Since its introduction in the late 1950s, vinyl siding is still the exterior home material used by many builders and preferred by many homeowners. Among the other siding options of wood, metal and cement, vinyl is the least expensive material to buy, and it’s the second least expensive material to install, coming in behind metal. A vinyl siding installation company can give you an estimate for vinyl siding to cover your home, but you can also figure your ballpark cost by making a few calculations.
Vinyl Siding Cost Considerations
Vinyl siding is not a single product. Material choices are available in numerous styles, such as smooth or textured, and have a variety of looks that mimic materials such as wood or stone. The thickness varies also, from a standard of 0.04 inch to thicker vinyl such as 0.052 inch. Vinyl that’s thicker offers higher durability and improved fade resistance, but you’ll pay more for a thicker product.
The obvious price consideration is the size of your home – larger houses typically need more vinyl siding than smaller houses. But a smaller house that has odd-shaped windows or doors and more design details, such as molding, trim, vents and soffits may cost more than a larger house that has a basic, no-frills design. Contractor costs for these extras can range from $3 to $6 per linear foot.
Unless you have DIY siding installation expertise, you’ll have to include the cost of installation by a vinyl siding specialist or a contractor. Different individuals or companies will submit different labor costs, so you may want to get more than one estimate before making your decision. And don’t forget to factor in the cost of removing old siding, which could add $1,000 to $3,000 to your total bill.
Measuring Your House
After you take measurements of your house, you'll be able to multiply its square footage by the cost of the vinyl siding you choose.
Lowe’s outlines these steps you’ll take to measure your home and estimate the total square feet that you’ll need to cover with vinyl siding:
- Make a sketch of each side of your house.
- Multiply the height and width of each side to determine the square feet on each side, and add all the side measurements together.
- For triangle-shaped areas, measure from the base of the triangle to the top and then multiply this figure by half of the base length. Add all triangular measurements together, and then add this figure to the total of the side measurements for a total square-foot figure of areas that will be covered by vinyl siding.
- Measure the length and width of soffits, which represent the areas just under the eaves of your house. For each soffit area, multiply the length and width together to figure the square-foot measurement. Add all these square-foot measurements together with the total square-foot measurement you calculated above for the sides of your house.
- Measure the height and width of doors, windows and other areas that will not be covered by siding. For each uncovered area, multiply the height by the width to figure the number of square feet per uncovered feature. Add all the square-foot figures for all uncovered areas together.
- Subtract the total uncovered square-foot figure from the total covered square-foot figure to get the total square-foot amount of vinyl siding you’ll need. Add 10 percent to this total to account for miscalculations or waste.
- Divide the total square feet you’ll need by 100 to calculate how many “squares” of vinyl siding you’ll need. (Vinyl siding comes in “squares” of 100 square-foot units.)
- Add any "extras" such as trim and accessories.
Estimate for Vinyl Siding
As a rule of thumb, Home Advisor reports that vinyl siding costs for most homeowners range from $6,174 to $15,261, with a national average of $10,240. Generally, most homeowners can expect to pay approximately $4 per square foot to install vinyl siding.
Applied to common house sizes, these figures translate to:
- 1,500 square-foot home – $6,000 to $8,000
- 2,000 square-foot home – $8,000 to $11,000
- 2,500 square-foot home – $10,000 to $13,000
- Add removal and disposal costs of previous siding and installation charges to the total cost if you hire out the project. Obtain cost estimates from your vinyl siding dealer or contractor.
- Ask your vinyl siding dealer or contractor to assist in the material waste calculation because different sidings vary in height and the overlap requirements vary depending on the house structure.
Victoria Lee Blackstone was formerly with Freddie Mac’s mortgage acquisition department, where she funded multi-million-dollar loan pools for primary lending institutions, worked on a mortgage fraud task force and wrote the convertible ARM section of the company’s policies and procedures manual. Currently, Blackstone is a professional writer with expertise in the fields of mortgage, finance, budgeting and tax. She is the author of more than 2,000 published works for newspapers, magazines, online publications and individual clients.