Is Insulated Vinyl Siding Worth the Money?

There’s no question that upgrading your home’s siding is an expensive investment.  Much like replacing your roof, new siding on your house is pricey but the results will end up saving you money in the long run when it comes to important features like energy efficiency, resale value, and even curb appeal.  The question comes down to what type of siding is best for your home—and are styles like insulated vinyl siding really worth the extra money?

installing vinyl siding

What is Insulated Vinyl Siding?

Insulated vinyl siding looks the same as regular vinyl siding with the difference being an insulated solid foam backing meant for increased energy conservation for the home.  Although the overall look of both sidings are quite similar, there is a slight difference with regular vinyl siding having a “stepped” profile, meaning the vinyl sections are layered against each other, versus insulated siding being installed flush against house.

The backing of insulated vinyl siding is comprised of expanded polystyrene, with the outer layer being made of standard polyvinyl chloride—or more commonly known as PVC.  Regular vinyl siding is just made of PVC with no backing.  The insulation backing on insulated vinyl siding is thin, only measuring about 1.25 inches, but this addition can tremendously increase your home’s R-value.

All About R-Value

R-value is a measurement of your insulation’s ability to resist heat.  According to Energy Star, higher your insulation’s R-value, the better its thermal performance.  Why is the R-value important?  Depending on where you live, you’ll want to meet Energy Star’s suggested R-values for insulation for optimal energy savings and conservation, otherwise, you’ll be paying much more than you need to in monthly utility bills.

The Energy Star recommendations split the United States into seven zones.  The higher numbered zones capture the northern part of the United States and therefore these regions are assigned higher R-values.  Higher R-values are advised to use more insulation to better handle colder weather with R-values ranging between R38-R49, where lower zones like Zone 1 only recommend an R-value range of R25-R30.

This initial cost is in the additional material, but remember, you’ll also be paying for labor.  Contractors charge more for installing insulated vinyl siding due to the heavier weight and bulk of the material.  It also requires additional steps to install it.

Benefits of Insulated Vinyl Siding

The benefits of insulated vinyl siding go beyond the added layer of insulation that keeps your home at a higher R-value.  Yes, there is a greater cost, but consider the advantages that come at the price of an added insulated backing.

inspecting vinyl siding

Durability is one benefit you’ll see with insulated vinyl siding.  Regular vinyl siding is known to be brittle in colder temperatures and prone to cracking on impact.  This is due to the siding having a void between the panels and the exterior of the house thanks to it’s stepped installation.  With insulated vinyl siding, there is the cushioning of the insulation that helps prevent cracking and damage.  The lifespan on insulated vinyl is much longer compared to standard vinyl siding.

Energy savings are the prime advantage of insulated vinyl siding.  The main purpose of the insulated backing is to help promote thermal performance, so if you live in a region that experiences cold temperatures, you’ll certainly be seeing the energy savings month-to-month.  Any added insulation is a good thing, but insulated vinyl siding has a proven cost savings of 14.5%.

Finally, there’s the resale value to consider.  Upgrades to your home help improve your resale value and that is good news for the cost of your home when you’re ready to sell it.  Insulated vinyl siding gives potential buyers the benefits of energy savings, durability and curb appeal, allowing you to make more money on the sale of your house and property.  In the end, you’ll recoup a lot of the initial cost of installing the insulated vinyl siding.

Bottom Line: Paying More but a Better Payoff

There’s no doubt that added insulation on your vinyl siding will cost you more money, but like any home investment, there’s more than a good chance you’ll end up seeing an excellent return of investment.

At the end of the day, it depends on where you live.  Research the R-value for your region and see if getting insulated vinyl siding is recommended and will make a difference in your overall energy savings.

At Feldco, we offer high-end vinyl siding made up of a full thermal support system that includes quality insulation and energy efficiency. Additionally, the superior appearance of vinyl siding with traditional and architectural colors will drastically improve the curb appeal of your home. Speak to a product specialist and get a free quote online today.

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