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Cost Of Siding

calculating square footage. vinyl siding cement board siding wood siding

How to Estimate the Cost of Siding for a Home

Home sidings come in a wide variety of styles and types of materials. Sidings that are more common are vinyl, cement-board and wood. Estimating amounts of these types can be tricky if the home owner doesn’t remember a few basic rules. However, with a few simple steps, the owner can figure the amount needed for a siding project and get a reasonably close estimate.

Calculating square footage.

In order to get as close an estimate as possible, the square footage of the structure should be measured accurately. The area to be covered will be from the top of the wall to an inch or two past the home foundation. If the home has a garage door(s), large windows and multiple doors, measure these areas to subtract from the amount needed. In this case, after measuring the door and window areas, add up the square feet and subtract half of that from the total amount. The half left in will be added to the siding total for waste purposes. Should the home be one with only a few windows and two doors or so, measure the entire house as a solid area including those doors and windows. There will be pieces cut to fit for certain areas and siding waste and scraps cannot be eliminated. Adding the door and window areas will ensure the owner does not estimate too low.

At the gables, the area where the siding will come to a peak at the roof, measure the peak of the pyramid and the base area where the gable begins. Multiply the peak height by half the base (width) and add about 20% for a waste factor. Total these measurements up and this will give the area which must be covered with siding.

Vinyl Siding

Most manufacturers of vinyl lap siding list and sell the siding by the square. A ‘square’ of vinyl siding is 100 square feet of coverage. The estimate must also include the accessories needed. There is starter strip ( which will be needed all around the base perimeter of the home) as well as corners, and J-Channel. These accessories hide raw edges and give the siding a neater appearance. If vinyl soffit is to be used, the area which is the roof overhang, F-Channel and soffit will also need to be added to the estimate.
The length and the area of the overhang will need to be added to make the estimate more accurate.

Cement Board Siding

The cost of siding estimate for cement lap siding is similar but has some major differences. Cement lap siding generally comes in 7 1/4" widths and 8 1/4" widths. An overlap for each piece should be a minimum of 1 1/4". When estimating the siding overlap, this must be deducted from the total of the cement board pieces. In addition, trim boards come in various widths and thicknesses. Trim boards used around windows, doors and for corners can vary from 4" widths to 12". Also, the thicknesses vary from 3/4" to 5/4". Determine what type is to be used and estimate based on those widths and thicknesses. Soffit overhang areas are also to be estimated if that material is going to be used. Soffit panels come in perforated (with pre-drilled holes for air flow) or solid (with no air flow).

Wood Siding

Standard cedar or pine lap sidings are available in 7 1/4" widths. These pieces are tapered with the wide section at the bottom and the thin, or tapered, section at the top. Installation of these includes an overlap of 1 1/4" as well. Determining the cost of siding in wood is similar to the cement board. For instance, the exposed piece of siding, minus the overlap, actually only covers 6" or .5 square feet per lineal foot. Therefore two lineal feet of wood lap siding will be needed to cover one square foot. Trim boards are similar in width and thickness to the cement board trim. Determine needed thicknesses and widths to arrive at an accurate cost estimate.

Using a tape measure and a good calculator, the homeowner can come to a reasonably accurate estimate to find the cost of home siding.

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