The Benefits and Problems of Using Insulated Vinyl Siding

Insulated Vinyl Siding: A Low Cost Alternative

Frost covered house with vinyl siding
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Insulated vinyl siding is a good alternative to costly siding materials. Although some contractors still prefer traditional vinyl siding, the insulated vinyl siding offers a new competitive edge providing many benefits for homeowners and builders.

Years ago, the vinyl siding was being replaced by concrete siding, wood siding, and other materials that can offer beautiful aesthetic looks. Nowadays, insulated vinyl sidings will offer you a good and low-cost alternative that you must consider when planning your next construction project. It might be possible that even some customers will ask you to install insulated vinyl siding in their homes, so they can lower their energy bills.

Insulated Vinyl Siding Material and Labor Cost

Insulated vinyl siding could add up to your construction estimate and if you don't control those costs you could end up in a very difficult situation. Due to the nature of the product, this type of siding can range between $1.70 to $4.20 per square foot, but that will depend on the brand, color, and profile being used.

Take into consideration that some corners and areas will require specially manufactured pieces that can make your cost even higher. In addition to this, also consider the removal and installation cost which will be around $40 per hour plus the waste disposal fee. In general, some contractors will charge around $3 to $6 per linear foot.

Benefits of Insulated Vinyl Siding

Insulated vinyl siding cost is relatively similar to concrete and wood sidings, and higher than traditional vinyl siding. Manufacturers are now adding a wide variety of colors to choose from; however, white and beige are still the favorite ones among the construction pros. These are some of the most important benefits of using insulated vinyl siding:

  • Increases R-value (R-3 or higher)
  • Enhanced impact-resistant when compared to traditional vinyl siding
  • Some products offer an insulation foam underlay, like 'Thermowell.'
  • Some products can allow vapor permeability, allowing the siding to breath
  • Sometimes the product can be installed over existing siding.
  • Insulated vinyl sidings can reduce wall irregularities, creating a solid finished wall
  • Some of the insulated vinyl sidings come in larger sizes allowing a faster and lower cost installation
  • Specially manufactured pieces are available to use on corners and windows
  • Better sound control properties when compared to traditional vinyl siding
  • Better weather performance when compared to traditional vinyl siding
  • Less maintenance is required, and it is easier to replace the panel when damaged
  • Insulation beneath the vinyl siding reduces the seam problems and gaps due to shrinkage of materials. 
  • Variety of colors to choose from
  • Insulation foam (usually EPS) does not absorb moisture
  • Fewer seams are required as the product is almost 40% longer than regular siding.
  • Energy tax credits can be applied by the homeowners
  • Save installation time when compared with drop-in foam-backed products
  • Reduced energy bills to homeowners

Some manufacturers of Insulated vinyl siding are:

Problems of Insulated Vinyl Siding

The siding can be very effective, but can also present some issues if not installed properly. These are some of the most common concerns related to the insulated siding:

  • The right installation method should be used to prevent it from warping and buckling. Remember, although it might look like wood it is not, so a different installation procedure should be used.
  • To prevent damage, a waterproof barrier must be installed on the exterior of the house. It will create a moisture-free environment preventing water from entering the house.
  • High moisture can develop mold on top of the siding.
  • Some builders tend to agree that using vinyl siding can be detrimental to the ventilation and drainage to the property.
  • Watch out for the right flashing as it can prevent moisture problems.
  • If not attached properly, vinyl siding can become loose during high winds or storms.