How do you sell vinyl siding to upscale customers who think it's beneath them? Many remodelers have found an easy answer to that question in the new crop of insulated siding that's on the market today.

Rusty Gregory of Exterior Siding Solutions in St. Louis has found that clients are impressed with insulated offerings. “The profiles that Crane and Structure (Alcoa) have are 6- and 7-inch reveals, which [makes them] look like real wood or wood composite,” he says. “That's what upscale homeowners want: to get away from the look of vinyl.”

Having fewer seams is also a big selling point, according to Bill Stevens, vice president of Unique Window & Door in Indianapolis. Crane “has a double-course panel, which makes it twice as tall,” he says, making it more attractive when it's installed on the home. He adds that because the insulation adds thickness, “it's rigid. The seams are tighter. Clients like that it will look better.”

Of course, there's more to insulated siding than just good looks. “The R value is another big selling point. You have an R value of four with an insulated panel,” Gregory explains. CertainTeed's True Comfort siding also increases R-value, with a 1¼-inch polystyrene backing. Many homeowners are also impressed with insulated siding's sound deadening properties. Alcoa's Structure promises to reduce high-frequency noise and wind sounds by 50%.

Once homeowners learn the benefits of insulated siding and see it installed, “there's no comparison,” Stevens says. Gregory thinks that the small upgrade in overall price makes it easier for clients to sign on. “Cost-wise, you're only talking between a 7% and 10% price deferential. Most of my siding jobs range from $17,000 to $20,000, so when you're talking about an additional $1,500 to $2,000 for an insulated panel,” it's usually worth it to the homeowner.

For more product information, visit ebuild, Hanley Wood's interactive product catalog,