Insulated Vinyl Siding: The Ultimate Guide for Homeowners

When it comes to choosing the right siding for your home, the options can be overwhelming. Each type of siding has its unique benefits, costs, and drawbacks. In this guide, we’ll explore the various types of siding available, with a special focus on insulated vinyl siding.

What is Insulated Vinyl Siding?

Insulated vinyl siding is an enhanced version of traditional vinyl siding, incorporating a layer of foam insulation that is bonded to the back of the vinyl. This added layer of insulation improves the siding’s energy efficiency, durability, and impact resistance.

Benefits of Insulated Vinyl Siding

  1. Energy Efficiency: The foam insulation helps reduce heat loss, keeping your home warmer in winter and cooler in summer. This can lead to significant savings on your energy bills.
  2. Durability: Insulated vinyl siding is more robust and can withstand impacts better than traditional vinyl siding, making it an excellent choice for areas prone to storms and hail.
  3. Low Maintenance: Vinyl siding requires minimal upkeep. It does not need painting and can be easily cleaned with a hose.
  4. Aesthetic Appeal: Available in various colors and styles, insulated vinyl siding can enhance the curb appeal of any home.
  5. Storm Damage Prevention: The additional insulation layer provides extra strength, helping the siding to resist dents and cracks caused by hail or debris during storms.

How Insulated Vinyl Siding Stands Up to Storms

In regions prone to severe weather, choosing siding that can withstand the elements is crucial. Insulated vinyl siding offers several advantages:

  • Impact Resistance: The foam backing absorbs impact, reducing the likelihood of damage from hail or wind-blown debris.
  • Reduced Noise: The insulation layer also acts as a sound barrier, reducing noise from heavy rain or wind.
  • Improved Structural Integrity: The added insulation layer helps maintain the shape and integrity of the siding, preventing warping or sagging.

Insulated Vinyl Siding vs. Traditional Siding

Traditional Vinyl Siding:

  • Cost: Generally cheaper than insulated vinyl siding.
  • Installation: Easier and quicker to install due to its lighter weight and simpler structure.
  • Maintenance: Low maintenance but can be prone to cracking in extremely cold weather.
  • Energy Efficiency: Provides minimal insulation value.

Insulated Vinyl Siding:

  • Cost: Higher initial cost due to the added insulation layer.
  • Installation: Slightly more complex to install due to the foam backing, but still manageable for professional installers.
  • Maintenance: Also low maintenance, with enhanced durability against impacts and weather conditions.
  • Energy Efficiency: Significantly better insulation properties, leading to energy savings and improved home comfort.

How Attractive is Insulated Vinyl Siding?

insulated vinyl siding attractive

Insulated vinyl siding is available in a wide range of colors, textures, and styles. Whether you prefer the look of traditional wood grain, smooth finishes, or more contemporary styles, there are options to suit every taste. The insulation layer also helps the siding maintain its shape and appearance over time, preventing issues like warping and sagging.

Does Insulated Vinyl Siding Help Insulate?

Yes, the foam insulation in insulated vinyl siding adds a layer of thermal resistance to your home. This can reduce heat transfer through the walls, making your home more energy-efficient. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, improving insulation can significantly reduce heating and cooling costs, making insulated vinyl siding a smart investment for long-term energy savings .

How Easy is Insulated Vinyl Siding to Install?

While slightly more complex to install than traditional vinyl siding due to the foam backing, insulated vinyl siding can still be installed relatively quickly by professional contractors. The key is to ensure that the insulation layer is properly aligned and secured to maximize its benefits. For DIY enthusiasts, it’s recommended to consult with professionals or thoroughly research installation techniques to avoid common pitfalls.

How Long Does Insulated Vinyl Siding Last?

Insulated vinyl siding is designed to be durable and long-lasting. With proper maintenance, it can last 20-40 years or more. The added foam insulation not only improves energy efficiency but also enhances the siding’s structural integrity, making it more resistant to impacts, weathering, and wear over time .

Does Insulated Vinyl Siding Affect Resale Value?

Yes, insulated vinyl siding can positively impact your home’s resale value. Potential buyers often look for homes with energy-efficient features, and insulated siding can be a major selling point. Additionally, its durability and low maintenance requirements make it an attractive option for homebuyers looking to avoid future renovation costs.

