less expensive isn’t always better if you’re sacrificing the quality of materials or labor. Still, a realistic understanding of the cost factors will make it easier for you to plan an accurate budget and prevent you from having to make snap decisions that cost more than expected.
Generally, expect to pay between $2.15 and $5.25 per square foot for the labor to install vinyl siding. This will vary considerably depending on where you live and the season. Labor will be more expensive during the busiest season (usually over the warmer months), so if you can set up a contract for early spring or late fall, the project may take more time to complete but be less expensive overall.
Home Size and Design
The larger your home is, the more the siding will cost because of the additional materials necessary and the associated labor costs. In addition, homes with more complicated cuts and applications will be more expensive to side. A second story means ladders and safety harnesses for the installers, while eaves, gables, and corners add material costs and additional labor time.
Materials and Styles
The thicknesses, profiles, and additional elements of vinyl siding can affect the cost of the material. Siding is available in grades ranging from thin builder grade to super-thick grade. Higher quality, thicker vinyl will be more expensive, as will insulated vinyl or specially profiled vinyl molded to look like wood shakes, rounded Victorian scallops, brick, stonescapes, or logs.
While it is a sturdy product and the most popular exterior cladding nationwide for newly built homes, vinyl siding isn’t ideal in every location. It holds up remarkably well to the heat and freeze cycles in the Northeast and Midwest, but the high heat in the southern and western United States can make the vinyl prone to warping and cracking, so it isn’t used as frequently and may cost more to acquire and install in those areas. It will also be more likely to require maintenance and repair in hotter climates, increasing its overall cost and potentially reducing your home’s resale value.
Old Siding Removal
If your old wood siding is in good shape, installing vinyl siding over the top is possible. But if your old siding is also vinyl or you have existing wood siding in poor condition, you’ll have to pay between $1,000 and $3,000 to remove and dispose of the previous materials.
Additional Costs and Considerations
Once you’ve selected the basic materials and budgeted for preparation, siding, and labor costs, you’ll still have some decisions in front of you. Various products exist to coordinate with siding and customize the overall appearance of a home. These additional elements will increase the total project price.
Enhancements and Improvements
Additional insulation improves a home’s energy efficiency. Insulated siding has foam insulation backing already in place, or installers can place rigid foam board insulation on a home and place the siding over that. The price increase for board insulation will add about $5 per square foot to your material cost, while insulated vinyl costs about $8 per square foot. Either choice substantially increases a home’s R-value (the measure of insulation) and keeps a home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.
If a siding manufacturer doesn’t carry the color you want, you can have your siding painted using an adhesive primer. This process can also be used to refresh older or damaged siding. Either way, the cost will be approximately $3,000 to $5,000 to paint the siding.
While it may not have been in your plans, it’s often a good idea to replace gutters at the same time as siding. The gutters will need to be removed and reinstalled regardless of whether you choose to replace them or not, so if you’re paying for that labor anyway, you might consider adding the approximately $1,058 to replace the old gutters with new ones. They can be constructed from vinyl to complement the new siding, or they can be aluminum, steel, or luxury metals like copper.
Grades and Trims
Vinyl siding is available in thicknesses ranging from .04-inch to .05-inch thick. It may not seem like a huge difference, but it can cause a significant price increase. Builder-grade economy siding is .04 inches thick. It is serviceable and will get the job done, usually on commercial applications or complexes where replacement is anticipated in a shorter period. Thin-grade residential siding is .042 inches thick and what many homeowners choose for a good balance between cost and quality. Thick-grade residential vinyl is .046 inches thick and will withstand fading or warping slightly more than standard. Super-thick siding is .05 inches thick. The thicker grades are available in more textures, so if you’re looking for a customized shape, you may need to stick with those options. Cost increases with each upgrade, so comparing those increases against your needs will help you choose the suitable grade for your home and budget.
Well-chosen trims and moldings can completely change a home’s look. These trims add $3 to $6 per linear foot to the budget. Fascia and soffits add depth and shape for $20 to $25 per linear foot. Shutters can help define the home’s style and add to the cost, depending on if they’re wood or vinyl.
