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Stucco vs Vinyl Siding

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Posted by: from Erin
6/14/2013 at 2:21:23 PM

Hi,

I need to replace the aluminum siding on my house, but can't decide between stucco or vinyl siding. What are the pros and cons?

I have brick on the bottom that would be remaining, so I would like to compliment that.

REPLIES (8)
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Robert from Alair Homes Toronto in Toronto
Date/Time6/14/2013 at 3:41:53 PM

Hello,

In my opinion...the pros of vinyl siding are that it will be the most economical and you can easily replace a few sections if it gets damaged. The cons would be that it does not provide any fire resistance.

Stucco obviously does provide fire barrier. If you were to choose stucco I would highly recommend acrylic stucco. Standard stucco actually absorbs water so you depend entirely upon perfect water seal from the building paper and taping. Also, after time it will discolour. Acrylic stucco actually sheds water and continues to look great for a long time. On another note, if you want to compliment your brick, you can pick from virtually any paint colour with acrylic stucco, whereas standard stucco, you may have a dozen or so options and then it may look differently from house to house depending on the sand and even the conditions of the weather.

Have you considered cement fibre siding like Hardie? It is becoming more popular, offers great fire rating and is much better quality than vinyl siding. I have it on my own home. I really like the look of it and again, the colour you pick will be the colour you get.

Vinyl siding will be the cheapest option, standard stucco and Hardie will be about the same, and then Acrylic will be the most expensive.

I hope that helps!

Dallas

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Robert from Alair Homes Toronto in Toronto
Date/Time6/14/2013 at 4:59:55 PM

Thank you for asking me. It's actually a really good question. I can start with some of the pros and cons of both.

Stucco

Pros - durable, adds a bit to insulation value, looks classy, can do custom shapes

Cons - more expensive than vinyl, prone to stains, paint may fade, may crack due to impact damage or settling

Vinyl

Pros - durable, many new styles that look very attractive, very durable, doesn't need painting, easy to clean, won't stain

Cons - can't change the colour, some of the cheaper quality options should be avoided

It also depends on your budget and the look of your home and the look of the homes in the area. Sometimes stucco does not look good on certain style houses. Ask yourself - Will it look good on your home? Will it look good in the area? Vinyl comes in many different styles and colours and can usually compliment most styles of homes. Budget is a big question. If you want to save money or are planning to move soon you might want to consider Vinyl. If your budget is higher and you would like that distinct look of stucco then you may consider doing stucco.

I hope I have helped you in some way.

Thanks,

Robert May

Alair Homes

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Date/Time6/14/2013 at 4:59:58 PM

Dear Amy,

Vinyl siding is probably much cheaper than stucco but properly done stucco with final coating is much stronger to withstand elements. Vinyl is not performing well in extreme cold it is subject to crack or someone might to damage your vinyl by just cutting hole in it not so in stucco.

If I have a choice and budget to afford I would choose stucco.

Kind Regards,

Paul

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Alex from WestGuard in Surrey
Date/Time6/14/2013 at 5:03:33 PM

Thanks for the question.

Vinyl siding would be less expensive, easier to install and the maintenance is also easier. Stucco is harder to maintain as if you attempt to pressure wash you can cause cracking, and if it isn't sealed or acrylic stucco, you will have water penetration. Regardless of the type of stucco, when it cracks water will penetrate. Any crack will have to be patched and typically you can only use a cement patch that will not necessarily retain the same look and feel. With vinyl siding you would have a better chance of replacing any damaged components to retain the original look and feel.

It is also important to consider your location and general weather. In an area where you have a lot of wet weather, you have to expect the opportunity for a lot of water absorption with normal stucco, which requires appropriate preparation to deal with. Vinyl siding does not present this type of issue as it does not absorb water being a plastics based product.

Vinyl is the least expensive option and easiest to deal with over time unless you are looking for more fire protection and a longer lasting and wearing product. In this case Hardie Board would be a better bet. Hardie Board is easier to maintain, stronger, creates a better fire break, and will commonly outperform the others.

Another thing to consider is that the perceived value (and consequently resale value) is higher with stucco and Hardie board than vinyl. This presumes that you don't have any cracks or other damage to the stucco. Even with a good quality stucco installation, vibrations can create cracks in stucco. These vibrations could be caused by small earthquakes, or if in an industrial area the passing of heavy trucks or trains over time.

Ultimately the answer to your question comes down to what are your goals with the installation and how long you are going to be there in order to figure out which is the best option for you.

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VIP Woodwork in Edmonton
Date/Time6/14/2013 at 5:31:06 PM

Stucco- its durable, it won't get damaged so easy by the sun, hail, light bumps and scrapes, it can be textured to your liking, ads to the insulation value of your house. On the other hand, it requires a lot of care. As your house settles it will crack, and is difficult to repair. Unless you get colored stucco, it needs painting every so often, and matching paint for repairs is near impossible, so the whole house or wall may need a coat.

Vinyl- its quick, cheap, water-proof, easy to repair/install, vast amount of styles to choose from, it doesn't rot/crack/crumble away. However, is is weak and easily damaged by wind/hail/UV rays. Its color fades in sunlight, so after a few years, it may look dull and much lighter than before. Also, it can be difficult to find a suitable match for replacement pieces the longer you have it, as styles change as the years go by.

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Date/Time6/14/2013 at 11:10:58 PM

Sorry, I cannot provide you with an answer, I have no experience with stucco.

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Johnny from Avid Contracting in Oakville
Date/Time6/15/2013 at 11:37:09 PM

Hi,

As a EIFS / synthetic stucco specialist for 13 years, I not only highly recommend synthetic stucco, but also endorse it. There are lots of great advantages especially since the bottom portion is brick. Don't have to worry about damage. Hail, rain and snow DO NOT affect EIFS except during time of application. It does NOT crack if you leave room for expansion. It does NOT fade colour even if you pick a vibrant one, except for red, most red colours fade because of the pigments. If done by a professional

There are lots of fake stucco applicators out there. They just give the system a bad name. However, if done right you may increase your home's R-Value 4.3 per ever inch of polystyrene insulation board thickness. Aesthetically, technically and ecologically, it is the better system.

Siding has no R-Value, is more prone to weather damage and lose boards failing, the heat warps large wall areas if its vinyl.

Thanks,

Johnny Bakai

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Date/Time6/20/2013 at 7:01:19 AM

Hi,

The new Stucco can be sketching depending on how it is installed. If any water is in constant contact with the stucco it can penetrate small cracks & cause major bubbles & peeling, especially around window sills & decorative detailing.

Vinyl siding is less expensive and designed to shed water/moisture better in my opinion. If you are looking for RValue, an insulation like Ener-Foil can be installed prior to the siding which starts at an R4.5 to R9 & also can be good for straitening wavy walls as it is installed in 4"x 8" sheets & is very rigid.

Regards,

Derrick,

Can-Cro Installations Inc.

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