Vinyl Siding Vs. Stucco Vs. Hardie Plank – Which Is Better And Why

by | May 13, 2021 | Blog | 0 comments

The siding of the house has a vital role to play, not only in aesthetics but also in protection. And a lot rides on your choice of material. So, it’s imperative that you select the sliding material after utmost consideration.

Unfortunately, there’s no definitive answer to which of the material works best. It depends on a variety of factors, including your budget, your climatic conditions, and a lot more. Among the various options, three that have the most prominence are vinyl, stucco, and Hardie plank. So which of these is the ideal choice? Let’s find out!

Vinyl Vs. Stucco Vs. Hardie Plank: A Tough Battle

All these materials offer impressive variations in terms of styles and profiles. Vinyl is among the oldest materials used for siding, and Hardie plank is rapidly catching on. Stucco isn’t far behind either. All of these have their own set of pros and cons.

Vinyl has two primary applications, including insulated and non-insulated siding. Typically, a single coat or three coats of stucco are applied, depending on the insulation required. Hardie Plank is a blend of sand, cement, and cellulose fibers, resembling natural materials like stone and wood.

Let’s break down the factors that should influence your decision about which sliding material to go for.

Vinyl Siding Vs Stucco Vs Hardie Plank
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Of course, the cost is one of the most significant factors that people have to consider while determining the right material.

Typically, non-insulated vinyl siding is comparatively less expensive than insulated ones. The non-insulated vinyl siding costs around 5.50 to $7.50 per sq. Ft. The price of insulated vinyl siding is $7.50 to $12.50 per sq. Ft. Stucco on the other end can go as high as $14.50, which makes it a bit more pricey than vinyl.

The most expensive among these is Hardie plank. The price can vary depending on the manufacturing method. But since more labor is involved in its installation, the overall cost of Hardie plank siding is higher than the other two.


Naturally, you would want the siding to last for a long time. It’s the durability that determines how the siding will stand against the tests of time. Wouldn’t you want to learn how long you have to wait before replacing vinyl siding or any other material? Stucco, vinyl, and Hardy plank are all quite tough. In the case of vinyl, the thickness of the material matters a great deal.

Vinyl thickness can go up to 0.055 inches or even higher. On the other hand, a single coat of stucco is around half an inch which is significantly more than vinyl. Hardie Plank is quite thick, too, around 5/16 of an inch to a quarter inch.

All these materials are tough and can withstand significant wind speed and hail damage.

Both materials are fairly tough. Vinyl can withstand wind speeds up to 110 mph, while stucco can handle wind gusts up to 130 mph. Vinyl gets mixed results on resistance to hail damage. Hardie Plank is also resistant to animals, insects, and mold. All of these materials can last over 50 years if installed and maintained well.

vinyl siding vs stucco vs hardie plank
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When it comes to insulation, vinyl wins, hands down. Stucco gets around 0.2 per inch R-value, with the single coat offering low insulation. Yes, the triple coat does raise this value, making it a bit more acceptable. It still isn’t comparable to the 1.75 R-value that can be achieved with foam-back vinyl.

Hardie Plank, on its own, is quite a poor insulator with merely a 0.5 R-value. However, you can go for the insulated version, wherein the R-value can rise to 4. But that will, of course, cost you more.

Colors And Design

Everyone has a different vision of what they want their siding to look like. Of course, aesthetics matter and need to be given utmost attention. All three materials are available in a plethora of colors.

Vinyl is even more versatile when it comes to shaping. You can get it to resemble anything like wood. There are many options, including lap board profiles, vertical panels, shakes, and shingles, among others.

Stucco can’t be used to mimic another material. However, you can use it to cover the entire wall. No seams will be left behind to make the difference apparent.

As for texture, stucco wins in style. Stucco installation has a lot of designing scope that vinyl can’t really match.

But the clear winner in this aspect will be Hardie Plank. This is because this material can mimic the look of a number of other siding options. These include the likes of stone, wood shake siding, logs, and cedar shingles, among others.

