Redoing your home’s siding is no small task, and total cost can play a major role in determining when and how it happens. In this article, we’ll break down the different factors that affect the cost of siding and how vinyl compares to other siding options, as well as vinyl's pros and cons.
Factors That Affect Vinyl’s Cost
On average, a homeowner can expect to spend $11,000 on vinyl siding. However, the price can range from $6,000 to $16,400. What causes that $10,000 difference? Quality, location, style, your home’s size, and the labor involved.
The quality and craftsmanship of vinyl siding play an important role in its price because not all vinyl is the same. Thickness and the length of the siding are key in determining quality. Let’s first look at the different siding grades:
- Builder’s grade: If you’re renovating with a tight budget, this one's for you. Measuring .40mm, it’s the thinnest and cheapest siding option. This grade is used in the majority of residential homes, but it doesn’t provide much insulation and can crack easily.
- Thin residential grade: With a thickness of .42mm, it is still one of the more inexpensive options while providing decent insulation. Although it doesn’t protect against hot, penetrative heat, as well as thicker grades.
- Standard residential grade: At .44mm in thickness, this grade is one of the more common choices. It provides adequate insulation and sturdiness while remaining cost-effective.
- Thick residential grade: Similar to the standard grade, this grade provides decent insulation with a .46mm thickness and can still be cost-effective.
- Super thick grade: Being .50mm thick, this can become a bit pricey. However, these sidings provide good protection against rain and wind and offer lots of insulation.
- Premium grade: This is the most expensive grade on the market measuring .52mm to .55mm thick. It does provide decent protection and insulation from penetrative heat and low temperatures.
As mentioned above, length is the second indicator of vinyl siding quality. Standard siding panels come in 12.5-foot lengths, which can lead to more seams around the outside of the home, reducing its curb appeal. Quality siding comes in longer, 16.7- or 25-foot lengths, which minimize the risk of seams. But it can require greater installation time to ensure the siding is straight and properly installed.
Depending on where you live can be a major factor in your project’s final price. Local labor costs and shipping costs to get the materials to your area are two of the main variables that affect the price.
For example, vinyl holds up remarkably well to the heat and freeze cycles found in the Northeast and Midwest. So it’s much easier to find in those regions, making it less expensive. However, vinyl is prone to warping and cracking in the extremely high temperatures of the Southern states. Since it isn’t used as frequently down there, it will be more expensive to ship vinyl in and install.
One reason why vinyl siding has become so popular is because of its multiple color and style options. It’s formed in molds, so it can mimic the look of wood lap, brick, and stone siding, as well as shingles, shakes, and even log-look.
Vinyl siding style is arguably one of the biggest contributors to price. Here’s a high-level breakdown of the different styles and their material costs per square foot (not installed):
- Traditional lap: $2-$6
- Smooth: $2-$6
- Beaded: $2-$6
- Dutch lap: $2-$6
- Clapboard: $2-$6
- Board and batten: $3.50-$9
- Vinyl shake: $3.50-$9
- Scalloped: $4-$9
- Log-look: $5-$10
- Brick-look: $5-$10
- Stone-look: $5-$10
The most popular vinyl siding is Dutch lap. It has a decorative groove along the top of the board that creates dramatic shadow lines across your home. The groove provides a look of greater depth and dimension while adding some curb appeal.
Since siding is priced per square foot, it makes sense that the bigger your home is the more you can expect to pay for siding and labor.
The cost of vinyl siding installation ranges from $2.50 to $10.75 per square foot. Homeowners with a 1,000-square-foot home can expect to pay between $2,500 and $10,750 for vinyl siding while homeowners of a 4,000-square-foot home can expect a bill ranging from $10,000 to $43,000.
Depending on where you live, labor costs could vary, but the average labor cost to install vinyl siding is $3.70 per square foot, with the general range being from $2 to $5 per square foot. So, if your home is 1,000 sq. ft. then you can expect to pay $2,150 or $5,250 in labor costs alone.
If you’re looking to cut costs, have your siding replaced in spring or fall when companies are less busy—summertime is their busiest season, so prices tend to be higher. We also recommend using higher-quality siding or insulated siding because it’s easier to install. The lesser grade vinyl siding is floppy and bendable, and it usually takes two people to install in order to prevent bends and breaks.
