Stucco vs. Vinyl Siding: Which Is Best for Your Home?

Melissa Graham
Written by Melissa Graham
Updated May 3, 2022
Green vinyl siding on the exterior of a house
Photo: JamesBrey / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images


  • Stucco is a more durable material.

  • Vinyl siding is more budget-friendly and more customizable. 

  • Both materials can work in a wide range of climates.

  • Vinyl siding is easier to install yourself.

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The outward appearance of your home is a major factor not only in its curb appeal but also in its potential resale value. Whether you’re building your forever home or considering an upgrade, understanding the difference between stucco siding and vinyl siding can help you make the best decision. This will depend heavily on where you live and what works best for your climate and lifestyle. 

When comparing stucco versus vinyl siding, weighing the pros and cons of each can make this impactful decision an easy one. Below, we’ve broken down the basics of each material, as well as which one wins out in a variety of categories. 

Stucco Siding Pros & Cons

A suburban house with stucco siding
Photo: slobo / E+ / Getty Images

One of the most common traditional building materials, stucco is used around the world, with its earliest existence in Greek construction in 1400 B.C. Today, in its most basic form, it’s a type of plaster made of Portland cement, sand, and water. 

Once combined, it makes a paste that you can apply to the outside of structures directly over brick, stone, concrete, or hollow tile.  What you need to know about stucco is that, just like any material, it comes with its own benefits and drawbacks. 


  • More durable: Because it’s applied in a series of layers, stucco is more durable and longer-lasting than most siding materials. It can withstand harsh climates and lasts, on average, 60 to 100 years. 

  • More timeless: Stucco’s unique characteristics make it a classic choice across the board. It’s beautiful and simple but adds character that vinyl lacks. 


  • Higher cost: Stucco is pricier than vinyl siding at $14.50 per square foot, on average. This is almost $2 more than the top of the price range for vinyl siding installed. 

  • More maintenance: If you live in a region with a lot of sunlight, stucco may fade over time and require more frequent paint touch-ups. Any cracks that form in the stucco also need to be addressed immediately before they become widespread. 

Vinyl Siding Pros & Cons​

The front of residential house with stucco siding
Photo: eyecrave / E+ / Getty Images

Vinyl siding is a form of plastic that’s engineered from polyvinyl chloride (PVC) resin that you can put on the exterior of your home over rigid insulation. It comes in two style options—horizontal and vertical, though it’s available in a wide variety of colors, textures, and edge selections. 

It’s a popular material because it’s more durable and less expensive than other types of house siding, from wood to fiber cement or aluminum siding. 


  • More customizable: If you want siding that resembles other materials or comes in a wide variety of colors, styles, and profiles, vinyl siding has more options available. 

  • Lower cost: Vinyl siding is significantly less per square foot installed than stucco at $6.50 to $12.50. It’s a budget-friendly option for homeowners across the country since it takes less time to install or repair. 


  • Less durable: For all of its perks, vinyl siding is less durable than stucco siding by a wide margin. So how long does vinyl siding last? 20 to 40 years, which is significantly less than stucco. It can also be more susceptible to water leaks, so it’s important to have proper insulation installed before the panels go up. 

Stucco Siding vs. Vinyl Siding

Your home’s curb appeal is important—it’s the first thing visitors or potential buyers see, and first impressions are everything. But if you’re dealing with decision fatigue and need help picking between stucco and vinyl siding, have no fear—we’re here to help. 

Below, we’ll point out the differences in each and determine which material has the upper hand across different categories.


The type of siding that’s more visually appealing really depends on your personal preference. If you like a more traditional, historical look with more texture and simplicity, stucco siding may be the best option for you. If you like a more modern exterior that can mimic the look of wood or tile, vinyl siding is a better choice. 

 Most visually appealing: Tie 

Options & Customizations​

When it comes to color, both stucco and vinyl siding can take just about any color you prefer, though for best results, they each need to have the color mixed in the material. If you tend to like a bit more texture, stucco siding would make the most sense for the exterior of your home. 

Vinyl siding, however, can come in different shapes and profiles, from lap board and shake to shingle tiles and vertical panels. Stucco, on the other hand, can only look like the material it’s made of. 

Most customizable: Tie


Although both materials are durable, stucco goes on in thicker layers that are more resistant to harsh weather. Stucco siding can resist wind gusts up to 80 miles per hour, while vinyl siding can withstand gusts up to 70 miles per hour. 

With its thickness and ability to resist everything from hail to heavy rain and strong winds, stucco can last anywhere from 60 to 100 years. This greatly outlasts vinyl siding, which typically lasts 20 to 40 years. 

Most durable: Stucco 


If staying under budget is your top priority, vinyl siding may make the most sense for you. This material typically costs anywhere from $2.50 to $12.50 per square foot, whereas stucco siding costs, on average, $14.50 per square foot since it’s more labor-intensive. 

Even the most expensive vinyl options will cost less than basic stucco, which is something to keep in mind if you have a specific dollar amount you want to spend. 

Lowest cost: Vinyl 

Ease of Installation/DIY-ability​

Because it consists of pre-made planks, vinyl siding is a much easier material to install yourself, whether you’re a confident DIYer or a beginner with a group of friends who are willing to put in some elbow grease. Vinyl planks are easier to install and go up quicker, and you can even mount them to brackets yourself. 

Stucco, on the other hand, has to be applied in layers to be effective and often requires the skill of an experienced professional who can do it right the first time. 

Easiest to repair: Vinyl 


A man painting the vinyl siding of a house
Photo: ftwitty / E+ / Getty Images

The good news is that both stucco and vinyl siding are low-maintenance materials. Stucco problems are generally few and far between, although a visible crack should cause concern and be repaired as soon as possible. 

Because it can fade in the sun, stucco can also benefit from frequent paint touch-ups. Vinyl simply requires an annual cleaning, which is a fairly painless task that you can do yourself. 

Most low-maintenance: Vinyl


Vinyl siding is more sustainable due to its highly-recyclable material. In its production, there’s no manufacturing waste, and its ease of installation helps save energy. Plus, vinyl’s average lifespan is long compared to other materials, so you won’t have to replace it as often. 

Most sustainable: Vinyl

ROI &/or Resale Value​

The resale value of your home, whether it has stucco siding or vinyl siding, may largely depend on the region you live in. However, based on a report by Remodeling Magazine, vinyl siding has an 80% return on investment (ROI) versus stucco, which has a 70% to 75% ROI. This makes vinyl siding more appealing for resale, but not by a significant margin. 

Better for resale: Vinyl 

Which Type of Siding Is Best? 

Based on the results from the categories above, it’s easy to see why vinyl is the most popular siding option. It’s budget-friendly, easy to install and replace, better for the environment, customizable, and it’s not going out of style any time soon. 

However, if you’re still unsure which type of siding is best for you, you can contact siding contractors near you to get opinions from an expert or two. A professional can even take a look at your home to determine which material makes the most sense for your needs and preferences. 

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