Vinyl Siding Calculator

Created by Wojciech Sas, PhD
Reviewed by Bogna Szyk and Adena Benn
Last updated: Dec 07, 2022

With this vinyl siding calculator, you can quickly estimate the amount of materials and the total cost of this fashionable siding type. The tool answers the following questions:

  • "How many vinyl wall panels do I need?" and
  • What will be the total vinyl siding cost if you want to cover the whole exterior area of your house?

🙋 If you want another siding material, head to our siding calculator.

About vinyl siding

Vinyl siding on a house

Vinyl siding is one of the most popular exterior siding types for residential buildings and small apartments. The material is based on polyvinyl chloride (PVC), and its design mimics other fabrics like wood, bricks, or metal.

Vinyl siding cost is relatively small compared to other ones, such as aluminum or log sidings. The popularity of this material is growing thanks to its comparatively high durability, fire resistance, and versatility in producing different shapes and sizes. The most common type of vinyl pieces used for sidings are vinyl wall panels, which we can easily connect with one another.

🙋 Were you thinking about building a wall? Omni's brick calculator may be a handy tool.

Trim elements

Although we can join vinyl panels without great effort, they have to be treated in a particular manner when attached to some edges like windows or other walls. The trim pieces have to be used to keep everything in appropriate positions. The most popular ones are:

  • Undersill trim - primarily at the underside of horizontal edges (windows or soffit);
  • Starter strip - as a base at the bottom of the wall; and
  • j-channels - the universal trimming for wall sides, corners, around windows and doors, or even angled edges.

We have to nail each of these trimmings to the wall, but it's important not to do it too loosely or tightly. The recommended interval between adjacent nails should be between 1 and 2 feet.

How to estimate material needed?

The number of vinyl wall panels necessary for covering the entire wall depends on the total square footage of the wall. For the plain one, it's just the area of a rectangle calculated from the height and width of the wall. If you use shapes other than regular ones, you should try our tile calculator!

In more general cases, we have to subtract windows and door segments. Moreover, it's always worth considering preparing more material, considering the waste that occurs during the installation process. It's usually given as a percentage of the total area to cover. We recommend buying about 5-10% additional resources.

We can include trim pieces as follows:

  1. The length of undersill trim equals the width of the wall (the upper edge counts) and the sum of all windows widths;
  2. The length of the starter strip equals the width of the wall (the bottom part);
  3. The length of j-channels equals twice the height of the wall and the width plus twice the height of all windows and doors.

The cost of vinyl panels is usually given as the price per square foot, whereas the cost of all the trim pieces is presented as the price per unit of length. When the number of windows and doors increases, it gets more and more complicated to evaluate the total cost, but with this vinyl siding calculator, it's just a piece of cake!

Vinyl siding cost - an example of use

Let's assume we want to cover the wall of 10 ft in height and 30 ft in width with a single door and a pair of windows. We consider standard door and window sizes (8' × 3' and 3' × 5', respectively).

  1. Calculate the area of raw wall: 10 ft × 30 ft = 300 ft².
  2. Find out the total area of the door and windows: 8 ft × 3 ft + 2 × 3 ft × 5 ft = 54 ft².
  3. The final area to cover is equal to: 300 ft² - 54 ft² = 246 ft².
  4. Taking into account 10% waste, we can estimate the total amount of material needed to cover such area as: 246 ft² × 110% = 270.6 ft².
  5. If we use standard segments (12 ft in length and 10 in width), we can work out the total number of vinyl wall panels as: 270.6 ft² / (12 ft × 10 in) = 27.06. We will probably be able to buy only full panels, which means that the result has to be rounded to the next integer number, 28 pieces.
  6. Undersill length equals: 30 ft + 2 × 5 ft = 40 ft.
  7. Starter strip length equals: 30 ft.
  8. J-channels length equals: 2 × 10 ft + 2 × (5 ft + 2 × 3 ft) + (2 × 8 ft + 3 ft) = 61 ft.
  9. Let's assume the following prices of elements: $5/ft² or $50 per unit for vinyl panels, $0.6/ft for undersill, $0.49/ft for starter strip, $0.48/ft for j-channels.
  10. Estimate the final vinyl siding cost: 28 × $50 + 40 × $0.6 + 30 × $0.49 + 61 × $0.48 = $1,467.98.

In the Advanced mode, you can change both door and window sizes or insert any area of non-rectangular walls, e.g., the triangle or trapezoid, the common wall shapes under the roof.

Wojciech Sas, PhD
Wall dimensions
Height
ft
Width
ft
Doors and windows
Number of doors
Number of windows
Single vinyl panel
Vinyl width
in
Vinyl length
ft
Vinyl price
$/
ft²
Waste factor
%
Trim pieces
J channel price
$/
ft
Undersill price
$/
ft
Starter strip price
$/
ft
Results
Total area
ft²
# of vinyl pieces
Total vinyl cost
$
J-channel length
ft
Undersill length
ft
Starter strip length
ft
Total cost
$
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