Vinyl Siding vs. Stucco Cost and Pros and Cons in 2017

The #1 siding material versus the #2 siding material in America. Think you know which is #1 already? Don’t be so quick with that guess.

Comparing Stucco and Vinyl – Top Factors

While both siding materials offer great variation of styles and profiles, each has two primary applications. For vinyl that includes hollow-back (non-insulated) and foam-back (insulated) siding. Likewise, for stucco, it is usually applied in a single coat (less insulation) or in three coats (greater insulation).

Cost Factor

Cost is generally a determining factor for most homeowners. Insulated vinyl siding is more expensive (at $5.00 to $10.00 per sq. ft. installed) than non-insulated (at $3.50 to $7.00 per sq. ft. installed). Yet, the high-end insulated vinyl costs about the same as the low end of Stucco (at $6.00 to $10.00 per sq. ft. installed). Stucco, on average, goes as high as $14.00 per sq. ft. installed. Being more budget-friendly is a significant reason why vinyl is such a popular siding option.

Durability Factor

Durability is the measure of how tough the siding material is and how well it will hold up over time. Both materials score well. With vinyl, the thickness of the siding matters significantly. — This doesn’t include foam-back, but rather it is about the thickness of material itself. The mid-range options are .042 to .046 inches, while top of the line is .055 or higher. Compare this to a single coat of stucco which hovers around a half inch, or about 10 times the thickness of vinyl. 😉

Both materials are fairly tough. Vinyl can withstand wind speeds up to 110 mph, while Stucco can handle wind gusts up to 130 mph. Vinyl gets mixed results on resistance to hail damage. Obviously, thicker siding means more resistance, but even top of the line is susceptible to some damage. Stucco offers better impact resistance, though large enough pieces of hail or other materials could lead to cracks.

Assuming proper installation and avoidance of disasters, both materials will last more than 50 years. With care, vinyl last between 40 and 75 years before needing replacement. Stucco can go 60 to 100 years before it needs replacing, thus making if the more durable option.

Insulation Factor

Comparing the less insulated versions of either is not all that fair, though surprisingly vinyl would win. Stucco gets .20 per inch R-value, or the standard for measuring insulation. The single coat, half inch is going to be fairly low, while hollow-back vinyl comes in around .60.

The triple coat of stucco raises the R-value to, at most .75. While that is decent, it is not even in the same ball park as the 1.75 R-value that foam-back vinyl achieves. 😉

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Vinyl Siding Cost per Sq. Ft. in 2017: Foam-Backed Vs Hollow Siding

There’s nothing more unseemly than peeling paint or badly worn out siding on a house. We’ve all heard the suggestion that first impressions matter and when it comes to the exterior appearance of your home, that couldn’t be more true! 😉

vinyl-siding-on-a-cape-style-home

If your siding needs replacing, it’s best to do it as soon as possible. This is a job that is probably best left to professionals, unless it’s something you’ve done before, and you happen to have all the necessary tools including metal trim break, ladders and platforms, plus a handy and reliable friend willing to help. 😉

Basic Breakdown of Material and Labor Costs

On average, foam-backed vinyl siding will cost between $5.00 and $10.00 per square foot installed on a simple single-story house. So, for a typical house requiring some 2,000 sq. ft. of siding installed, your total cost will be between $10,000 and $20,000 for materials and labor.

Some homeowners may opt for a less-costly non-insulated siding option which would cost about $3.50 to $7.00 per sq. ft. to install on average or about 30% less than foam-backed option.

In addition to the cost of the job, you may also have to pay for the removal and disposal of the old siding. Lastly, you will need to take into the account the cost of obtaining a building permit from your local town hall. This cost will vary depending on your location.

Materials Basics

vinyl-siding-on-a-house

When installing a new vinyl siding on your house, you will have a few choices of materials ranging from basic to premium. In most cases, standard options should work just fine for most homes.

Some contractors may charge more for the entire job including labor, if you choose to go with a premium option. On the low-end, your siding materials will cost about $1.00+ per square foot.

A standard, middle of the road option will cost about $1.50 per square foot. A more premium option will cost $2.00+ per square foot. All else being equal, premium colors and styles or patterns will cost more. In addition to the cost of materials, you will also need to consider the cost of aluminum trim for windows, etc.

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