Standing The Tests Of Time

There’s a lot that siding is subjected to. They have to bear the brunt of a lot of attacks, including insects, animals, wind, rain, and even snow.

All these three materials are tough. In wetter climates, vinyl fares quite well, while areas where the climate is sunnier, for the most part, will find stucco more suitable. Vinyl isn’t exactly fire resistant as it can warp if exposed to high heat.

But one major problem with both stucco and Hardie Plank is that they can crack. Of course, cracks can be repaired; this isn’t a problem you will have to encounter with vinyl siding.

Ease Of Installation

Of course, you have to factor in the installation charges while determining how much the siding will cost you.

Vinyl is the easiest to install. It doesn’t require much labor or expertise. Hence the labor charges won’t really make much of a difference to your overall budget.

Stucco requires professional installation. It’s a labor-intensive and time-consuming job. And if you are applying more than one coat, the workload increases all the more.

Hardie Plank is quite a heavy material, which, if not handled well, can easily break. It isn’t easy to transport either. Hence, a team of professionals is needed on site for its correct installation. It needs more planning and quite a lot of specialized tools. Needless to say, the installation cost will be quite high with this one.


At the end of the day, you want to ensure that the siding doesn’t wear out easily. Maintenance is undoubtedly a crucial factor.

Both stucco and vinyl are low maintenance materials. Stucco tends to last a bit longer than vinyl and hence will need additional painting down the road. Both these materials have to be cleaned annually, but the process isn’t really challenging.

Hardie plank is different from the two in this regard. Its vibrancy and form ensure that you have to repaint and re-caulk it every five to ten years. And it has to be power washed annually to maintain its looks which will cost you roughly around $300.

Vinyl Vs. Stucco Vs. Hardie Plank: In A Nutshell

If you want to decide quickly which of these materials to go for, here’s a summary that can help you out.

 Vinyl Stucco Hardie Plank
Cost $5.50 and $10.50 per square foot$8.50 and $14.00 per square foot$8.50 and $14.50 per square foot
Cost-to-Value Return74 to 80%70%77.6%
Thickness 0.035 to .052 inches5/8 inch0.5 inches
Design and styles15 and 40 standard color optionsBasic styling Multiple styling options
Installation cost $2,000 - $16,000$10,000 - $19,000$11,000 - $24,000
Insulation High with foam variety Average Poor if not treated further for insulation
Longevity 20 to 40 years 50 to 80 years50 years
Maintenance Easy Easy Challenging

If you are still on the fence about what to go for, here’s a list of the pros and cons of each material. This should make things clear for you.

  • Inexpensive
  • Does not need painting
  • Low maintenance
  • Durable
  • Easy to install
  • Multiple style and color options
  • Good insulation
  • May allow moisture below the surface
  • Lower your home’s value
  • Not environment-friendly
  • Stucco
  • Durable
  • Adds aesthetic appeal to the property
  • Low maintenance
  • Noise proof
  • Resistant to insects and animals
  • Satisfactory insulation
  • Cracks can develop
  • High installation cost
  • Hardie Plank
  • Durable
  • Enhances curb appeal of the property
  • Resistant to pests
  • Long-term warranty
  • Customizable
  • Fire resistant
  • Environment friendly
  • Requires expert installation
  • Needs repainting
  • Cracks can develop
  • Vinyl Vs. Stucco Vs. Hardie Plank: Which Is Better?

    By now, it’s pretty clear there’s no easy way to answer this. If you have an unlimited budget, Hardie Plank is undoubtedly a better choice due to the many benefits it offers. However, keep in mind that irrespective of which material you select, the siding contractor you hire matters. Ensure that you only get the best onboard if you want the siding to last.

    This is where Remodart can help you out. We have experts who can install every type of siding and give you just the results you are looking for. And that too without charging over the top. Do what’s best for your house and allow us to take over the siding bit. You won’t be disappointed.




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