Stucco Siding vs. Wood Siding: Pros, Cons, and Costs

Jamie McInerney
Written by Jamie McInerney
Updated June 17, 2022
A happy family outside a home
Photo: Thomas Barwick/DigitalVision/Getty Images


  • Stucco siding is durable and incredibly long-lasting.

  • Stucco siding installation costs between $750 and $19,000.

  • There are many species and styles of wood siding.

  • Wood siding installation costs between $7,000 and $23,000.

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Home siding takes a beating from wind, precipitation, and other outdoor elements. To reap the most value from a siding upgrade, it’s important to weigh your options and choose a material that will offer a considerable lifespan. 

Stucco and wood are among the most popular siding options. Here’s how they measure up against each other. 

What is Stucco Siding?

A house with stucco siding
Photo: Martin Barraud/KOTO/Adobe Stock

Originating in Ancient Greece and Rome, stucco siding has a rustic textured look and has long been one of the most popular options for home exteriors. Today’s stucco mixtures are usually composed of Portland cement, sand, limestone, water, and additives for strength and flexibility.

Pros of Stucco Siding

Here’s a look at what stucco has to offer your home.


With one of its major components being cement, it may not come as a surprise that a revered feature of stucco is its durability. Stucco is highly resistant to fires and pests compared to wood. 

Long Lifespan

Stucco is expected to last at least 50 to 80 years. If you live in a mild, dry climate, your stucco siding may last closer to 100 years. 

Low Maintenance

Other than regular cleaning, stucco doesn’t require much upkeep, especially when compared to wood.

Cons of Stucco Siding

Alongside the advantages of stucco, you must also consider the disadvantages. Below are some setbacks to mull over before opting for this siding material. 

Susceptible to Cracking

Stucco’s rigidity can cause it to crack under the pressure of frequent changes in weather. Though the fix is fairly quick and affordable, cracks in your stucco siding can become quite the eyesore as they accumulate. Many stucco composites now contain glass fibers, acrylics, or other additives to promote flexibility. However, not all mixtures are made equal. 

Porous Surface

Stucco’s surface is absorbent, which can mean trouble if you live in an area with regular precipitation or high humidity. Stucco can retain moisture, creating dark spots along your home’s exterior and, in extreme cases, mold. 

Typically Requires Professional Installation

Unless you have a background in masonry, you will need to hire a professional to install stucco siding. Improper installation can lead to premature cracking and discoloration, as well as mold growth due to trapped moisture. 

How Much Does Stucco Siding Cost?

You can expect to pay anywhere between $750 and $19,000 for stucco siding. 

Your house’s layout, existing siding, desired finish, and the supply and demand of stucco in your area will all influence the final cost.

What is Wood Siding?

A house with wood siding
Photo: bmak/Adobe Stock

True to its name, wood siding is derived from trees. Cedar and pine tend to be the most popular species options because of their durability. They’re followed closely behind in popularity by oak and redwood.

Pros of Wood Siding

Let's explore all the pros and cons of wood siding for your home.

Natural Aesthetic

Many siding materials attempt to mimic the texture and appearance that wood siding supplies naturally. If your home needs a boost in curb appeal, the warm, timeless look of wood siding might just be the move.

Wide Variety of Finishes and Styles

Your design options are virtually limitless with wood siding. Wood is easy to stain and paint, and is sold as clapboards, shingles, shakes, board-and-batten siding, and more. 

Can Be Green

Because wood is a renewable resource, incorporating it as home siding is considered an eco-friendly move. You can work with a local siding contractor to utilize even more eco-friendly resources, such as reclaimed wood.

Cons of Wood Siding

Discover some setbacks that can cause homeowners to second-guess choosing this material for their home exterior. 

Vulnerable to Pests

Many different insects eat and burrow in lumber. Though finishes and paint deter some pests, wood siding is still highly vulnerable to destructive insects like termites and carpenter ants. 

High Maintenance

Ongoing upkeep is essential to protect your wood siding from moisture infiltration, termite damage, and other problems. For starters, plan on painting or staining your siding every three to five years. It's common for neglected wood siding to warp, crack, or rot, so it’s imperative that you know the warning signs of siding issues to look out for.

How Much Does Wood Siding Cost?

The general range for wood siding installation is $7,000 to $23,000. Your final cost depends on style (clapboard, shingles, etc.), type (cedar, oak, pine, etc.), and need for removal of existing siding. For example, cedar shingle siding would be the most expensive option, coming in at $6.50 to $13.75 per square foot.

Stucco vs. Wood Siding: Which is Better for Your Home?

When it comes to deciding between stucco and wood, you’ll need to consider your budget, your location and its climate, and your desired aesthetic. 


Stucco and wood have very different looks, so this decision comes down to your personal preference. That said, wood siding will give you many more design options.

Advantage: Wood 


Stucco is dependable and strong and can even hold up to severe wind. High-maintenance wood siding, meanwhile, is susceptible to rot and is much more likely to be damaged by fire and pests such as termites. It’s also prone to warping and cracking. 

Advantage: Stucco


The average cost per square foot of wood siding is $5 to $10. For stucco, that figure is $9 to $12.

Advantage: Wood 

Length of Life

Wood siding lasts an average of 20-40 years; its lifespan will depend on how well it’s maintained over time. Stucco, meanwhile, is expected to last between 50-100 years.

Advantage: Stucco

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