Vinyl Costs vs. The Cost of Other Siding Types
As stated, homeowners love vinyl siding because it’s durable, easy to install, and relatively inexpensive compared to other siding options. Let’s look at the other materials’ costs in comparison (all prices are per square foot, installed). Reminder: The average cost of vinyl siding is $2.50 to $10.75 per sq. ft. installed.
- Wood: $2.25 to $15
- Aluminum: $3.00 to $7.25
- Engineered Wood: $3.40 to $9.25
- Steel: $4.25 to $8.75
- Fiber Cement: $4.50 to $11.25
- Stucco: $5.50 to $7.50
- Brick Veneer: $8 to $13
- Brick: $11 to $27
- Stone: $21.50 to $38.75
If you love the look of wood, stone, or brick but don’t love the price tag, no worries! Vinyl comes to the rescue once again. You can choose a brick-look, stone-look, or wood-look vinyl siding style to get the look you love at about half the price.
Tips On How to Lower Your Vinyl Siding Cost
Even though vinyl siding is the less expensive option, re-siding your home still isn’t a pleasant cost to bear. But there are ways to minimize the financial burden.
Look for Offseason Discounts
If you can plan ahead for your siding replacement, aim to have it done during the slow season. Early spring and fall are prime times to have your siding replaced because it’s outside the peak season. You should be able to find some decent deals from siding contractors looking for business.
Choose Your Material Wisely
There’s no need to splurge on premium grade siding when standard or thin residential grade will do the trick! And when you are choosing your siding be sure to pay attention to the vinyl’s texture. Flat or lightly textured siding is usually less expensive than deeply textured options.
We recommend getting more than one quote for the job. While you’re shopping around, be sure to ask about the different brands of siding and their costs. Some contractors work exclusively with one brand, so you might find a better deal with a different contractor who works with multiple or cheaper manufacturers.
Insulated siding or rigid board insulation under your siding helps to keep the home’s temperature stable. A better insulated home means a more energy-efficient home. Check with your state and local government about tax breaks related to increasing energy efficiency.
Vinyl Siding Pros and Cons
Durable, inexpensive, and easy to install; you may not think there are many disadvantages to installing vinyl siding to your home. However, before you make your final decision about how to side your home, here are some pros and cons:
Vinyl siding is extremely durable—insects won’t infest vinyl siding, a hailstorm can’t dent it, and the sun won’t fade it. Unlike other types of siding, there’s no need to worry about it crumbling and showing its age. It can last for decades, depending on climate, quality, and maintenance.
It’s a lower-cost option than other siding choices. Aluminum siding is the only other type that is cheaper than vinyl. And while it does have its own advantages, aluminum siding is prone to denting and warping, whereas vinyl is not. Plus, vinyl has cheaper maintenance costs, making it less money in the long run.
And when we say vinyl siding is low maintenance, we mean it. A hose and some soapy water and, after a particularly wet season, perhaps a power washer—that’s it. In extreme cases, after an intense storm, your vinyl siding might need resetting. But there’s no need for regular scraping and painting, repainting, recoating, or insect treatment with vinyl.
The color of vinyl siding is inherent to the material. This means that the color was present in the material before it was ever formed into the panel, not applied afterward. So the color won’t chip off or fade and you won’t have to repaint your home.
Installation is easy but not foolproof. And if done incorrectly, it could lead to a lot of issues down the road. Even though it adds an additional cost element, we’d recommend using a contractor to ensure correct installation.
Vinyl siding might be cheaper in the immediate future, but it could decrease the value of your home in the long term. If your home is historically significant, vinyl siding can devastate your home's worth. And, unfortunately, some home buyers regard vinyl as inferior which could decrease your home’s offers when it comes time to sell.
Finally, if a panel of your vinyl siding is damaged by extreme weather, then the whole panel will have to be replaced. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as patchwork when it comes to vinyl siding.
Visualize Your Vinyl Siding Options
Use HOVER to visualize what your home could look like with vinyl siding! HOVER’s application allows you to see what different types of vinyl siding will look like on a 3D model of your existing home. HOVER lets you experiment with different colors and styles, so you can show your contractor exactly what you want.
Contractors can also provide you with an accurate estimate based on HOVER’s measurements, so you can make your home improvement dreams become a reality.
Click here to learn more and see how it works!