Vinyl Siding Cost: Types of Vinyl Siding
Vinyl siding used to come in one style: strips of clapboard. The range of choices is significantly wider now, and each option comes with its own cost considerations.
Board and Batten
One of the oldest types of exterior siding in the United States, board and batten siding was originally made from wood panels attached to the house’s studs vertically, and then the crack between the boards was covered by thin strips of wood called battens. Vinyl siding in this style is made from panels with the battens already in place, ensuring a leak-free exterior and eliminating the potential for the battens to shear away. Board and batten costs between $2.50 and $8 per foot on average.
This vinyl siding gives the appearance of wood or cedar shakes and is available in a row and also hand-split styles. The cedar rows are usually two or three shingles high, with each shingle 5 or 7 inches wide, and they have an embossed wood grain. Hand-split shakes are manufactured as individual shingles with irregularly shaped and sized bottoms for a more rustic appearance. Both styles average between $3 and $10 per square foot based on the grade and may incur additional labor costs, as they require more time and effort to be individually applied.
Clapboard siding looks like basic plank siding from a distance, but this specific style requires wider planks at the bottom than at the top—almost a wedge shape. This gives the siding a deeper profile, creating more shadow and depth, and gives the home a richer look overall. One of the most popular styles of vinyl siding, clapboard is available in a wide range of colors and embossing patterns and ranges in price from $1.30 to $6 per square foot, depending on the grade and insulation.
Insulated Vinyl Siding
If you prefer not to use rigid foam insulation board underneath the siding, insulated siding has insulation attached directly to the vinyl. This gives the siding a more solid structure and a flat back, making installation easier and giving the siding more heft. Most siding styles are available with insulation affixed, and the style will determine where in the range of $4 to $12 per square foot you should expect to pay for insulated siding.
Vertical Vinyl Siding
Vertical vinyl siding, where the boards run from top to bottom instead of side to side, was once a staple of vinyl siding and is now often used as an accent to highlight architecture or create a period look. It costs an average of $5.50 per square foot.
Vinyl Log Siding
If you’d love the look of a log house but aren’t interested in the expense or upkeep, vinyl log siding could be an answer. This is a hollow-style vinyl with 12-inch rounded, woodgrain-textured panels running lengthwise and mimicking the look of a log-built home. It can be installed on any home to add rustic charm at a cost of between $3 and $5 per square foot.
Vinyl Siding Cost: Benefits of Vinyl Siding
Wood, brick, and stucco are traditional materials used to protect and enclose a home; in recent years, fiber cement, aluminum, composite, and vinyl have been added to the list. Each type has its own style and maintenance needs, and those features are balanced against the cost. In many cases, vinyl siding comes out on the top of this equation.
Insects won’t infest vinyl siding, a hailstorm can’t dent it, and the sun won’t fade it. The color is inherent in the material, so it won’t scratch or show scuffs. It can last for decades, depending on climate, quality, and maintenance. Unlike other types of siding, there’s no need to worry about it crumbling and showing its age, so the investment will last.
Lower Cost Than Other Options
Only aluminum siding costs less per square foot than vinyl siding. Aluminum can be a good choice in some cases, but it’s prone to denting and warping, whereas vinyl is not. In addition to the initial outlay, vinyl also has a lower maintenance cost over time, so the total lifetime cost can be significantly lower than any other type of siding.
A hose and some soapy water and, after a particularly wet season, perhaps a power washer—that’s it for maintenance. In extreme cases, vinyl siding might need resetting after impact or a windstorm. Wood and brick are traditional cladding, but years of insect and weather damage can result in prohibitively expensive repair and restoration costs. There’s no need for regular scraping and painting, repainting, recoating, or insect treatment with vinyl.
No Painting Required
The color of the siding was present in the material before it was ever formed into the panel. The color will hold, so you won’t need to touch up paint or maintain it. This doesn’t mean that you are stuck with the color you choose, however. If you get tired of the color before the siding has started to wear or you purchase a home with siding you dislike, it can be painted.
