How Thick Should Vinyl Siding Be?

Vinyl siding is a decent option for making the removal of debris much simpler. All you need to do is get your hose, spray the siding, and watch all the cobwebs, dust, and dirt slide off with ease. Even better, you can better guard your home against strong winds, severe weather conditions, and external damage. But to effectively protect your home, you're going to want to know how thick the vinyl siding should be. We saved you the time of doing the research and provided the answer.

Homes in the United States should never use vinyl thinner than 0.035 inches. However, you shouldn't go for vinyl that's less than 0.04 inches thick unless you live in a climate with mild weather.

The thickness of vinyl comes in different grade levels. We'll elaborate on that and the pros and cons of vinyl altogether further in the article. Continue reading to learn more.

This very small residential home is on a small lot, has a single car front entrance garage, gray siding with white trim and green door and shutters, How Thick Should Vinyl Siding Be?

Vinyl Thickness Grades


Vinyl siding with imitation wood texture in bright palette of colors. Plastic wall covering for exterior decoration of house

Below are all the vinyl thickness grades and who would benefit from each.

Builder's Grade - 0.04 in.: This thickness is for those on a very tight budget. However, don't get this grade unless weather conditions are mild most of the year.

Thin Residential Grade - 0.042 in.: Those on a tight budget also can look into this grade if they don't feel comfortable with how thin the builder's grade is. If you anticipate a rare weather storm, this grade is an affordable yet safe option.

Standard Residential Grade - 0.044 in.: The average vinyl thickness. It's suitable for those located in places where the weather is infrequently rough.

Thick Residential Grade - 0.046 in.: Above average vinyl thickness

Super Thick Grade - 0.05 in.: The second most durable and thickest vinyl grade

Premium Grade - 0.052 in. or thicker: This is the grade you want if you're looking for longevity and superior damage resistance. Those living in climates or regions where the weather is often brutal should purchase this grade for the best protection. Added bonus: premium grade is insulated, so that can be a free noise barrier.

According to HomeAdvisor, vinyl siding costs can range from $3 to $12 per square foot. So for a 1,500 square foot home, you'll want to have a little under $6,000 in hand. That way, you have some flexibility of which vinyl grade to choose from. Add an extra $1,000 if your home already has siding that needs to be replaced.

What Should I Look For in Vinyl Siding?

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Vinyl siding has been the top choice for home cladding for many years. It's much cheaper than other options/materials out there, such as wood or brick. It's even made a few good improvements over those years due to advanced research and development. We'll elaborate on this later on.

Because vinyl is the top choice, you'll need to look into a few details before choosing.

One decision to make is whether you want vertical or horizontal siding. Vertical siding is more often used in commercial buildings instead of homes. However, homeowners will benefit from easier cleaning. The main drawback is the upfront costs; it's more expensive and time-consuming to install than horizontal. Additionally, not many people like the appeal of vertical siding.

Horizontal siding is the cheaper and more preferred option for homebuyers. In the long run, the horizontal siding could have long-term disadvantages versus vertical siding. For example, horizontal siding is more susceptible to water damage from within its gaps. Cleaning requires a special technique to prevent water from leaking inside the structure.

You should also consider your long-term goals with your house. Do you plan to sell it? Are you going to rent it out?

The appeal of horizontal versus vertical siding can make or break the home selling or renting process. Additionally, you'll need to see how well it pairs with the house's current gutter system.

If you need help looking into a siding, you could always contact a professional roofing and siding contractor to assist in making the best decision for your home.

Is Thicker Vinyl Siding Worth It?

Whether the thickest vinyl siding is worth the purchase will vary by situation. It'll help some and have little impact on others. Most people purchase the thinnest siding available for cost reasons. And sometimes that's all some people need for their homes.

Woodbridge Home Solutions explains that vinyl siding can last around 60 years without effort or cleaning. Get your vinyl siding from manufacturers with lifetime warranties.

Climate happens to be the top factor in whether you should get thicker siding. For example, if you live in states where winters are harsh (New England, Alaska, northern New York, etc.), thicker siding is worth it. The thicker the siding means, the more home protection from the harsh weather effects. Homeowners in stormy states like Texas or Florida will benefit, too.

Climates that don't experience intense weather often (like the mid-Atlantic region) will be fine with a thinner siding. Severe weather can happen anywhere, but homeowners can save money with thinner vinyl siding since some states don't experience it much.

Another factor to consider the worth is your home itself. If your home has been built for many years, vinyl siding of any thickness could devalue the home's value. In this case, you may not benefit from thick vinyl siding or any siding at all. This only matters if you plan to sell it in later years, however.

For the environmentally conscious, you'll want to find some other siding material. Vinyl siding is difficult to recycle because it contains polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Most of the time, these vinyl sidings are burned, which contributes to dioxin emissions.

Has Vinyl Siding Improved?

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A fundamental improvement of vinyl siding over the years is the color choice. Previously, color options were limited to just beige, pastel, or similar colors. Now, you can get the siding in many colors to fit your designer taste.

Some manufacturers have included natural materials to offer greener options for the environmentally-conscious who still want vinyl siding. They may yet have PVC mixed in, but as long as you don't plan to recycle it, it won't have much of an impact on the environment.

This is a considerable improvement from the vinyl siding of previous years. In the 1950s, sidings used to break down in intense weather, emitting harsh chemicals into the air. Today, the chemicals used to make sidings are much less harmful to the environment. They still have their drawbacks, but it's much less dangerous than it used to be.

Strength and durability have made great improvements, as well. The additional layers of the siding make it more resistant to weather than it has in previous decades.

Wrapping Up

If you're on the market for good external home protection, don't skimp out on thickness for the sake of cheapness. Get yourself vinyl siding that's at least standard grade. That way, you can feel safe in unexpected weather conditions when they come up.

For the DIYers, check out our other articles on cutting vinyl siding or environmentally cleaning it.

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