Pros and Cons of Stucco Siding

Stucco is a type of siding that has been around for centuries but has never lost its charm. It’s made by mixing Portland cement, sand, and water. Typically applied in two or three layers, this material provides excellent protection against fire and water damage while giving your home an attractive design finish. If you’re planning to coat your house with stucco, here are the pros and cons you must know about.

Pros: Stucco is Highly Fire Resistant

A single coat of stucco alone offers a one-hour firewall rating. Its fire resistance¬†should be enough to help evacuate your family in case of emergencies. Moreover, stucco is noncombustible. If you live in wildfire-prone areas like California or reside in a congested neighborhood, it’s wise to consider using it for an added layer of protection in the future.

Pros: Stucco Rarely Condenses and Leak Moisture in Any Particular Season

Moisture problems eventually plague conventional materials like wood or vinyl siding. But this isn’t the case with stucco since it does not condensate water due to its high density. Plus, because there are typically no cracks in between, thanks to its multiple layers, moisture cannot creep in and expand. As a result, your home will be more resistant to external elements while offering more longevity.

Pros: Stucco Comes in Many Colors

Stucco is one of the most popular siding options because it comes in various colors and textures to match any home. Just coat it with the right shade of paint, and you’ll home will be golden. If your house features an unusual shape, or if you want to add some flair with a unique color choice or texture pattern, stucco can also be explicitly applied in ways to match the design.

Pros: Stucco is Low-Maintenance

Another advantage of using stucco over other exterior materials is that it requires little maintenance. Imagine not having to stress about your siding from time to time? Plus, it’s good in withstanding stormy weather and may not even need repainting for years. But it still all depends upon your locale, so it’s better to check up on your exterior whenever possible.

Pros: Stucco is Eco-Friendly

Siding impacts the environment, whether directly through its material composition or indirectly through its energy efficiency. Luckily, stucco excels at both. It rocks an exceptional environmental profile as compared to other materials such as vinyl or fiber-cement siding. This material requires significantly less energy to manufacture, making sure it doesn’t pollute the environment. Stucco may not be a better insulator than wood, but it’s definitely more reliable than fiber cement and vinyl.

Pros: Stucco Siding Last a Long Time

Stucco’s durability has been tested and proven for centuries. Moreover, its evolution throughout the years has improved its capability to stand up against the elements. Most companies provide a 30-year warranty for stucco installations. This should give you an idea of how much they trust the material to endure the years to come.

Stucco is one of the best sidings you can use for your home. Photo courtesy of rabble on Flickr.

Cons: Stucco Can Be Expensive

One of the main disadvantages of stucco siding is that it can be quite expensive. On average, it costs around $5 – $10 per square foot installed. Compare this with vinyl siding’s $1 – $8 average; it’s undoubtedly more expensive. On top of that, the labor cost for installing the material can be hefty too. It’s not a DIY project, as improper installation can result in cracks and leaks. You need to hire professionals who know what they’re doing, and they usually don’t come at a low price.

Cons: Stucco Can Be Difficult to Repair

If a piece of stucco breaks during bad weather or an accident, it may be difficult to repair since you may have to replace the entire board instead of just fixing one hole. Like installation, it’s not a DIY project, so you’ll have to call siding experts again. This makes repairs more time-consuming and costly due to material costs and labor.

Cons: Stucco is at Risk for Cracks During Earthquakes

When your home’s exterior is clad with this material, it can be at risk for cracks to form during earthquakes. When stucco buildings are subjected to shaking from an earthquake, they tend to chip away and result in costly repairs. You might want to reconsider if you live near an active fault where tremors are common.

Cons: Stucco is Not as Durable as Brick 

Although a 30-year warranty sounds promising or even impressive, brick veneer homes are still superior as they can last for 75 years or more. But other than that, stucco is still much more reliable than vinyl, fiber cement, or wood in terms of durability.

Stucco isn’t without flaws. Photo courtesy of Spencer Means on Flickr.

Stucco siding presents a good balance between aesthetics and durability for a reasonable price. It all comes down to your needs, budget, and desire. Just keep in mind the list above when considering this material, and you should arrive at a decision you won’t regret. Cheers!