Vinyl Siding vs. Stucco: Pros, Cons and Costs
Whether you are building, buying or remodeling, your home’s curb appeal can play a major role in how much you love it. But looks aren’t the only important factor, because the exterior of your house is responsible for its protection, too!
So, what is the right siding for your home? Keep reading for the pros, cons and costs of two highly used types of siding material vinyl siding and stucco.
Vinyl is an extremely popular choice for home exteriors. Sitting at #1 in the United States, there are several reasons why this option has become the standard.
The technical name of this material is polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, and it consists of a heavy-duty plastic base with special additives.
Pros of Vinyl Siding
The most apparent advantage of vinyl siding is the fact that it’s a durable, low-cost option for exterior siding.
You can expect vinyl siding to last anywhere from 20 to 40 years, because the material does not rot or decay like other options like wood siding or fiber cement siding. Special additives help to protect vinyl siding from UV rays, so you don’t have to worry about the color fading over time due to the beaming sun.
Vinyl is also highly weather resistant. It can withstand up to 110 mph winds and has a fair resistance when it comes to ice and snow. Compared to wood siding, which can attract termites, vinyl is extremely insect resistant.
In the event that something were to go wrong with your vinyl, you can easily replace the damaged panel. (This allows you to avoid total replacement.)
Vinyl siding often comes in a variety of colors and does not require painting or staining. You can also find many different textures and styles, like vinyl cedar shake, which make for an incredibly versatile option.
Vinyl is lightweight, allowing owners to potentially get involved with a little DIY and avoid labor costs. Plus, it’s incredibly low maintenance and can easily be cleaned with soap and water.
Cons of Vinyl Siding
One of the larger concerns when it comes to vinyl siding is a play on one of the advantages—its durability. Since it does not break down easily, those concerned about eco-friendly products may find vinyl siding unappealing.
Additionally, since vinyl is plastic, some of the lower-priced options can appear “plastic.” Higher quality vinyl like premium vinyl shake siding will help you avoid this issue because it looks exactly like actual wood shingles with the long lifespan of vinyl.
Keep in mind that if you have extra long exterior walls, you may be looking at a higher price to get longer panels and avoid seams. And, while vinyl is durable, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s indestructible! Cracking is possible and vinyl will melt when exposed to extremely high temperatures.
Vinyl Siding Costs
Of the different types of siding, vinyl is the most cost-efficient, costing between $2.50 to $8.50 per square foot. Of course, this depends on many different factors including color, length, quality, texture and more.
When assessing costs, be sure to consider the thickness of your siding. There are generally two types; insulated and uninsulated. A foam back is used on insulated vinyl siding (and may increase your costs).
To cut costs even further on vinyl siding installation, consider completing the job on your own.
If you are looking to sell your home, oftentimes, renovations can help you get the most out of your house and help it sell quicker―installing new vinyl siding is one of those renovations! You’ll likely get 83% of your initial costs back.
Stucco is another popular exterior siding option, made by layering sand, cement, lime, silica or earth to create a base around the house. It resembles a plaster-like material and is applied wet and dries hard.
There is also the option of synthetic stucco (EIFS), common in European structures. However, it has been notorious for problems. Therefore, we will focus on traditional stucco.
Pros of Stucco Siding
Stucco is very durable when it comes to more extreme weather with the exception of rain. It can withstand winds up to 130 mph. In addition, it has superb impact resistance to hail.
It is also very fire-resistant. Due to the materials, it is non-combustible and has the highest fire-resistance rating. If it is well maintained, it will last on average 50 years. (In some cases, it could last from 60 to 100 years.) The key is to take care of it!
The insulation that stucco provides often decreases utilities, because its ability to trap temperatures takes a lot of dependence off of the air conditioning and heating units. In terms of insulation, stucco also provides a nice sound barrier.
Overall, stucco is a very versatile material. However, to get intricate designs and perfect colors you need to use a professional, which can increase the price you pay.
Cons of Stucco Siding
Stucco does not perform well in certain climates, because it is highly vulnerable to moisture. Areas with a lot of rain or humidity can cause problems, because stucco expands and contracts in differing weather conditions. Rain can get into the pores of the stucco and cause issues such as mold, mildew and algae.
Portland cement is often utilized along with other materials in creating stucco, but using that material is going to increase your costs and the level of work needed to install.
Additionally, stucco is one of the most expensive options when it comes to exterior siding. (You likely won’t be able to save in many places when it comes to this material, because labor plays a big factor here.)
While vinyl shake siding can potentially be installed by a homeowner, traditional stucco should be done by a contractor familiar with the process.
Along with the labor-intensive work involved, there’s a bit of maintenance associated with this option, as well. Stucco sided homes require cleaning and repainting fairly often to keep them looking good and functioning properly. And, issues need to be fixed immediately to prevent further damage. Stucco siding is also prone to cracking if it is not properly installed.
Stucco is one of the most expensive options in exterior siding. On average, it will cost between $6 to $14.50 per sq. ft., depending on the look you’re trying to achieve.
Stucco also requires multiple coats, which increases labor as well as the installation costs associated with it. In fact, the installation process can take twice as long as compared to other exterior siding options.
The potential ROI is also lower than vinyl siding. Expect to get around 70% of your costs back.
One Step Closer To Your Dream Home: Vinyl Siding vs. Stucco
There are many siding choices when it comes to creating the perfect look for your home, and some of the biggest decisions are based on its exterior. After all, this is the part that everyone sees!
Now that you know the key differences when it comes to vinyl siding vs. stucco, you’re one step closer in making an informed decision.
If you’re looking for the perfect vinyl siding for your home, our online store sells over 30 different colors to choose from. Check it out today and get to work!