Maintaining the exterior of a house is one of the most important things homeowners can do for the home’s continued value. Before we even get to conversations of color or different styles of architecture, we have to talk about the different materials you can choose for the siding of your home.
There are several different options to discuss, but one of the more debated decisions is between stucco or vinyl siding. Both of these different variations can create a fantastic visual profile on your property, depending upon the style or aesthetic you are going for.
Before getting too into it, it’s important to keep in mind that there isn’t a wrong decision here. Stucco or vinyl, both of these materials will create a beautiful exterior for your home that is sure to last for decades to come. This decision should be more based on your preferences and current situation than attempting to find the “right” option. What is right for you and your home is a question of priorities.
What are the Benefits of Stucco Siding?
There are several different benefits to stucco as a siding material. Despite its generally higher costs, its sustainability shines as a feature in ways vinyl cannot offer:
- Longevity and Durability – At its core, stucco is the more durable material when compared to vinyl. You can expect a stucco application, when installed correctly, to last at least 60 years if not up to 100 before it needs to be replaced. This is in comparison to vinyl, which has a life expectancy between 40 to 75 years. Stucco often is a thicker material as well, which lends resistance to both high winds and potentially damaging weather. Although stucco and vinyl are both considered fire-resistant materials, vinyl has a reputation for warping or buckling if exposed to intense heat, while stucco is much harder to damage. Stucco can crack from physical damage, and such damage will require a special kind of repair, but it is rare that the entirety of its siding will need to be replaced.
- Style and Aesthetic– Both stucco and the vinyl can be decorated with just about any color you could want for your home. For both these options, the color is mixed in with the actual materials as opposed to painting it onto the surface of the house. When it comes to the texture or style of these two options, there is a clear difference. Vinyl can mimic most other aesthetics, and take on the appearance of several different materials. Stucco, on the other hand, covers the entire wall with the iconic texture of stucco, creating an appearance with no seams or variation in its texture. They’re both very effective at making home exteriors beautiful, it simply depends on what you want out of your property’s appearance.
As we said before, the decision of stucco or vinyl is going to come down to your personal preference and priority. Should the durability of your home be your primary concern, stucco is going to be the stronger material. Even when it cracks, these repairs can be made quickly and effectively. While vinyl can also copy the style of wood or other materials, stucco itself has its own professional look you can trust as well.
What are the Benefits of Vinyl Siding?
There are more features to consider than just style and strength, and vinyl has many other aspects to it that make it the perfect choice for your property. When deciding what materials you are going to use throughout your home, it’s important to keep these aspects in mind as well:
- Cost – Vinyl is going to be the more affordable option when comparing it to stucco. Even high-end vinyl with extra insulation is going to cost about the same as cheaper stucco. For reference, more expensive vinyl can run roughly $7-$10 per square foot, whereas stucco costs can get as high as $9-$13 per square foot. Because price is a major factor for most homeowners when they are deciding on construction or renovations, vinyl is an incredibly popular siding option. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly material, the answer is clear.
- Installation – When it comes to the installation, it must first be clearly stated that a professional installation is required for either of these materials to have the durability or cost-effectiveness that we have been stating. Poor installation of stucco or vinyl siding is the primary reason that these materials end up needing repairs or replacements in the first place. Vinyl is going to be the easier option when considering installation costs. Stucco requires an experienced, professional installation, as opposed to vinyl which doesn’t typically require expertise in its installation process to be successful. Stucco is not only a labor-intensive application, but it will also take almost twice the time for the stucco siding to be installed when compared to vinyl.
The question of stucco vs. vinyl is a question of personal preference. Both of these materials will last a long time and look good while doing it. If you are looking for the strongest option, with durability that you can trust for decades, stucco is going to be that choice.
On the other hand, if you’re looking to avoid higher installation costs and are able to find a style of vinyl that you like for your home, then there’s absolutely nothing wrong with choosing that material. Every homeowner has a unique set of needs, wants, and requirements when they are renovating are building their home. It doesn’t matter if the priorities you have to make stucco or vinyl the right choice for your home, the important thing is giving you the tools to make that decision an educated one.