Insulated Vinyl Siding: Is It Worth The Premium Cost?

Kenneth Wilson

Traditional vinyl siding has been the primary choice of many for many years. But, there’s now its insulated counterpart which you can also consider. Insulated vinyl siding starts from $5 to $13 per square foot. This may cost you anywhere between $8,000 and $19,500.

It then begs the question: Is the insulated vinyl siding worth the expensive price tag? To find the answer to this question, let’s discuss everything you need to know about installing the insulated vinyl siding at home.

Insulated Vinyl Siding: Average Costs


Typical Range

National Average

$8,000 to $19,500

$15,000

Insulated vinyl siding, also known as foam-backed siding, starts from $5 to $13 per square foot. Other cost factors that may come into play are the grade of the siding, accessory package, qualifications of your contractor, and more. (Related: Vinyl Siding Cost And Consumer Guide)

Generally, insulated vinyl siding is more expensive than its standard non-insulated siding variant. Here’s what to expect:

  • Direct insulation attached: Insulated siding attaches the insulation directly to the vinyl material. As a result, the siding has a solid structure and a flat back. This will also make it easier for your installer to set it.
  • Made with high-grade vinyl: You can count on your insulated vinyl siding material to be made from high-grade vinyl siding. This protects it from damage, fading, or warping. It is available in double 6” or single 7” and dark, rich colors to complement your home’s aesthetics.

The Good: What are the Benefits of Insulated Vinyl Siding?


The insulation from insulated vinyl siding adds a specific R-value to your wall– but only modest at around R-2 to R-2.7. Some manufacturers like to claim insulated vinyl siding helps in reducing thermal bridging.

This refers to the process where heat escapes the home through conduction on non-insulation materials such as plywood sheaths and wall studs.

Important Note: There’s only a little evidence on this claim. Insulated vinyl may not drastically reduce the thermal bridging in homes.

Other benefits of insulated vinyl include:

  • Insulation firms up the siding. As a result, it looks and feels sturdier.
  • In contrast to uninsulated vinyl (aka hollow vinyl), where there are open spaces behind, it will readily conform to any waviness, unlike its insulated counterpart.
  • Insulated vinyl reduces the tendency of vinyl material to push in quickly when pressed or rattle the seams in between panels.
  • The insulation bridges the contours in your wall structure.
  • It gives the siding (as well as the corner trim and other edging materials) more stability.

The Bad: What are the Drawbacks of Insulated Vinyl Siding?


Considerably the primary drawback of insulated vinyl is the high upfront costs. The insulation attached to the back of the vinyl siding may hike the prices by 20 to 50%. However, the installation of insulated vinyl is similar to the standard process– so the labor costs should be the same.

Expert-backed tip: We strongly recommend working with an installer with previous experience installing insulated vinyl siding.

You can only take advantage of the insulated vinyl benefits such as improved thermal performance and better appearance and feel given precise installation. Any gaps in the insulation backing must be ideally eliminated.

If the installation was not handled properly, it might detract from the expected insulation value and the overall aesthetic of the result.

Cost Factors to Consider in Installing Insulated Vinyl Siding


Here are some other cost factors to consider when it comes to installing insulated vinyl siding.

Labor


Overall, it may cost you between $4 and $5 per square foot for the labor of insulated vinyl siding installment. It may vary depending on the season and where you live. Labor expenses will be higher during the busiest season (typically the summer), so if you can schedule the project for early spring or late fall, it will take longer to finish but will be less expensive overall.

Home Size and Design


A larger home means more siding costs due to the additional materials and associated labor cost. Additionally, it will be more expensive to side a home with many complicated cats and applications.

Installers will need ladders and safety harnesses for the second story, and eaves, roofs, and corners will increase material prices and labor time.

Materials and Style


Its thickness, profile, and other factors can affect vinyl siding material costs. Vinyl siding comes in various thicknesses, from thin building grade to super-thick grade. As such, insulated vinyl will be more expensive.

Location of your Property


Though vinyl siding is naturally sturdy, it may not be an ideal material in every state. In particular, it holds up well to the heat and freeze cycles in the Northeast and Midwest regions.

However, the high heat in the south and west states may make the vinyl more prone to cracks and warps. For that reason, it’s not as frequently used in these areas as it may cost more to install. Maintenance and repair will also be likely more frequent in hotter climates. This may also cost you more and reduce your property’s resale value.

Old Siding Removal


In some cases, you can install the insulated vinyl siding over your existing wood siding as long as it’s in good shape. But, if your old siding is made with the same vinyl material (or it’s in bad condition)– you may need to shell out about $1,200 to $3,500 to remove and dispose of it properly.

Vinyl Siding Cost: DIY vs. Hiring a Professional


Most homeowners are under the impression that vinyl siding installation is straightforward. However, you’ll realize that a professionally-sided home has more intricate components involved in the process.

Your contractors must have the expertise to:

  • Know the order of installation for the trim and soffits
  • Know how to stagger the panels’ overlap lines
  • Handle the panels that came from different color batches

With years of hands-on experience, a vinyl siding professional can help ensure your project is done correctly and quickly. They’ll also provide you with the proper amount of siding that you need for the project. No more having to mess around with an online siding calculator or conducting your equations. 

Insulated vinyl siding materials come at a higher price than their traditional counterparts. If you attempt a poor DIY installation, you may only waste that money and regret the results. Consider hiring experienced installers to provide you with a polished, stunning finish in only a tiny amount of time.

This will also help you give adequate protection to your investment.

Insulated Vinyl Siding: Pricing and Installation Cost Checklist


Before signing with a contractor for your insulated vinyl siding installation project, here’s a brief checklist you can use as a guide.

  • Aim to get 3 to 5 estimates before choosing a local insulated vinyl siding contractor. Don’t worry; most estimates are free-of-charge. They will only charge you for service calls (repair needs).
  • The insulated vinyl siding material prices may vary from one company to another. Every company will have various operating expenses and overhead costs.
  • Get prices during the late fall and early winter months to make the most savings. This is usually when companies have aggressive discounts, given it’s the down season.
  • If possible, add a wiggle room of 7 to 15% of your initial estimate to cater to unforeseen price hikes. This includes challenging configurations, unique patterns, and other home complexity.
  • If you have the time, you can opt to visit supply houses of insulated vinyl siding in person. Doing so allows you to negotiate a better price with the supplier, with an average savings of 20%.
  • Keep in mind that there are different styled homes in the country, from contemporary to Victorian houses. These may affect the ballpark estimates. We recommend adding a little extra to your budget to make room for any changes in the costs.
Kenneth Wilson
March 22, 2022
Cost Guides, Exterior

Kenneth Wilson

Retired contractor. Currently residing in Southwest Florida. Now in semi-retirement, I write and manage this blog focused on helping home owners make savvy decisions when it comes to finding contractors and getting their projects done. I also operate remodeling design service for homeowners.

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