Stucco Siding: A Guide to Exterior Stucco
All About Stucco Siding
When you’re trying to decide on a siding material to use for home construction, one of the materials you will probably be looking into is stucco siding. This is one of the most common home facing materials, and odds are you have seen numerous homes and even public and corporate buildings which use stucco siding. The material offers a number of benefits at a reasonable cost, which is why it is so popular. The appearance of stucco can vary widely, depending on the customization options the homeowner selects.
What Is Stucco?
What is stucco actually made from? The material is actually a composite of Portland cement, sand, water, and lime. Portland cement is not actually from Portland, Oregon; the material takes its name from the fact that it resembles a type of stone which was once mined in England on the Isle of Portland in Dorset. This type of stone was commonly used in construction there. In stucco, the cement holds the composite together; it is also used in other building materials as well like concrete and mortar because of its glue-like properties.
Traditional stucco is applied in three coats, finished with acrylic-polymer, a material that is able to easily expand or contract in response to changes in the weather. This protective coating offers a buffer which protects the siding underneath. This is one reason why stucco siding is so durable and long-lasting.
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3 Advantages of Stucco Siding
What are the benefits of stucco siding? Stucco siding is versatile, durable, and relatively inexpensive to install. It is also aesthetically pleasing to the eye. Here are a few excellent reasons to consider choosing stucco for your next project:
As mentioned previously, the protective final coating on stucco siding prevents the material from cracking in response to weather changes throughout the year. This makes the material quite hardy, even in harsh climates which undergo extreme shifts in temperature each day. This is one reason that you may associate stucco siding with the desert. Desert climates usually feature very hot days and sometimes very cold nights. Stucco siding can easily last for decades before it needs to be replaced, even in climates such as these. The stucco also helps to regulate the temperature inside your home, which can reduce bills for heat and air conditioning!
There is also a new kind of stucco which is called Exterior Insulation and Finish Systems (EIFS). EIFS is applied differently, and lasts even longer than traditional stucco. Cracking is extremely unlikely even over long time periods. And that means that it virtually never needs replacement! If you live in a harsh climate, this is probably your very best option.
2. Versatile and aesthetically pleasing.
Because stucco is so durable and inexpensive, it can be used in a broad range of building applications. It looks great on residential buildings as well as public buildings. It can also easily be painted any color and even textured through special application techniques. If you are looking for a way to imitate a more expensive material at a low cost, stucco may give you the means. You can even pattern stucco to resemble granite or marble. So you can achieve a very upscale look at a low cost. If you want, you can even take customization a step further and carve designs into your stucco.
3. Simple application.
If you are applying the stucco yourself, you will find the process is much simpler than many other types of siding installation. It is still beneficial to go with a contractor however who knows exactly what to do. The simple installation process can reduce your contracting bills however, which still leads to cost reduction benefits.
Cost of Stucco Siding
One of the best things about stucco siding is the price. Because stucco siding is made out of readily available ingredients that are each low in price (Portland cement, lime, sand, and water), the composite material itself is also low in cost. How much does stucco cost come out to in real figures? On average, you can expect to pay about $6 to $9 per square foot, and that is with professional installation included! Considering that you can pattern stucco to resemble more expensive materials, this is a great deal. Of course, you will save the most money if you can find a great contractor.
Finding the Right Contractor to Install Your Stucco Siding
Why not install your stucco siding yourself? True, it would save you money, but the costs even with the help of a contractor are quite low. And while the work may be simple and straightforward, that does not make it easy. It is physically demanding work, and takes a lot of time—time you could be using to work on other home projects. If you set out to do it yourself, you are probably looking at months of hard labor. Odds are you have a job you need to attend to. Passing the work off to a contractor lets you get back to your life.
A skilled contractor will be able to do the work in a matter of weeks, and do a top-notch job, taking into account all the customization options that you ask for. When you go to select a contractor for your stucco siding job, consider the following factors:
- Quality of work
- Methods and types of stucco
A lot of contractors will be happy to give you a cost estimate on your project for free. Shop around to find the best contractor for your job, and make sure that you know exactly what you want in terms of types of stucco, color, texture, and other customization options. These options can affect the price estimate, so be sure to provide contractors with your full plan in order to get the most accurate estimate. Have a look at the contractors’ portfolios and ask for referrals. Stucco is a beautiful, durable, and cost-effective building material. And if you find a superlative contractor, you will achieve the best results with the least amount of hassle!