See chart below. By investing in insulated vinyl siding, you could gain up to 10% more on the resale of your home.

Potential Increase in Resale Value by Investing in Insulated Vinyl Siding

How Much Does Vinyl Siding Cost?

Here’s a comprehensive table comparing various types of siding, including insulated vinyl siding:

Siding TypePrice per Square FootProsCons
Insulated Vinyl$4 – $12Energy efficient, durable, low maintenance, aestheticHigher initial cost than traditional vinyl
Traditional Vinyl$2 – $7Affordable, low maintenance, variety of stylesLess impact resistant, can crack in extreme cold
Steel$7 – $15Extremely durable, fire resistant, low maintenanceCan be prone to rust, higher cost
Wood$6 – $12Natural look, can be painted/stained, good insulationHigh maintenance, susceptible to pests and rot
LP SmartSide$5 – $10Durable, impact resistant, treated to resist pestsRequires periodic painting, can be more expensive
James Hardie$6 – $13Fire resistant, durable, aesthetic, low maintenanceHigher cost, requires professional installation
Fiber Cement$5 – $10Durable, fire resistant, low maintenanceHeavy, requires professional installation, can crack
Aluminum$3 – $6Lightweight, rust-resistant, low maintenanceCan dent easily, color may fade over time

Understanding the R1 vs. R2 Rating System

The R-value is a measure of thermal resistance, indicating how well a material can resist heat flow. The higher the R-value, the better the material insulates. In the context of insulated vinyl siding, the R1 vs. R2 rating system is used to denote the insulation effectiveness of different siding products.

What is R1 Rating?

R1 Rating: This rating indicates that the siding provides an R-value of 1. This level of insulation offers basic thermal resistance, which is better than traditional, non-insulated siding but not as effective as higher-rated insulation materials.

Applications and Benefits:

  • Basic Insulation: Suitable for climates where extreme temperatures are less common.
  • Cost-Effective: Typically more affordable than higher R-value sidings.
  • Energy Efficiency: Provides a moderate improvement in energy efficiency compared to non-insulated siding.

What is R2 Rating?

R2 Rating: This rating signifies that the siding provides an R-value of 2. This level of insulation offers significantly better thermal resistance compared to R1-rated siding, making it more effective at insulating a home.

Applications and Benefits:

  • Enhanced Insulation: Ideal for regions with more extreme temperature fluctuations.
  • Energy Efficiency: Offers better energy savings by reducing heat loss in winter and heat gain in summer.
  • Comfort: Contributes to a more consistent indoor temperature, improving overall home comfort.

Comparison of R1 and R2 Ratings

FeatureR1 RatingR2 Rating
Thermal ResistanceBasic (R-value of 1)Enhanced (R-value of 2)
Energy EfficiencyModerate improvementSignificant improvement
CostMore affordableHigher upfront cost
SuitabilityMild climatesExtreme climates
Comfort LevelModerate improvement in comfortHigher improvement in comfort

Why Choose Higher R-Value Siding?

Choosing a higher R-value siding, such as R2, provides several advantages:

  • Energy Savings: Higher R-value sidings reduce the amount of energy needed to heat or cool your home, leading to lower utility bills.
  • Increased Comfort: Better insulation helps maintain a consistent indoor temperature, enhancing comfort.
  • Environmental Impact: Reducing energy consumption lowers your carbon footprint, contributing to environmental sustainability.
  • Resale Value: Homes with better insulation can be more attractive to potential buyers, potentially increasing resale value.


Choosing the right siding for your home involves considering various factors, including cost, durability, maintenance, and aesthetics. Insulated vinyl siding stands out as an excellent choice for homeowners looking for a balance of energy efficiency, durability, and low maintenance. Its added benefits in preventing storm damage make it particularly appealing for those in regions prone to severe weather.

To see insulated vinyl siding in action and learn more about its benefits, watch our embedded video below.

For more information on siding options or to get a quote, contact Right Now Roofing today!

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(612) 352-2679

Reach out to our team to get your estimate on the calendar! 

(612) 352-2679
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