Question: We have a old wood frame house with 401 wood siding. Is it possible and financially viable to stucco this house? Is there an approximate cost per square foot? We are trying to explore other alternatives than continuous painting and wood repair.
Submitted by KKP
Answer: Yes, it is possible, and it is done more often than you would think. A conventional plaster application using metal lath mechanically fastened to the existing exterior with 3/4" Fibered Portland Plaster and finish coat of acrylic, tinted to your desired color is what is normally recommended. This would give your home an extremely durable and long lasting exterior product. The price will vary and depends on a number of factors, including, the elevation, how many windows/doors, degree of difficulty, moldings, trims, cornices, etc.
Brick homes are also a good candidate for a plaster retrofit as well.
Question: Can you summarize the major differences between stucco and EIFS?
Answer: Stucco is a 3 coat cement application put over metal lath. Stucco applied properly can last an extremely long time (remember the Alamo) and has a superior wind resistance (approx 300 mph).
Now days, when we apply stucco, we apply the 3 coats of plaster, (scratch coat, base coat, finish coat) then apply an Acrylic based finish. This makes a very nice finish and can be painted later if you wish to have a color change on the structure. You would not be able to tell which system is on the house just by looking, they look the same. Also, EIFS can be used with stucco, by using the EIFS as Bands around windows, doors, Quoins on the corners or Moldings around the roofline (see the images on our site for some examples).
EIFS is an application of Foam board (expanded polystyrene), white foam It is applied to the structure preferably by screws (mechanically fastened) or glued using an acrylic based cement glue, then Mesh is applied over the foam then it is base-coated with the acrylic based cement then finished with an acrylic based finish. EIFS is a popular choice in commercial buildings.