Stucco vs Fiber Cement Siding

Picking the right siding for your home can be overwhelming at times at can feel like there are endless options to choose from. However, when you narrow it down, there are 7 types of siding that you can choose from that are very popular to homeowners. To help you make your decision, we have put together a side-by-side comparison of two of some of the most popular types of siding on the market today: stucco and fiber cement siding. Hopefully, by the end of this article you will have a better understanding of which type of siding is right for you and your home. There are numerous circumstances in which each type of siding can be beneficial. Including where you live, the climate, and the style of your home. However, both types of siding have their own unique set of pros and cons that you should take into consideration before making your final decision. 

Composition 

Both fiber cement and stucco siding are manufactured materials that are made of numerous elements. We will break down each below: 

Fiber Cement Siding  

Fiber cement siding is made of a mix of Portland cement, sand, water, and cellulose fibers. The wood fibers give the siding added strength, while the Portland cement acts as a binding agent. Our manufacturer, James Hardie, also includes additives which adds enhancing performance. 

Stucco Siding 

Stucco siding is made of a mix of cement, sand, water, and lime. It is applied in three coats, with the first being a scratch coat, the second being the brown coat, and the third being the color coat. The brown coat and color coat are usually applied with a trowel, while the scratch coat is usually sprayed on. The end result is a durable and long-lasting product that has the look of clay or rock.  

Installation Differences 

Another key difference to consider is how the two types of siding are installed. James Hardie fiber cement siding should always be installed by a professional. Stucco siding is a little more involved and should only be installed by a professional. 

Fiber Cement Siding  

James Hardie professionals are required to go through significant and highly intense training on best practices in order to install fiber cement siding. If you already have wood, vinyl, or metal siding, then the installation should be fairly simple and straightforward. However, if you were planning to switch from stucco to fiber cement, then the installation process will be a little more complicated and will require a much more involved removal and installation process. But the benefits of adding fiber cement siding to your home far outweigh the cost and time it takes. 

Stucco Siding 

Stucco siding installation is a multi-step process that generally takes 3-5 days to complete and multiple coats of stucco are applied. Every stucco installation is different and requires a professional to complete the job. While every home is different and requires skill and artistic touch to complete the job, However, cracking is not uncommon no matter how well the installer is trained.  

Style & Aesthetic Considerations 

You want a siding that will give your home added curb appeal and increase the value of your home. Both types of siding provide a large number of options for you to choose from. 

Fiber cement Siding 

Fiber cement siding is becoming more popular each year for a number of reasons. First, it has a modern, sleek look that can be perfect for contemporary or modern styles of homes. Second, it comes in either vertical or horizontal panels. 

Stucco Siding 

Stucco siding is also an extremely popular siding option that has been around for centuries. It is a classic siding that has been used on a variety of homes, from small cottages to large mansions. Stucco can be applied in several assorted colors, textures, and styles to match the look of your home. It is a versatile siding option that can be perfect for any home. Stucco siding is also a great option if you are looking to add curb appeal to your home. It is also an exceptionally durable siding that can last for many years. 

Durability 

Your home requires a siding that is both durable and long-lasting. Both types of siding are great options, but are they comparable? 

Fiber Cement Siding 

The biggest benefit to choosing fiber cement siding is the fact that it is one of the most durable siding options available. James Hardie Fiber cement siding is warrantied for up to 30 years and rarely requires any maintenance. This is due to the fact that it is made of a mixture of cement, sand, and fiber which creates an extraordinarily strong and sturdy product. Fiber cement siding does not tend to crack like other types of siding and is one of the most resistant materials to weathering. Fiber cement is resistant to pests, fire, mold as well as rot.

Stucco Siding 

While stucco is a durable siding, it is not as resistant to the elements as fiber cement siding. Once it dries, it becomes extremely hard and resistant to cracking. However, over time it can start to crack and chip due to exposure to the elements. This type of siding does not do well in wet or high precipitation environments and can cause serious cracking and consistent damage repairs. This type of siding is great for homes located in the southwestern area of the United States because of dry warm air conditions.  

Maintenance  

James Hardie Fiber Cement siding and stucco siding require various levels of maintenance. Fiber cement siding requires much less maintenance than stucco siding, but both types of siding require regular inspection for signs of damage or problems.  

Fiber Cement Siding 

While fiber cement siding is an exceptionally durable and minimal maintenance siding option, it is important to inspect it regularly for any signs of damage. You should inspect your fiber cement siding at least once a year for any cracks, chips, or other damage. It could also be beneficial to do a yearly cleaning with a low-pressure pressure washer or garden hose. If you live in an area with high winds, it is important to inspect it more often for any damage that may have been caused by wind or debris. If you do find any damage, it is important to repair it as soon as possible to prevent further damage.  

Stucco Siding 

Stucco siding should be inspected monthly for any damage that may have occurred if you live in an area with high precipitation. Any water that is trapped within your stucco siding can cause serious cracks and stylistic damage that could lead to costly repairs. 

What is the More Eco-Friendly Option 

Both types of siding are green options, and both provide less access to landfills than many other types of siding. 

Fiber Cement Siding 

Fiber cement siding is made of a mix of Portland cement, sand, water, and cellulose fibers. This mixture creates an extraordinarily strong and durable product. Although it does cause some emissions, the production process of fiber cement siding has become much more environmentally friendly in recent years. Because James Hardie provides a longer lasting product, this type of siding is not recycled as often as other types of siding.

Stucco Siding 

Stucco siding is also a green option as it is made of concrete, lime, and sand. This mixture makes an exceptionally durable product that can last for many years. Although, because it does not do well in moist environments it may reduce the air quality of your home and little energy efficiency is gained from this type of siding.  

What is the Best Siding Option for Your Home 

When it comes to deciding what type of siding is best for your home, it is important to consider the climate you live in, the amount of maintenance you are willing to do, and the look you are going for. If you live in an area with high winds, it is important to choose a siding that can withstand the wind. If you live in an area with high precipitation, it is important to choose a siding that will not be damaged by the moisture. It is also important to consider the look you are going for. Although stucco does provide a durable and stylistic look, it may not be the best choice for your home. 

James Hardie siding provides a long-lasting product that is minimal maintenance and comes in a variety of style options to choose from. If you are looking for a siding that will provide you with a return on your investment, fiber cement siding is the best option for you. 

See Why DaBella is the #1 Choice for Your Next Fiber Cement Installation 

It is important to consult with a siding specialist to get the best estimate for what it would cost to replace your current siding with fiber cement siding. Here at DaBella, we offer free in-home consultations to help you decide which type of siding is best for your home as well as providing you with an estimate for the job. We understand that replacing your siding is a big investment and we want to make sure you are making the best choice for your home. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation and see the possibilities for your home and the transformation we can make for you.