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Stucco Siding

Because of its reasonable cost and the variety of ways to apply it and formulate it, stucco siding has been utilized for hundreds of years. The ancient Greeks and Romans painted wall frescoes onto fine-grained hard plaster surfaces made of gypsum, marble dust and glue. During the Renaissance, the Italians elaborated stucco techniques, which, in turn, spread throughout Europe. Marble dust was compounded into molds to make decorative shapes that were polished or painted.

Typically seen in Mission or Spanish-style architecture, stucco lends itself to virtually any application, and paint color and countless variations in content. Stucco can be smooth or course, raked or swirled. It can contain sand, lime or pebbles. Depending upon the climate and the desired texture, different types of cement are used in the stucco mix.

Traditionally, stucco has been applied over a base of wire mesh or wooden slat spacers. Because it is plaster with a cement base, stucco is often applied in layers over framed and solid walls. It can be applied on existing surfaces, including concrete block or older stucco. It can be applied by hand with a trowel or sprayed on. Pigment can be mixed in or the surface may be painted when it’s dry and set. This variety of ways in which stucco may be applied makes it one of the most adaptable materials available for siding.

Although it is porous and absorbs moisture, stucco dries easily. Other advantages to natural stucco include fire resistance, a high degree of energy efficiency and low maintenance. It also expands and contracts with the weather, which minimizes cracking. Stucco can last up to 50 years before it needs to be replaced.

Synthetic stucco has been developed to overcome the moisture issues and is quite durable. EIFS is a popular Styrofoam-based stucco that provides additional insulation.

Reasonably priced, easy to maintain and aesthetically pleasing, stucco has been a popular siding choice for hundreds of years. With a variety of paint colors and applications to choose from, stucco works well with any home’s exterior. Check out the facts to decide if it’s right for yours.

Costs

On average, stucco siding costs between $6 and $9 per square foot for a professional installation. The price varies depending on the grade of stucco siding used. For specific cost estimates in your area, speak with a local siding installer.

Pros

Stucco lends itself to virtually any paint color and type of application. It can be smooth or course, raked or swirled.

Fire-resistant and able to expand and contract with the weather.

Offers a high degree of energy efficiency.

Cons

Stucco tends to show water and dirt stains more readily than other siding materials.

Can be harder and more costly to install.

Cement stucco can crack when a home’s foundation shifts.

Durability

Stucco is generally a very durable siding option. It can expand and contract during seasonal shifts, so it won’t sustain damage under harsh conditions. In fact, it’s even fire-resistant. On average, stucco can last up to 50 years before it needs to be replaced.

Maintenance

If you're looking for a siding option with little to no maintenance, then stucco is an excellent choice. Some homeowners don't like the stains that stucco tends to attract, so light pressure-washing is common. Hairline cracks can be easily fixed with paint or a brushable elastomeric sealant.

Common Questions and Answers

What are the various ways that stucco can be applied?

Because it is plaster with a cement base, stucco can be applied:

  • In layers over framed and solid walls
  • Over a base of wire mesh or wooden slat spacers
  • On exis

    What is a better siding option - vinyl or stucco?

    Vinyl wins in a few categories, especially price and maintenance. Vinyl costs less and requires even less upkeep than stucco. However, many homeowners don’t like the manufa

History

Because of its reasonable cost and the variety of ways to apply and formulate it, stucco siding has been used for centuries. The ancient Greeks and Romans painted wall frescoes onto fine-grained hard plaster surfaces made of gypsum, marble dust and glue. During the Renaissance, the Italians elaborated stucco techniques, which, in turn, spread throughout Europe.

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