Stucco or Vinyl siding?

With Calgary’s real estate market still humming along, I get quite a few people asking me for advice on whether or not now is a good time to buy. I would say if you can find a great property that you love in a good neighourhood, you should go ahead and make the move. Interest rates are still really low, although they have moved up a bit in the last few weeks, and prices are increasing.

I also get asked what I think of Stucco and Vinyl siding. Obviously Stucco is much nicer to look at, and if you want to buy in a higher end neighbourhood, that is what you will probably get. Although some really nice communities have a mixture of both stucco and vinyl, but I personally don’t like the look of that. I think it cheapens an estate area that has a bunch of stunning mansions beside houses with vinyl. I don’t know why the developers didn’t just implement architectural controls to limit the siding to just stucco.

On the other side of the coin, most of the more affordable Calgary neighbourhoods use only vinyl because it is much cheaper. Drive through any community that is marketed to young families on a budget, and it will almost always contain vinyl houses, townhouses, and condos. In this case, it is totally understandable that they would do this because they need to keep the cost of the homes as low as possible while still providing a good product.

So which is better? Here are some features for each:

Stucco

  • Much more expensive than vinyl
  • Generally looks more attractive and sophisticated
  • Can be painted
  • Requires occasional maintenance and repairs
  • Provides good insulation from both hot and cold weather
  • Requires a professional to install

 

Vinyl

  • Much cheaper than Stucco
  • Can be installed by yourself but a professional is recommended
  • Comes in pretty much any color you want
  • Does not fade over time
  • Vinyl is very strong and durable so it can withstand very harsh conditions
  • It is maintenance free

You can get Vinyl that is formed in different styles with the look of a log cabin or shakes that actually look like shakes on the side of your house, but almost all the houses that have vinyl in Calgary have that same appearance that looks like smaller versions of the wood siding you used to see on all the old bungalows. It is called solid core vinyl siding.

Stucco siding can also have many appearances or styles ranging from the smooth look to a more textured finish or anything in between.

Since your home is probably the most expensive item you will ever buy and it will be a source of pride and joy for many years, I would choose stucco. However that is only if you can do it without putting yourself in an unreasonable amount of debt. Since stucco homes tend to be found in more expensive neighbourhoods, you may have to pay a lot more than you would for the same type of house that has vinyl.

If you already own a house and want to spruce it up by having stucco installed I would recommend Brandon and his crew at 5.0 Stucco Calgary

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