DIY Network

Buyer's Guide for Exterior Siding (page 4 of 6)

Getting ready to re-side your house? Compare costs, weigh pros and cons, and learn how each of today's most popular siding materials rank when it comes to being earth-friendly.

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Stucco is an extremely durable siding material that pairs well with other siding materials and adds a bit of architectural panache to a retrofit job. Today's stucco mixtures include epoxy, which prevents chipping and cracking, but installation isn't a DIY job — you'll need to look for an experienced stucco installer. Well-maintained stucco will last a lifetime.

Upside: Toners added to stucco mixtures result in beautiful, organic colors that go all the way through the material, making repainting unnecessary. Stucco is a low-maintenance material that's resistant to fire and insects.

Drawbacks: There's a lot of prep work required before stucco can be applied. Finding a reliable, experienced stucco contractor can be a challenge.

Green meter: New formulations of stucco use earth and lime instead of Portland cement — cement production is linked to CO2 emissions.

Cost: $6 to $9 per square foot, installed. Expect to pay $12,000 to $22,000 for an average two-story house.