Virtually all new homes being built today in Calgary either have stucco or vinyl siding. If you venture into some of the older neighbourhoods such as Acadia, you will find mostly wood siding on the houses, and most of those will be bungalows. Some of the newer neighbourhoods like cranston will have a mixture of of stucco and vinyl siding.
I personally think that a mixture like that doesn't look that great, so all the houses on a particular street should be one or the other. It is fine if you have one section of a community with stucco and another section with vinyl, but you shouldn't have a vinyl house beside a stucco house.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of each?
- Usually much cheaper than stucco
- Easier to install and requires a lot less skill
- This product is very durable and lasts a very long time in Calgary's harsh winters.
- Hundreds of colors and textures
- Almost maintenance free - you just need to hose it down a couple of times a year to get the dust and spider webs off of it
- Much more expensive to apply
- You really need to make sure you get the right contractor to apply it because it requies a lot more knowledge to do it right
- If it is not applied properly and your contractor did not follow the manufacturer's recommendations, you could be faced with very expensive repair bills
- Looks much better and you get a more sophisticated and expensive looking home.
There have been quite a few stories about condos having stucco problems in Calgary and Edmonton.
Basically what happens is that the people that installed the stucco did a poor job and moisture ends up getting in and causing problems. As you can imagine, the cost to fix these problems on buildings that are 4 storeys or more tall can be very high. Usually these problems are found after a few years so it is difficult to hold the stucco company responsible since some have gone out of business or simply don't operate in the province anymore. Legal action take a long time, so it is the poor individual condo owner that has to pay in the form of a special assessment.
Normally a condo board will budget for repairs they know will be required in the future, such as a new roof. A stucco problem is not in the budget so the condo board has to ask for a specific amount of money which can run in the thousands, from each owner. This special assessment is on top of the owner's monthly condo fee. That is why it is so important to make sure your stucco contractor knows what they are doing.
Here is a Mike Homes article that explains the process in detail and warns that you have to install it the right way. http://news.nationalpost.com/homes/hey-bucko-thinking-of-stucco
Here is a stucco contractor in Calgary that has a great reputation and follows all the correct procedures. http://50stucco.com/
I just wanted to inform our readers that although I love the look of a stucco home, and I live in one, that you have to do your research on whoever you are going to hire or in the case of a builder, who they already hired. This is even more important if you are buying a condo.