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Stucco Siding: Is it the right choice for Rapid City homeowners?

Stucco siding is popular

When deciding what new siding you would like to install for your home, there are many things to consider. What materials will last the longest? What materials are most cost-effective? Which materials work best for my home? Which siding materials will survive in the local climate? Many siding types compliment each other and are installed in a similar fashion, such as lumber siding, composite siding, or vinyl siding. However, stucco siding represents a completely different type of installation, aesthetic, and overall functionality. With the above questions in mind, is stucco siding a suitable choice for homeowners in the Black Hills area? To find out, let’s take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of stucco siding.

Advantages of stucco siding

When installed properly, stucco is a highly durable material that can withstand various weather conditions, including extreme heat, cold, rain, and wind. If properly maintained, stucco siding can last for several decades. When the home is properly flashed and windows are properly sealed, stucco typically requires minimal maintenance compared to other siding materials like wood or vinyl. It doesn’t need frequent painting as compared to its siding counterparts. Stucco is also known for increased fire resistance, energy efficiency, and noise reduction.

Disadvantages of stucco siding

Hard to fix water leaks

gray stucco wall with cracks with white window and trim partially removed

The fine print that must be looked at with stucco siding installation is: “when installed properly.” Like any project, things can go wrong. Although stucco siding is advertised as being impervious to harsh weather conditions, problems can and do occur. If you have water or moisture due to improperly installed house wrap, or an improperly flashed window,  it is much easier to locate the issue with a siding product that is installed in pieces. When you have water penetration with stucco siding, it can take days, weeks, and even months to solve the problem as you are chasing water between the stucco and the home which requires constant repair and testing to ensure the repair is complete. 

Future repairs can be troublesome and costly

Simultaneously, the same logic applies for future repairs on the exterior of your home such as fixing hairline cracks in the stucco, or replacing your windows. Stucco installation and repair is an artform that demands respect. Matching the previous texture and color so that patches go unnoticed requires extensive skill and experience.  When installing new windows with stucco, it is vital that you find a stucco expert who will make it seem as though it was part of the original build of the home. You may have had a fantastic stucco installer on the original build of your home, but matching that expertise years down the road could be a headache you want to avoid. 

What types of siding are the neighbors using?

The Black Hills is growing like crazy as more people discover the beauty of the area. New homes are being built across the region from as far north as Spearfish to the southern hills in Hot Springs, SD. The building trends in the area do not support stucco siding, it has yet to become a popular choice in the Black Hills area. With less people choosing to install it, many companies have chosen not to offer it as a service. In dry and hot areas like the American southwest stucco has remained a popular option with easy access to stucco materials. Likewise, throughout the midwest and Texas, the clay sediment in the soil works great for brick making which is why you see more brick homes there—it is cheaper. 

On the contrary, with the harsh weather conditions the Black Hills faces every winter and hail season, many have chosen to avoid the future dilemma of finding a stucco expert for window replacement or extensive siding repair. Lumber and composite siding continue to be the least expensive option for this area. Eventually, the local market may support stucco siding, however many homeowners in the Black Hills region prefer classic home aesthetics as compared to the southwestern adobe look. With access to new materials and finishes, there are less expensive and mutually durable siding options available for homeowners to choose from.

Wood Siding

For the majority of homes in the Black Hills, a stucco finish is not suitable for the original style of the home. A traditional home in the Rapid City area has steep roof inclines with original lap lumber siding for the exterior, offering a classic look. Today’s lumber siding is engineered to remain strong with prefinished paint that is specifically designed to withstand against the harsh weather in South Dakota. Lumber siding products such as LP Smartside and DiamondKote offer a factory prefinish that performs well as compared to painting the siding on-site. With many styles, sizes, trims, colors, and stains to choose from you will have plenty of options with a wood siding exterior finish. 

lp smartside logodiamond kote logo

home with LP Smartside siding and new pella windows

Composite Siding or Fiber Cement Siding

siding contractor installing maintenance free siding on a home in Rapid City, SD

Another suitable option for exterior lap siding is a composite siding product, such as James Hardie fiber cement siding. Lumber siding is known to absorb water if not protected or painted properly, while James Hardie fiber cement siding will repel water and last for many years if left undamaged. James Hardie has constantly worked to refine its siding products to help resist against cracking, splitting, rotting, and swelling. Simultaneously, Hardie’s fiber cement lap siding comes in multiple colors and stain options, just like lumber or wood siding.

Brick and Stone Veneer Siding

Brick and stone veneer siding is a great addition to the traditional lap siding that covers the majority of the home. The exquisite stone veneer siding options offered by manufacturers such as Versetta Stone will allow your home to stand out when compared to your neighbors. Whether you are adding stone to your home’s entry way, patio, or the accent columns for your garage, stone veneer siding improves your home’s curb appeal and can easily add value to your home. versetta stone logo

Maintenance free siding replacement on home


Yes, it is true that stucco siding has many benefits and aesthetic considerations when deciding how you want your home to look. However, there are many disadvantages to stucco siding. When stucco siding fails, it is often more costly to repair than traditional siding materials. With the harsh weather conditions in the Black Hills region, homeowners have chosen products that offer similar durability and quick repairs when needed. Ultimately, there are many other new siding products and finishes that achieve the same character for modern appearance. 

Ghost Canyon Exteriors is Rapid City’s premier home siding expert. We specialize in all types of traditional siding options and will work with you to discover the right aesthetic for your home’s exterior. Whether you are looking for a completely new look for the exterior of your home, or you are looking to match the original siding appearance, we will make sure the job is done right, exactly to your satisfaction.