Standard Vinyl Siding v. Insulated Vinyl Siding: The Differences

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While standard vinyl siding and insulated vinyl siding may look the same, there is a myriad of differences between the two options. As a homeowner, figuring out which one is the best choice for your family can be quite challenging. Don’t worry though; this guide is here to help. Several key issues that often concern consumers who are in the market for siding are addressed below. Hopefully, the information that is provided here will make your final decision simpler!


Numerous issues can affect the price of any kind of vinyl siding. Before the idea of insulated versus non-insulated even enters the picture, you will have to decide on a brand (name brands always come with higher price tags), pick a color (most brands have more expensive premium shades), select a contractor (labor costs vary widely), and think about the size and features of your house (the bigger it is, the more you will pay and the more windows and doors you have, the more you will pay). Phew! It can be exhausting, but the end result will definitely be worth it.

All of this said, insulated vinyl siding does typically cost more than standard, non-insulated panels. It is usually priced between $4.00 and $12.00 a square foot. However, over the course of the life of your siding, you may actually save money by choosing an insulated style. “How is that possible?”, You’re probably wondering. Because insulated siding panels are more energy efficient than their non-insulated counterparts, you can expect your utility bills to decrease year round, especially in areas like Charlotte, NC that experience all four seasons. Over time, this savings is likely to make-up any extra money you initially spent.

Aesthetics and Durability

At first glance, very few people will notice the difference between insulated vinyl siding and standard vinyl siding. As time goes by, however, insulated panels tend to hold-up better than non-insulated ones. This is because of the insulation itself. It provides a rigid backing to each vinyl siding piece, making it less susceptible to damage and functioning as a shock absorber. If, for instance, your home is in a hail storm, as many houses in the Carolinas are, insulated siding may prevent dents from the hailstones.

All in all, these two types of vinyl siding do not look different from one another. If you intend to keep the same siding for twenty or thirty years, though, insulated panels will probably give you more bang for your buck.

Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency and lower utility bills are the main reasons most homeowners who choose insulated vinyl siding ultimately go that route. Third-party studies have concluded that insulated siding panels tend to reduce energy costs by about 16%, although your personal savings may differ from this amount depending on where exactly you live and how energy efficient your house is overall.

One of the main benefits of insulated siding is that it essentially negates thermal bridging, which is a major cause of heat loss, even with foam board insulation installed. Some families even decide to have insulated siding panels put on over their existing “pink” insulation for the most possible heat retention.

Ease of Installation

Insulated siding panels are slightly more challenging to install than non-insulated panels, although they are certainly not a problem for experienced contractors. A few more tools are required, and windows and doors must be built-out further to accommodate the siding’s additional bulk. If you really think insulated vinyl siding is the way to go for your house, do not let the idea of tougher installation intimidate you; your contractor will know exactly what to do.

At Hatch Homes, we take pride in providing our clients with professional, expert services. If you are interested in learning more about having insulated siding installed on your house, or if you’re ready to get a quote, give us a call today. One of our skilled technicians will be happy to meet with you to discuss your upcoming job at your earliest convenience.

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Hatch is your partner for exterior remodeling.