Traditional Vs. Synthetic Stucco Siding
Stucco is Both Beautiful and Durable - But Which Option is for You?
Stucco has been a popular siding option for decades all across America. Its combination of durability, style and rustic charm simply can't be matched by any other siding option, save one - synthetic stucco. This stucco buying guide weighs the pros and cons of each option as well as providing accurate cost data for both.
Benefits of Natural Stucco
- Traditional stucco is made from cement, lime, and an aggregate - often coarse sand - which makes it extremely durable against both physical damage and the elements.
- Unlike it's synthetic cousin - which is extremely susceptible to moisture problems (insulation and structural framing rot) if not properly installed - traditional stucco is extremely porous, meaning it dries out quickly when wet, and rarely does moisture ever penetrate through to the inner house framing.
- While synthetic stucco is rated as fire-resistant, it is not truly a cement-based product and as such, not as resistant to fire as the real thing.
Synthetic Stucco Benefits
- Traditional stucco has a hard time with anything but flat walls - it tends to crack and split when applied to curved walls.
- It's extra layer of insulation when used as an Exterior Insulating Finishing System (EIFS), in addition to it's non-porous outer layer, greatly increases a home's energy efficiency.
- Synthetic stucco comes in many different base color layers, which is useful when painting synthetic stucco. A dark base layer helps cut down on the amount of coats needed when a dark paint is applied. The paint itself also holds its color much better than natural stucco, which promotes fading of any paint applied to it.
- Synthetic stucco is much more elastic than natural stucco, which tends to crack over time when exposed to moisture and severe changes in temperature. Synthetics can expand and contract with changing temperatures without cracking or splitting.
Traditional and Synthetic Stucco Siding Costs
The following prices are based on national averages collected over the last several years. Factors affecting actual costs - which may vary slightly from the figures given below - include your exact location, time of year and the company hired to perform the work. An unusually tall building or hard-to-reach areas requiring additional safety precautions will be on the higher end of the cost spectrum.
- Traditional stucco typically costs $4.50-$8 per square foot installed. For a typical house with 2,000 square feet of wall space, this would be $9,000-$16,000.
- Synthetic stucco Exterior Insulating Finishing Systems will cost $6-$10 per square foot of wall space, including installation. The typical home with 2,000 square feet of siding costs $12,000-$20,000.
- Repair costs are fairly similar for both products (synthetic materials tend to be a bit more expensive, however). A small 4 square foot crack or split repair costs $60-$100 for both products.
Compare Traditional vs. Synthetic Stucco Siding Quotes From Local Professionals
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