COMMENT OF THE DAY RUNNER-UP: STICKING UP FOR STUCCO “What’s with all of this unfounded hate for stucco? It’s actually a very good construction material, well suited for wet climates (if installed properly). One can have just as much water penetration and mold on a brick facade if flashings are not installed properly or weep holes are clogged. And unlike brick, stucco actually ‘ties’ the structure together by making the frame more rigid, whereas brick just sits there almost unconnected from the structure.” [commonsense, commenting on A Preview of a $110K Modest Mod]
“If installed properly.” That is the answer to the question, as it seems to never be installed properly.
It’s just not the best in taste. cheap looking.
I think the big fly in the ointment of this statement is the qulifying phrase “if installed properly”. I’d wager only a small fraction of installations in the last 20 years were installed properly. There’s little incentive for Bubba, the small contractor, to train and understand how to install the material properly (proper use of flashing, control joints, etc.) since he moves off the job long before the problems will develop. The majority of these installations seem to represent a ticking time bomb… just look at how the insurance industry has moved quickly to avoid responsibility for the damge a poor installation can cause.
In my neighborhood, Rice Military, almost every town home built in the last 20 years has had to have parts of the facade replaced due to poor installation of stucco. Its OK if you use a traditional 3 coat system, but cutting the corners and installing a cheap 2 coat system in climate conditions that won’t allow it to cure properly is a recipe for disaster. Personally I would never spec it on a home instead of masonry or siding. Explain to me why its such a great material for a humid climate with data to support that stance.
Commonsense: your comment defending stucco shows that you haven’t lived in a stucco clad structure &/or you’re a stucco contractor!!. Stucco is so hastily applied to most structures by half-ass subcontractors that within ONE year the cracks/falling chunks/mold/mildew appear.It is a pain in the ass to try and match the original color/tint to the replacement stucco; 99.9% of the repairs are very obvious and never match the original. And brick,when attached PROPERLY to a structure actually can be done quite well.Besides,on some stucco clad buildings,the wire mesh blocks the wi-fi signal!!!
I come from the esat coast where lots of homes are brick, and I have never seen the mold, cracks, and grim on brick that stucco picks up. My house here is brick and I’d never think of getting stucco based on how poorly I’ve seen it age in many of the homes around Houston… bleh…
If you look at Europe, you find stucco used historically in Mediterranean climates that are somewhat warm and dry. Brick and stone are used in Northern Europe where the weather is cool and damp. Houston does hot, but we don’t do dry very well.
I don’t like it because (as others have mentioned) it inevitably it looks terrible within a very short time. When I see mildew and plainly visible cracks on new homes I can’t help but think “wow, sucks to be the owner of that place.” A friend of mine recently bought a townhome and the only advice I had for her was don’t buy anything stucco. Ever.
I also don’t like it because it (seems like) it’s almost never done tastefully. Repeatedly paired with stupid turrets and cheesy “faux riche” design elements, stucco has earned a special place on my list of Things I Will Never Do or Buy.
I am about to spend 2 million on building my dream home and yes I wanted stucco but after reading all of these reviews, I’m about to have a change of heart!