The days of vinyl siding as the exterior finish of last resort may be numbered, and those with an eye for design are rejoicing! Don’t get us wrong, siding is very practical but it’s a bit of a triumph of function over form. One of our favourites, stucco, is making a comeback on the exterior finish scene. While our bias may be showing (because, you know, we provide expert parging and stucco applications) we happen to think this versatile material is an excellent choice because of how good it looks while it keeps you safe from the elements.
The Benefits of Stucco
Stucco can provide a very simple solution to a very difficult problem. If your house is older and drafts are a problem, an Exterior Insulating and Finishing System (EIFS) can actually increase the R-Value of your existing insulation. Typical applications of stucco other than EIFS are traditional stucco, acrylic stucco and stucco patching. The uses for stucco are as unique as your home, and there is an option for just about every house.
Stucco adds character to every building it is applied to, and it is available in any colour you can imagine. Stucco can be made to look like other, more expensive exterior finishes like stone masonry or brick. When done right, stucco is practically maintenance-free and it will look as good in 10 years as it does the day the job was finished. This stuff really stands the test of time – Roman sculptures made of stucco are still being found today!
The Drawbacks of Stucco
A while ago, stucco got a really bad rap because of some shoddy manufacturing and even shoddier application techniques. It’s important to make sure the stucco company you choose is one that specializes in this finish. Any negative reports you have heard about stucco are probably because of poor application rather than a problem with the product itself. Stucco that has been improperly installed has been known to cause problems like moisture damage because of poor drainage. That’s why you need to work with experts! Yes, we know we already said that, but it’s such an important point we’re saying it twice. Be sure to ask every one of the 10 questions you should ask any contractor before signing on the dotted line! (Part One, Part Two)
The most difficult thing about applying stucco in a place like Edmonton is the temperature. Stucco is a multi-layer process and it needs to stay warm enough between the applications of each layer, so the stucco season is a pretty short one around here. In fact, if the company is a reputable, busy one, you might not be able to make it onto their job schedule this year. That’s OK, it gives you a lot of time to choose the right colour for your house in time for your fresh application of stucco next year!