There are many styles and prices of vinyl siding. Estimating how much you can spend by looking at the price per piece may not give you the information you need to determine whether the difference in price will put you over the budget planned for the project. Estimating the total cost of the vinyl siding project will give you a better idea of the cost.
Things You'll Need
 Tape measure

Measure the perimeter of your house one wall at a time. Be sure to add in measurements for each wall of the exterior of your home, including alcove recesses. Write down the length of each section.

On each separate section of the building, measure the height of the siding by measuring where the bottom of the siding will be located up the wall to the eaves. Multiply the length of the section by the height of the section. Determine the square footage of peaks by measuring and multiplying the height with the width of the peak and dividing the result by two. Add the square feet of the sections and peaks together for the total square footage of siding needed for the project.

Calculate the square footage of each opening, such as windows and doors. Measure the height and width of each opening and multiply the height times the width for the square footage of the opening. Add the results of all openings together for the total square footage of openings. This is also the footage for Jchannel, which is the Jshaped channel that conceals the ends of the siding around windows, doors and other obstacles.

Subtract the total square footage of openings from the total square footage of siding needed for the project as determined in Step 2. This is the net square footage, or the amount of siding you need to cover all of the planned surfaces.

Add the height of all inside corners. This is the length of inside corners needed.

Add the height of all outside corners. This is the length of outside corners needed.

Multiply the total square footage for the project by the price for siding. Multiply the footage for Jchannel by the price for Jchannel. Multiply the length of inside and outside corners by the price for each. Change the prices for the products based on different styles and prices of pieces to calculate the cost of different project styles.

Add the cost of fasteners, insulation and special pieces, such as vent covers, based on total square footage. Add the cost of exterior sealant based on perimeter measurements for a more accurate total project cost.
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References
 Photo Credit house image by Brett Bouwer from Fotolia.com