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Old Stucco - Repair or Reside?
I have a 95 year old home with the original stucco exterior. The home is a typical four square style. It's getting to the point that there is a lot of moisture issues - cracks and bubbling around windows and a few bulges mid-wall. There are some parts that crumble or turned to powder when touched. There are not any places where the stucco has completely come off and the lathe work underneath been exposed, but I feel it's only a matter of time. I really like the look of the stucco and the historic character it gives the house.

I'm in an area with very few traditional stucco homes, so finding someone that can even work with it is a challenge. I've had an EIFS contractor and a general contractor (for vinyl or Hardy plank option) look at it and they are both of the opinion that the stucco is too far gone. I did find a company about 60 miles away that does traditional plaster work and they have looked at it but I haven't heard back yet.

I'm not convinced that covering the stucco is the best way to go, but due to budget constraints, that may be my only option at this point in order to prevent water damage to the structure. The other factor is that where I am located, housing costs are low and my neighborhood consists of $70,000 to $80,000 dollar homes. They are all nicer, older homes and it's a great neighborhood, feel that the cost of the restored stucco would not significantly add to the homes value due to the neighborhood.

What sort of issues can be expected when covering stucco with another siding option? Would there be any benefit (or downside) in this regard with using vinyl or the Hardy planks? Other than the places where the stucco is loose, would it be best to leave the stucco in place or remove it all? What other sort of issues should I be worried about that I may have over looked?

Thank you for any input you can offer.
Posts: 3 | Location: Ohio | Registered: 31 March 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The Home Care Club LLC, Thanks for the reply.

I had been concerned with the Hardi Plank or vinyl (although I prefer not to go the vinyl route) and how it would lay on top of the existing stucco.

Although I have not heard back from them, I too felt that the masonry contractor that was from out of town would be more than my budget since they do mostly commercial jobs with the occasional residential one thrown in. However, I also know that contractors are pretty hungry around here and he got up to look at the house the day after I contacted them. The local general contractor is suppose to be sending a local mason that they have worked with in the past over to look at the stucco, so there may be a closer option for the traditional hard stucco.

The EIFS contractor is a family business that's been around for close to 50 year. My house has very wide eaves and he said that would be a good thing to help prevent water getting behind the EIFS. I'm also planning on having new gutter installed as part of the siding project this summer. The EIFS guy outlined the same basic system that you did - remove what existing stucco is loose, get everything level, then apply the EIFS system. He also brought up sealing around the windows. His idea was to wrap the existing wood with aluminum to get a good surface to caulk between the EIFS and the window trim. I'm not too keen on wrapping the wood trim with aluminum, but it's an option, I suppose. The vertical face of the wood trim is level with the existing stucco, so the window areas would need to be considered carefully. The house is on a block basement foundation with about 2 1/2 feet of block exposed before the stucco starts, so the EIFS would not be getting anywhere near the ground.

The worse wall of the house is next to the chimney, which was a source of water problems both for the exterior stucco and the interior plaster. The top of the chimney has been rebuilt, new flashing installed, and the bricks on the exterior of the house have been re-tucked and a sealer applied. This was done about 3 years ago and seems to have solved the water issues there. The other bad areas where the stucco is failing are around windows and corners were water can get in. Under the front porch where it's nice and dry the stucco still looks great!

I checked out the website you mentioned. Unfortunately there isn't an inspector in my area code much less my area. I'm a civil engineer and my company does do some construction inspections - but for roads and bridges, not buildings. Still, I do think this gives me a bit of an edge over the average homeowner since I'm at least use to reading manufacture recommendations and seeing that they are adhered to.
Posts: 3 | Location: Ohio | Registered: 31 March 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I would contact EDI on the phone and tell them of your concerns. They are very helpful and may be able to suggest something for you.
As far as the wrapping of the wood with metal. I agree its only a cover up of something else that can go wrong. If the wood work around the windows is in bad enough shape and requires the use of metal. I would suggest getting the window replaced. As once the EIFS is installed any changes can be difficult later.
If you decide to go the new window route. Be sure to check on the manufactures installation requirements. Many of the higher end window companies require pan and head flashings to be installed with a EIFS system. If not it will void any warranty that was provided.
I would check on the manufactures web site based on the EIFS system that is going to be applied. Do not trust the installer to follow the directions as per the manufactures requirements. They always have some excuse like I been doing it this way for 25 years and never had a issue. It only takes one time and their out of business. If they are not willing to do it the right way as per the manufacture. Find someone else that will. You may have some luck contacting the manufacture of the product you want installed. STO, Parex etc.They can provide you with several names of people that install their products.
Posts: 1933 | Location: New Jersey | Registered: 31 January 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thanks again.
I think the suggestion of wrapping the wood was only to make it easier on the contractor to work around the window. Other than needing a new coat of paint, the wood is in decent condition.

I got the bids back for the traditional stucco and the EIFS yesterday. The two bids were in the same ballpark and between a half and a third of the overall value of houses in the neighborhood. Love the stucco, but I'm having a hard time justifying keeping it just because of personal preference and aesthetics since I'll never see that large of return on it if I ever sell.
Posts: 3 | Location: Ohio | Registered: 31 March 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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You have a hard decision to make. One hand the house will end up being the best looking one on the block which will raise your selling price and help you sell it faster. On the other hand your going to spend a lot of cash fixing it.
But the real issue is the protection of the structure. If the spalling is occuring like you said and the stucco around the windows is failing, your getting water behind the walls. That alone can destroy the house real fast.
If its a cash issue you should just go for basic vinyl siding. But that to can be real expensive. So shop around on that.
Good luck
Posts: 1933 | Location: New Jersey | Registered: 31 January 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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