Vinyl is the #1 material in the U.S. due to its pros (namely low cost, versatility and low maintenance requirements). Warranties are usually life-long and are sometimes transferable. This is truly a pro, but as it varies by contractor, it is more of a consideration.
Vinyl is typically a horizontal lap-type siding, designed to mimic traditional wood-lap. The height of each individual lap (or what would resemble a plank of wood) is generally what distinguishes brand or model types, along with the thickness of material.
Vinyl essentially comes in two types – one which is called hollow-back or is just the siding material, the other which is foam-back, to provide extra layer of insulation. Foam-back adds about 15% more to the cost of siding material, but the cost can be easily recouped via energy savings.
Vinyl comes in a number of thicknesses (which add to cost), and as seams may be a con, it does have a seamless option, but that too adds on to cost.
The material is fairly durable and will last a good 20 to 40 years, usually with a warranty to back this up.
Costs per square foot has a fairly wide range based on factors noted above and brand considerations. Our research shows it as little as 60 cents and as high as $8.00. A perhaps more accurate range is $3.50 to $6.50 for standard vinyl siding, and $5.50 to $10 for deluxe vinyl.
An average-sized house (2,000 sq. ft. of siding) will cost between $7,000 and $13,000 for standard siding, including materials, installation, and warranty.