Stucco vs. Siding: Pros and Cons

Home 9 Siding 9 Stucco vs. Siding: Pros and Cons

Stucco is a historically popular building material that’s often seen in the Montgomery, Bucks, and Chester County areas. It’s a durable option for homes, but does it have what it takes to stack up to insulated vinyl siding? While there are distinct advantages and disadvantages to both, we admittedly recommend that you have damaged stucco replaced with vinyl siding instead of having it repaired. 

What is Stucco?

Stucco is a traditional exterior finish made from a mixture of cement, sand, and water. It has a long history of use in various architectural styles. One coat stucco can also have glass or acrylic binders to strengthen the material. 

Pros of Stucco

Stucco has been used for centuries due to its strength and durability.  It can withstand harsh weather conditions and, with proper maintenance, it can last for decades. It’s also a good insulator, helping to regulate indoor temperatures. 

Stucco is also a plaster-type material, making it an excellent product for creating artistic patterns, textures, and finishes. 

Cons of Stucco

The installation and repair cost of stucco can be dramatically higher than siding. It takes a true artisan to execute the various patterns, textures, and finishes, which makes it an expensive alternative. 

While it’s durable, it is susceptible to stucco failure and water damage, meaning that it needs regular maintenance and repairs to prevent the home from requiring stucco remediation. 

While stucco is a good insulator, it’s not as effective as insulated vinyl siding, which is specifically designed to have superior insulating properties. 

What is Siding?

Siding, sometimes called cladding, is a protective material attached to the exterior of a home. Siding types include vinyl, wood, fiber cement, and composite materials. Siding can be installed vertically or horizontally.  

Pros of Siding

Siding offers a wide range of colors, textures, and styles, and has the ability to mimic other exterior finishing types from cedar shingles to stucco. 

Siding is far more cost-effective than stucco to install. Even though stucco as a material is less expensive, the mixing and forming of stucco is a time consuming process. 

Siding is known for its easy maintenance.  Insulated vinyl siding, for example, only requires the occasional power washing. 

Because it can be designed to be energy efficient, some sidings such as insulated vinyl siding provide better insulation than stucco. 

Cons of Siding

Some types of siding may not last as long as stucco and can be susceptible to damage from weather such as wind.  Using a high-quality vinyl or fiber cement siding that’s properly installed can mitigate problems from harsh weather conditions.

Siding doesn’t provide the same architectural flexibility as stucco. This may not be as important on a home where siding can also provide a variety of textures. 

Siding vs Stucco: Factors to Consider

We feel strongly about our siding products and their ability to stand up to stucco. Stucco requires more maintenance, has less installation, and is less durable in most scenarios than siding products. The budget and installation cost favor siding over stucco as well.

However, before choosing, you may want to consider the climate. In Southeastern PA, we don’t see a lot of hurricanes or high winds that might be damaging to vinyl siding. Stucco has an arguably higher wind tolerance than siding, however, its susceptibility to water damage still makes it an imperfect choice for those areas. 

In the stucco vs. siding debate, siding wins by a small margin. Siding’s increased durability, lack of maintenance, and variety of styles make it the stronger candidate for your home.  

Volpe Enterprises specializes in stucco remediation and siding installation.  Let us come out and give you a quote for siding over your stucco. 

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