Vinyl siding replacement is a popular option for homeowners who want to boost their home’s curb appeal while protecting its value and energy efficiency. But, estimating the amount of siding needed (and cost per square feet) can be daunting, if not overwhelming!

However, if you keep a few key factors in mind, your siding installation project can stay on budget and boost your home’s value. In fact, vinyl siding (also sometimes called lap siding) can yield an 80% rate of return on the investment if you’re selling your home!

So, if you’re trying to estimate vinyl siding cost for your home improvement project, here are some tips to help keep you on track.

Vinyl siding (just like metal roofing, shingles and even fiber cement siding) is measured in what the industry calls a “square.” The number of squares in a siding installation project varies depending on the total square footage of the exterior of your home. 

Generally speaking, one square is equal to 100 square feet, that goes for aluminum, stucco, hardie board, natural stone and even wood siding. But the average cost per square foot on vinyl siding is $1-8 dollars, depending on the market you live in and product quality. 

Cost calculators are available online to aid in siding measurement and give you a ballpark estimate of the total cost. However, it’s important to keep in mind that these estimates typically don’t include the potential costs of window trimming, fascia board, soffits and other situations that might be rolled into the siding installation project. 

Designs and styles vary, but there are many popular examples of vinyl siding options: dutch lap, clapboard, board and batten, and shingle or shake (which mimics the look of traditional cedar shake). The cost of each style can vary depending on the quality of the products. However, for any home improvement project it’s always best to get a quote from a trusted industry professional.

Pro Tips: Siding Measuring and Installation

When measuring the total area of the house, it’s easier to divide the large areas into smaller standard shapes and then add them together (for quicker calculation). Remember, never do a new siding job overtop of a damaged framework – all window and door repairs should be done first – so that the end result is more secure and complete when it comes to corner posts, undersill trim, window boxes and the like. 

It’s also good practice to add a cushion when ordering (typically an additional 5-10% of extra siding will help to cover any issues or miscalculations you encounter). 

Finally, make sure to have all the necessary tools needed BEFORE getting started: caulking supplies, power tools, nails and other miscellaneous things you’ll need for the project. Trim pieces and other assorted siding panels, like those around your shutters, gutters and gables also are important elements in regard to the functionality and design of your new siding project

Avoiding Mistakes When Estimating Vinyl Siding Costs

Don’t let measuring your home’s exterior intimidate you! With these simple steps you can pull out your measuring tape and calculate the right amount of siding for your house!

Also, be sure to check out our handy Siding Measuring Sheet – it’s a great visual reference when planning your siding order!

Vinyl siding (and even wood siding) can be installed overtop of stucco or brick, and traditional lap and dutch lap siding is installed onto the stud boards of your wrapped house. 

Measure the height and the width of each side. For each side, multiply the height times the width to get the total square feet. Measure the other areas not included in the sides, such as gables, dormers, and around the garage door. For triangle areas, measure from the base of the triangle to the top and multiply that number by half of the base length

When accounting for windows and doors, measure the height and width of each area not covered by siding. Then add together the square footage that you calculated for the sides of your home and the additional areas. Subtract the uncovered areas’ square footage from the total amount you calculated in the last step. Divide this number by 100 to get the number of squares of siding that you will need to order. 

(The average cost of vinyl siding can range from $4 to $10 installed per square foot).

Factors the Siding Calculator Won’t Tell You!

Many additional factors go into the vinyl siding installation process and can have an affect on the total cost of your home improvement project (most commonly the type of siding you envisioned). 

When looking at the total area to be covered by the new siding, it’s important to find a siding style that will give your home a look and feel that ties into the climate and design style of your area. Important factors to think about are year-round average temperatures, proximity to salty ocean air, humidity, wind, rain and the frequency of inclimate weather like blizzards, hurricanes, tornadoes and ice storms. 

Installation permits, cost of delivery, tools needed for installation, design complexity of your home and even removal of your old siding should also be factored into the total cost of the home improvement project. Additional items, depending on the design of your home, include the following: starter strips, finishing strips, shutters, j-channels, nails, hydrants, outlets and vents. (These are the items you’ll find all around the side of the house to the tops of the walls).

Why Choose FDS for Gorgeous Siding?

For all of the reasons listed above, it’s worth giving Factory Direct Siding (FDS) a call when you’re in the final stages of planning your home exterior makeover. Premium cedar shake siding is a durable, low-maintenance option with dozens of popular colors for many different stylistic applications (and you can be assured that they won’t need to be painted—EVER)! 

FDS uses digitally scanned real cedar shakes to recreate vinyl shake siding; 3D images are transferred to molds, providing the most authentic shakes available in today’s market. The beauty and strength of the products at FDS are unparalleled throughout the siding industry. Our superior product allows you to express your own individual style while preserving your home’s value and giving it the curb appeal that you’re looking for. Contact us today!