Are you comparing stucco to siding? Then this article on stucco vs. siding will be a helpful guide for you. Homeowners have numerous choices, from vinyl and fiber cement siding to stone and stucco walls. Picking one can be exciting and overwhelming at the same time because every product has its pros and cons. This article compares stucco with vinyl, wood, and fiber cement siding.
At All Around Roofing, Siding & Gutters, we are here to help you learn everything about cladding and siding materials before making a decision. Our siding experts have explained each material in detail, along with their pros and cons.
Stucco Vs. Siding: What’s The Difference?
Stucco and siding are two different methods of covering a wall. Stucco is a cladding material, which is applied directly to the exterior of your home over a vented screen, as a wet plaster coating. Siding involves installing rigid boards or panels directly to the foundation using nails and screws.
Stucco is similar to other cladding materials, such as Plaster Of Paris. It takes time to dry naturally to become a solid outer layer of your wall. As for siding boards, the most common materials are vinyl, wood, fiber cement, and metals.
Here are the pros and cons of stucco and different types of siding materials.
Stucco Wall Cladding
Stucco is a popular construction material for homes as well as commercial buildings. It is a type of plaster mixed with cement, sand, lime, and water. However, the composition of each product varies depending on the manufacturer.
Stucco looks more earthy, textured, and appealing than siding materials like vinyl and fiber cement. This type of exterior is best for homes in warmer states such as Texas, Arizona, Alabama, and Mississippi. The material is also fireproof, offering the highest level of protection from wildfires. Under desired conditions, stucco wall exteriors can last for 50 years!
Though stucco is globally prevalent in residential and commercial applications this style of home exterior is less suited for homes in the U.S. where the use of this material will depend more on the style of your home, and your area’s weather patterns.
Not Suitable For Humid, Rainy, And Snowy Areas.
Stucco doesn’t hold up well against damage from moisture. It starts deteriorating under heavy rains, melting snow, and high humidity. So, stucco may not be the best choice if you live in coastal states or areas with cold or snowy winters.
Difficult To Install
Stucco takes a long time to dry and turn tough enough to handle weather and impact. The moisture dries up after a week, but you still cannot allow it to become wet for 90 days! You may feel that it’s stiff after a few days, but you cannot wash or paint it until three months after its application.
If you want this type of exterior on your house, you will have to wait until the summertime when the air around your home does not have a high moisture content.
Requires High Maintenance
Stucco quickly gets dirty and stained. It requires regular cleaning and repainting after a few years. As opposed to vinyl and fiber cement siding, stucco is prone to mold and algae growth. It can also develop cracks and holes over time, which need to be repaired immediately, otherwise water will become trapped behind the plaster, rotting the stucco and the walls of your home.
Stucco Is Expensive
Adding stucco to your exterior walls may cost between $6 to $15 per square foot. This includes labor and all the materials such as stucco, base, and finishing coat. High-end versions of stucco cost even more than the basic price.
This is the most popular home siding material in the U.S., short for Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC), vinyl is a thermoplastic material manufactured by treating oil and salt.
Vinyl siding is sturdy, durable, and suitable for all climates. In every part of the country, many homeowners have chosen vinyl siding over other types of wall-covering materials.
The best part about vinyl siding is that it won’t cost you a fortune. Vinyl siding costs around $3 per square foot, and the high-end range is within $12. With this budget, you can get beautiful, sturdy, and durable siding for your home. Vinyl also has heat-reflective, and energy-saving qualities so you can save more money on energy bills.
Sturdy and durable
Vinyl siding is durable, sturdy, and suitable for all climates. Its composition makes it incredibly resistant to heat, UV rays, and fire. Vinyl siding doesn’t change its shape or color in above-average temperatures. If a fire breaks out, vinyl will not burn up in the flames. Instead, the chlorine base of PVC makes this siding flame retardant.
This type of siding can last about 40 to 60 years. If you live in a colder climate, vinyl siding can protect your walls for decades before it develops cracks and cuts due to the low temperatures year-round.
Most homeowners prefer things that don’t require extensive maintenance. So if you are one of them, vinyl siding may be your best choice since it’s virtually maintenance-free. The most you will have to do is get it inspected once a year.
Flexible and appealing
Vinyl siding can be molded to create interesting textures. You can get the modern metal look, or stunning stone, brick, and wood patterns. The boards come in various thicknesses and lengths, so it looks beautiful while offering maximum protection from the elements. It’s also waterproof, which leaves no room for mold, or algae to develop on its surface. Unless you want a different color, you won’t have to repaint them either.
The conversations around whether vinyl siding is an eco-friendly option are always intense. Since it’s a form of plastic, many homeowners have different feelings about choosing it as their siding material. However, if you pick a good manufacturer and contractor, you can have vinyl siding made out of 100% recycled materials. Environmental effects aside from this choice, vinyl siding seems to have the edge over stucco cladding.
We feel that none of the materials used for siding can compete with the raw, and natural look of cedar and pine wood. Using wood logs and siding boards on your home can help you create the look of a cabin or traditional home. However, even with its stylish features, wood has more cons than any other siding or exterior material.
Wood is the most expensive material to use since it requires extra protective coatings and composite fillings to prevent rot, pest infestation, mold, and algae. These wood treatments are what make it more costly. Wood siding can be suitable for commercial accommodations, but it’s usually not ideal for a home. You must maintain it properly by changing its coating and cleaning it every month. If you have the money, time, and dedication to care for it, wood siding can be a great choice.
Fiber Cement Siding
Fiber cement siding is an invention by James Hardie Industries. The boards are made of Portland cement, sand, water, and cellulose fibers. Some manufacturers have come up with their own versions of Fiber cement siding, but James Hardie has a patent over the original composition that uses Portland cement.
Fiber cement siding has many benefits as long as you pick the original James Hardie board. It can last for 50 years or more, depending on your location. James Hardie board requires little upkeep and is highly resistant to extreme temperatures, water, and fire. It also has good impact resistance and a heat-reflective surface. It’s less expensive than wood siding but can be molded into beautiful wood finishes, and other luxurious textures.
Fiber cement siding costs more than vinyl siding. Installing fiber cement siding can cost between $6 to $14 per square foot. If you choose a local manufacturer or an underperforming product, fiber cement siding may not last as long as it should.
- Good quality vinyl siding is suitable for most US locations, including Ohio.
- A stucco exterior will be better for dry, and extremely hot regions.
- James Hardie board is suitable for all locations but is the best choice for icy regions like Vermont.
Choosing a quality manufacturer and reliable siding contractor ensures you get the best exterior or siding for your home. We hope you now have more clarity on the difference between stucco and siding. If you live in the Greater Dayton region, we can help you make the right decision.
Do You Want A New Exterior Or Siding For Your Home?
At All Around Roofing, Siding & Gutters, we’ve been improving homes in the Dayton area for years. Our skilled and creative experts have considerable experience in siding installation. If you are looking for a reliable siding contractor, or want to learn more about cladding and siding, we will be happy to help with your home improvement project. Call us at (937)-902-2839 for a free consultation and estimate. We aim to offer our guidance so you have the power to do right by your home and family.