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How to Estimate Vinyl Siding

Updated on February 14, 2013
Marye Audet profile image

Marye Audet-White is an internationally known food writer, food editor for Texas Living, cookbook author, and food blogger. Measuring for vinyl siding is easy. Measuring for vinyl siding is easy.

There are alot of reasons not to use vinyl siding. However if you have decided that vinyl is right for you, or you are doing a repair on preexisting siding then you may need to know how to measure to find out how much vinyl you will need to purchase.

Before doing any ordering, be sure to check with your city and county for permits, ordinaces, codes, inspections, and other things that you may need to know about before proceeding.

Estimating Vinyl Siding

The first step in putting up vinyl siding, whether you are fixing a small repair or siding an entire house, is to estimate the amount of material that you will need to cover the area. That is done is several steps:

  1. Measure the perimeter of your home. To do this you just measure all sides of your house and add the measurements together.

  2. Measure the height from the bottom of the siding to the eaves.

  3. Next multiply the perimeter by the height to find the square footage of the exterior of your home.

  4. Measure the height of each gable, and then measure the width of the gable wall at the eaves.

  5. Multiply the gable height by the gable width and then divide the answer by two to find the square footage of each gable.

  6. Add the square footage of all gables together.

  7. Add the main square footage to the total square footage of all gables.

  8. Now you need to carefully measure the height and width of all of the doors and windows in your home. Multiply the height by the width to find the square footage of each opening and then subtract the total from the square footage of the house to find the actual square footage that needs siding.

  9. Divide this answer by one hundred to find the number of squares of siding you'll need.

  10. Count the number of outside corners on your house and measure the length of each. Add up the linear feet of outside corners and divide the answer by ten to find the number of outside corners. Repeat the process for the inside corners on the exterior of your house.
  11. Divide the perimeter measurement by the length of each siding starter strip to find the number of lengths you'll need.

  12. Measure the perimeter around all doors and windows and the sloped edge of all of the gables. Total the linear feet and divide by the length of each J-channel to find the number that you will need.
  13. Measure the width of all windows and the length of all eaves. Divide by the length of each utility trim to find the number of lengths you'll need. If you are making a repair you will measure the perimeter of the area to be repaired, adding a little extra for unexpected situations. With these measurements in hand you are ready to buy the siding.

Repairing Melted Siding


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    • profile image

      Howard B 6 years ago

      It's absolutely wrong to advise readers to subtract the doors and windows, and it's also wrong to figure the gables that way. Siding strips do not come pre-cut on angles. You have to figure the slope and the amount you must cut off.

      I sincerely suggest that no one follow these directions because you'll end up going back and buying more siding. And if you're ordering a color, you might not get the exact color run and end up with a discrepancy.

      Very bad advice here.


    • profile image

      elephant james 8 years ago

      Does anyone have any clue what a reasonable price would be to have a house sided with an estimated 3,600 square feet?

    • Rob Jundt profile image

      Rob Jundt 9 years ago from Midwest USA

      Excellent tip. Knowing your square footage prior to getting subsequent quotes is very smart. Just by mentioning this to a supplier of contractor lets them know you know your stuff and cannot be swindled. Thanks for the information. This will be helpful to a lot of people.

    • Eileen Hughes profile image

      Eileen Hughes 9 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      This is very descriptive and should help anyone wanting to do this. Thanks for sharing