Vinyl Siding Cost: DIY vs. Hiring a Professional
In theory, installing vinyl siding is simple. But in practice? If you really study a professionally sided house, you’ll notice more components to quality installation than you may have realized. Do you know what the order of installation is for trim and soffits? Or how to stagger the overlap lines in the panels? What about if the panels come from different color batches? These are things that someone who knows how to install vinyl siding can do without thinking. Plus, a pro will know exactly how much siding you need, so you won’t have to mess around with a siding calculator or doing your own equations.
The siding itself isn’t expensive compared to other types, but that money will be wasted if you try to do it yourself and end up with a result you’re unhappy with. And even poorly installed, it’s going to last for quite some time, so you’ll be stuck with it. Experienced installers will give you a polished, professional finish in a much shorter period while protecting your investment.
How to Save Money on Vinyl Siding Cost
There are many different decisions to make when budgeting for vinyl siding. Those choices can affect the cost; even though vinyl is one of the least expensive siding options, there are still ways to save a few dollars.
- Choose a thinner grade of material; you don’t need to pick premium or even thicker grade when standard or economy works.
- Look at the different texturing options among other manufacturers, along with their costs. Flat or lightly textured siding is usually less expensive than deeply textured options.
- Get more than one quote for the job, and ask about different brands of siding. Some contractors may work exclusively with one company, and you may find a better deal with a different manufacturer.
- Choose the off-season to schedule the job. This will vary by region, but labor costs will likely be lower if you plan the job during a time of year when the crew is in less demand.
- If you’ve chosen insulated siding or rigid board insulation, check with state and local government about tax breaks related to increasing energy efficiency.
Questions to Ask About Vinyl Siding Installation
As with any professional you hire, ensure that the contractor and everyone they work with is licensed and insured (including liability and worker’s compensation). Ask for a copy of their license and insurance before signing a contract. Beyond that, seek out recommendations from friends and neighbors, or check online home professional recommendation services. Once you’ve selected a few contractors to ask for quotes, you’ll need answers to a few questions before deciding which one to hire. Ask:
- Can I see photos or have the addresses for houses you have worked on recently? Can I also have the contact information of the homeowners whose houses you’ve worked on?
- Can you assess the state of my existing siding and explain why you will/won’t need to remove it before installing the new siding?
- Do you guarantee your work beyond the manufacturer’s warranty? For how long? Is the guarantee in the contract?
- How big is your crew? Do they all work for you, or do you subcontract? (Subcontracting isn’t necessarily a negative, especially for work like gutters or window trim, but you’ll want to ask these same questions of subcontractors as well.)
- Which products do you recommend for my home? Why?
- In your professional opinion, is the color combination I have selected likely to look and age well?
- What is the payment structure for the job, and will you itemize the costs on the contract? How much is expected up front, and how will we handle any disagreements about additional expenses that arise?
- What potential additional costs may arise?
- What potential problems do you see?
- What is your time frame for the job? Is it likely to be pushed back by other jobs?
The process of installing or replacing the siding on your home is surprisingly quick—often far less time than you’ll take to make the decisions about design choices and contractors. Nevertheless, there are a lot of choices to make. Here are some of the questions that are often asked at the beginning of the process.
Q. What is the best exterior siding?
There are many great options: traditional brick and wood siding, logs, stucco, vinyl siding, aluminum, and fiber cement. The answer to this question depends on several things: your home’s geographic location, preferred appearance, the amount of maintenance you’re willing to perform, and budget. Vinyl siding ticks several of these boxes. There’s a wide variety of colors and finishes, and it’s low cost and low maintenance. If you live in an area with extreme heat, you should speak with a local contractor or contact a manufacturer to see if it’s an appropriate choice for your home.
Q. How much does siding a garage cost?
To add vinyl siding to a 20-foot by 20-foot garage, expect to pay between $1,500 and $9,500. An attached garage will cost approximately 25 percent less (because one of the four sides of the garage is an interior wall). This cost may also vary based on whether you’re siding the garage at the same time as the rest of your house; if the contractor is already set up to side your home, the per-square-foot charge may be slightly less.
Q. How much does vertical siding cost?
Vinyl siding designed to be installed with the seams running top to bottom rather than side to side costs approximately $3 to $8 per square foot, depending on the grade selected.