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Stucco Siding

by Matt Goering

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Siding

Stucco siding is a siding material made of Portland cement, sand, lime, and water. Applied in three coats over a lath base, it provides a solid, durable, and seamless home exterior. Some advantages of stucco include a natural resistance to fire, lasting durability, and low maintenance.

Traditional Stucco Siding Installation
Installing stucco over mesh is the traditional, and most common, method of installing this siding material. It involves applying the aforementioned concrete mixture over a wire or wood lath. Traditional stucco siding usually has an expansive, acrylic-polymer finish, which will expand and contract with the weather. This keeps cracks to a minimum and means the siding can easily last up to 50 years before needing to be replaced.

The New Stucco Siding
There is a new wave in stucco, referred to as an Exterior Insulation and Finish Systems (EIFS). An acrylic-polymer coat of Styrofoam based stucco is sprayed, or applied, onto a base of fiberglass mesh and foam board insulation. EIFS virtually never cracks, and it gives your home extra insulation as well. It is a little more expensive than the traditional stucco finish, and EIFS is more vulnerable to high impacts, such as hail or woodpecker damage, than traditional stucco siding.

Advantages of Stucco Siding
Because of the application and the material, stucco is an incredible insulator of both warm and cool air. With stucco on the exterior, it is cheap and easy to maintain a constant temperature in your home, no matter what the mercury reads outdoors. Its energy efficiency is one of the main reasons stucco is such a popular siding choice in areas of extreme heat, such as the American Southwest. And from a design standpoint, you can't beat the appearance of a good stucco finish. The smooth, traditional, southwestern look of stucco as a siding material is hard to beat. Add to that the fact that you can add coloring to your cement coats, artistic designs carved into the cement coatings, and mosaics and murals into your stucco walls before the cement dries, and stucco can easily be transformed into one of the most creative, and innovative, siding applications on the market.

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Talk to a Stucco Siding Contractor
Stucco siding can be applied as a do-it-yourself siding application, but it is one of the most laborious, backbreaking, and time-consuming siding projects a homeowner can undertake. For this reason alone, most homeowners choose to hire a siding contractor experienced in applying stucco to do the work for them. And experienced contractor with a good crew can accomplish in a few weeks what will take a homeowner several months to do on their own. Talk to an experienced contractor if you think stucco is the siding material you've been searching out for your home.

Matt Goering, formerly a carpenter and house painter, is a freelance writer for the home improvement industry who has published over 600 articles.