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Understanding Siding Sizes

Apr 30, 2022

Installing brand-new siding on your home is a huge project, and this job can quickly turn complex. You have so many variables that you’ll need to account for when you’re selecting new siding, including style, material, size, and more.

However, if you’ve never had to install siding before, it’s easy to grow confused when you’re dealing with sizing. You likely aren’t familiar with the way in which siding is measured and how you can determine the best size for your structure.

Whenever you’re having vinyl siding installed, you can choose from a few size options. For homeowners, the most popular sizes are D4 and D5. This abbreviation is quite simple: The “D” stands for “double,” while the number references the width measurement in inches.

But what does “double” mean in this context, and what practical differences exist from option to option? What is an S7 or a T3? If you’re looking to become more knowledgeable on vinyl siding sizes, then we’re here to break it down for you.

What Do Siding Measurements Describe?

When we’re talking about the size of vinyl siding, we’re technically referring to the size of the planks and how many rows are in each panel. Some vinyl planks are narrow, and some are far wider than others. Before you have new siding installed, you’ll need to determine which option works best for your home.

As an example, let’s take a closer look at D4 vinyl panels. This is one of the most common sizes for residential homeowners, so it’s worth considering. Because the “D” is short for “double,” this means that there are two planks attached to one another. Each of those planks has a width of four inches.

In the same vein, each piece of D5 vinyl siding is made up of two planks, both of which have a respective width of five inches. In total, one D5 panel is ten inches wide.

How Is Vinyl Siding Measured?

The number of planks and the width of each one isn’t the only siding dimension that can be measured. Before having vinyl siding installed on your home, you should also remain aware of the thickness and length of whichever option you select.

Depending on the size of your property, the length you require can vary. If you need to cover an area of the exterior that’s 25 feet in length, it would be unwise to order siding that only has a length of 20 feet.

Ideally, you should try to find the length that involves the smallest amount of cutting and fitting. This can be a tedious extra step when you’re dealing with installation, and it’s possible to avoid or minimize it with proper planning.

The most common vinyl siding lengths you’ll find are:

  • 5 feet
  • 12 feet
  • 16 feet 8 inches
  • 20 feet
  • 25 feet

Next, you’ll need to figure out the thickness of your new vinyl siding. Before making your final decision, remember that you should avoid any siding that’s thinner than 0.035 inches. In fact, the thicker the siding, the better. Thicker siding is sturdier and is likely to hold up better and experience fewer instances of damage, compared to thin panels.

When you purchase vinyl siding in the United States, you can choose from six standard thicknesses, which are:

  • Economy grade (0.038 inches wide)
  • Builder grade (0.040 inches wide)
  • Average grade (0.044 inches wide)
  • Upgraded siding (0.046 inches wide)
  • Premium grade (0.048 inches wide)
  • Top-of-the-line siding (0.055 inches wide)

As you can see, none of these possibilities fall beneath the minimum recommended thickness for vinyl siding. That is because any siding that’s thinner than economy grade is prone to damage and won’t do an effective job at protecting your home.

How Many Width Options Are There for Vinyl Siding?

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Again, there are two siding widths that are the most popular amongst homeowners: D4 and D5 vinyl siding. Even so, these aren’t the only options that are available. Before you select the siding for you, it’s worth examining all the possibilities.

In terms of individual plank width, you can take your pick from several standard sizes, including 4 inches, 5 inches, 6 inches, 7 inches, and 12 inches. However, you can also find width sizes like 8 inches, 4.5 inches, and so on.

Breaking these sizes down even further, you can choose from single, double, and triple panels.

A panel of vinyl siding that’s composed of a single plank can have a width of S6, S7, or S8. On the other hand, double panels are available in a wider range of sizes. When you decide upon double-paneled siding for your property, you can select D3, D4, D4.5, D5, and D6. To determine the total width of any double panels, simply multiply the number by two, and you’ll have the size in inches.

There’s also a third category of vinyl siding widths, being those made up of three planks. These are triple panels, and they’re available in sizes T3 and T4. Clearly, if you go with triple panels, you’re going to have the most limited number of options.

How Do I Figure Out the Best Vinyl Siding Size?

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You’ll need to account for several factors before you determine the best vinyl siding size for your house. Although some sizes are going to hold up better than others, there’s no true “best” size for vinyl siding. At the end of the day, it depends on the preferences of the property owner, as well as the dimensions and construction of their property.

For instance, make sure you’re not purchasing vinyl siding that’s too short for the length of your home. You should also be examining the appearance of different sizes to find the option that’s best suited to the aesthetic of your home. As you might expect, single, double, and triple panels all take on distinctly different appearances. And if you’re viewing the situation from a construction standpoint, there isn’t much practical difference between D4 and D5 panels – it all comes down to the appearance, for the most part.

If you’re interested in having new vinyl siding installed, it’s crucial that you reach out to a professional. Not only can a contractor guide you through the size selection process, but they can also make sure that the panels are installed quickly and efficiently. But there’s no need to feel intimidated by the process – especially if you’re coming into it with valuable knowledge of vinyl siding and how it’s sized.

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