Insulate from the Outside In


A well-insulated home provides a number of advantages including a comfortable living environment, lower energy bills and better noise control. Unfortunately, the Insulation Institute estimates 90% of homes in the U.S. lack proper insulation.

If you are planning an update or renovation that requires taking down the drywall, or in the case of older homes, the plaster and lathe, you should take the opportunity to look at the insulation levels in your home. Add new material to areas where the insulation is insufficient or damaged.

Insulation added to exterior walls can improve energy efficiency and external noise control. Insulation added to interior walls and floors can help keep noise from traveling from room to room. This is a cost-effective soundproofing option for laundry rooms, bathrooms, bedrooms and playrooms.

Not sure if you need to add insulation? This flow chart can help.

Insulated siding has rigid foam insulation attached to its back.

Insulated siding comes in a variety of colors and profiles.

What do you do when adding wall insulation is not an option?

That said, it can be difficult to add insulation to an existing home without taking down the drywall or plaster and even when your walls are fully insulated, part of the wall is still vulnerable. A significant source of a home’s heat loss is from the studs that frame the outside walls. Studs can account for up to 25% of an external wall. One way to address the home’s heat loss from the studs is to reclad your home with insulated siding.

Insulated siding can add an R-value of two or more to the entire exterior of the home.

The R-value is the measure of a material’s ability to reduce heat flow. The higher the R-value the more thermal resistance the material has. If you use more than one insulating material, you add the R-values of the materials together to get the total insulating power for the wall. For example, if you have insulation with an R-value of 18 in your walls and add insulated siding to the exterior of your home, the R-value for your walls is now 20.

What is insulated siding?

You can increase your home's energy efficiency when you reside.

Insulated siding is vinyl siding with rigid foam insulation laminated or permanently attached to the panel. Siding with integral foam increases your home’s energy efficiency, providing an extra measure of comfort for your interior spaces. Insulated siding can also increase the overall thermal performance of your home, helping to reduce annual heating and cooling costs.

What are the benefits of insulated siding?

Insulated siding can help block external noises.

  1. More comfortable and energy efficient. Insulated siding increases your home’s energy efficiency by improving the overall thermal performance of your home, helping to reduce annual heating and cooling costs. The Vinyl Siding Institute found houses clad with insulated siding reported a range of increased R-values from 2.0 – 2.7 on standardized tests. In addition these homes saw a modest reduction in their thermal bridging and air tightness leading to energy savings between one and 11% nationwide.
  2. Quieter. The innovative foam backing reduces exterior noise, enhancing interior acoustics.
  3. Long term return on investment. According to Remodeling magazine’s 2017 Cost vs. Value Report installing insulated siding had a return on investment of 76.4%.
  4. Improved curb appeal. Curb appeal is an important consideration for home buyers when it comes to home exteriors. Good curb appeal can add 20% to the value of your home.
  5. Superior durability. The rigid foam backing creates a firm wall of impact-resistant protection.

“R” means resistance to heat flow. The higher the R-value, the greater the insulating power.

What are my design options?

In addition to all its benefits, insulated siding offers the same flexibility of design as traditional vinyl siding. For example, CertainTeed CedarBoards insulated siding comes in 20 colors and five different profiles so you can easily tailor your home to your sense of style.

CedarBoards siding is available in a variety of colors including new Autumn Red.

If you are looking for an easy way to improve the overall efficiency and comfort of your home, take a look at insulated siding before you reside your home.

Need more ideas? Check out these tips for creating a custom exterior look or get started with one of our color tools.

Plus, more on: 

Curb Appeal: Wow with this rustic stone fence, no mason required

Energy efficiency: Save 10% on your heating bill with this simple tip, 5 tips to improve your home’s energy efficiency

Ready to get started? We can help.


  1. It’s good that you point out that insulated siding can help make your home more energy-efficient. I’ve been looking for a way to lower my energy consumption, so I’m considering having insulated siding installed. I’m going to look for a good company in my area that does insulated siding installation.

  2. We love the look of insulated vinyl siding and so do our customers in the New Jersey area. It has a great wood look.

  3. I thought it was really interesting insulation could not only keep cold air in, but it could also help keep out noise from the street. My home is older, so I’ve been wondering if I need to redo the insulation. Do you have any tips for hiring an insulation contractor?

  4. I liked what this offers. I think that siding that is already insulated is a really good idea, but we just updated our siding and can’t afford to do it again. I think that we’ll try to use something more traditional for now, but we may look into this again later.

  5. Having been a general contractor for 35 years, I feel that the void caused by the removal on the 6″ boards will not affect the siding installation if a by-fold 1/4″ insulation cover is installed.
    Do not leave the 6″ in place. It will cause undulations in the siding.

  6. I Have a home with board on board cedar siding, 12 then 6 inch overlap. This siding is 52 years old. Plan on using Expresso color. Contractor (2) said remove 6 inch and go over the 12 in boards. the other said go over all and do not remove. Fan fold insulation , Wrap the home. Home built in 1968 , 2×4 stud, Celotex and corner Plywood. What is the proper way to do the residing of this home.
    Approx 29 sq. of siding.

    I need your help fast as the bids are in and need ideas of how to go on this project.

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