Done with trim and outside still not started is this normal

jln1980June 16, 2012

We just finished up trim and they are starting the finish painting next week. My builder keeps telling me that they will start the outside next week. Monday will be the start of the sixth week since they started telling me this. I think our inside will be done before the outside.

How long does it take to for stucco to be installed?

Does the stucco have to be complete before they can start the stonework?

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'll admit don't know anything about stuccoing a house but this sounds BASS-ACKWARDS to me!

What IS on the exterior of your house right now???

The outer cladding of a wall (whether, brick, stone, hardiplank, wood shingles, vinyl siding, stucco or whatever) is there to do more than just look pretty! It is the final layer that sheds water from your home and keeps the interior dry...including the interiors of your walls. I can't imagine installing insulation and putting sheetrock up in the interior before the house is fully weather tight. In fact, I can't even imagine that the electrician would have wanted to run his wiring without the house being fully dried in!

Seems to me that, even if you have OSB or plywood sheathing on the exterior and then had that covered with something like asphalt felt (tarpaper) or plastic housewrap, your builder is still taking a HUGE risk that moisture will get into the interior of the wall and be trapped there when the final cladding (stucco and stonework) are done.

Plastic housewraps and asphalt felt both tear easily and neither one is really meant to stand up to sunlight, wind, and rain for extended periods of time. One good rainstorm with a bit of wind and your insulation and the paper-backing on the back side of your sheetrock could easily get damp. And damp insulation and sheetrock are feasts for molds!

If it were me, I'd probably inspect the current outer surface coverings (housewrap or asphalt felt) very carefully and if there were any evidence of tears or holes or moisture having gotten under them, I'd insist that those sections be taken down, and the OSB or plywood sheathing underneath unscrewed and removed so that I could inspect the insulation and sheetrock for any early signs of molds or dampness.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2012 at 1:25AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

"The outer cladding of a wall (whether, brick, stone, hardiplank, wood shingles, vinyl siding, stucco or whatever) is there to do more than just look pretty! It is the final layer that sheds water from your home and keeps the interior dry"

No, actually the final exterior siding is NOT the layer that protects against water intrusion (siding is not usually all that water tight). That function is the drainage plane behind the siding.

The siding is there to protect the drainage plane from physical damage, and make the house look nicer.

A layer of 5-pound roofing paper or Tyvec is not all that solar stable long term, and subject to physical damage.

It is also not what anyone usually wants on the exterior of their house to look like

Once the roof is on and drainage layer applied, then windows, the house is 'dried in' and work can continue on the interior systems and finishing.

A few weeks of exposure of the drainage plane is not harmful.


    Bookmark   June 17, 2012 at 10:03AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I would argue that the outer cladding is a major part of the "system" that protects a home against water intrusion. Granted, cladding typically is not completely weather tight. Nevertheless, it is still your home's PRIMARY barrier against moisture intrusion thru the walls. Properly installed wall cladding sheds a huge percentage of the rain that falls against your house so that only a very small portion of it ever even reaches the "drainage plane" behind the cladding.

If asphalt felt (tarpaper) or tyvek could actually shed ALL the rain that one gets in a typical thunderstorm, it wouldn't matter one whit if, for example, hardiplank boards were attached to the walls so that lower courses overlapped upper courses instead of vice-versa. If Brickeyee is correct that the cladding layer doesn't contribute significantly to keeping water out of your house, so long as the "drainage plane" wasn't physically damaged, all the water would still be stopped by the housewrap "drainage plane" layer and would just run down and out. Come on... We all know better than that.

Properly installed cladding IS your first and most important layer of defense against water intrusion. The so-called "drainage plane" is merely a backup secondary system that is only intended to keep any small amounts of moisture that manage to get behind the outer cladding from actually entering the house itself. It is simply not meant to be used as your primary water barrier. And by installing insulation and sheetrock and painting the interior before installing the outer cladding, your builder may be forcing a product that is only meant to deal with a few drops of water to deal with buckets of it!

Besides, just how long 15-lb felt paper or Tyvek or other housewraps can be exposed to the elements without damage is, as far as I know, an open question. Probably depends on whether it is on the sunny or shady side of the house (UV radiation causes both to break down over time) as well as just how much wind and rain it is exposed to.

I can tell you that last year DH and I built an 8x10 shed as a DIY project. We finished wrapping it it with 15 lb felt paper (not 5 lb) late one Sunday afternoon and didn't get back to start installing the Hardie siding until the following weekend. In that five-day interval we had a pretty good thunderstorm with blowing rains. When we got back out there on Saturday morning, there were places in where the felt paper was wrinkled and wavy indicating that moisture had already managed to get behind the felt paper. We did not see any moisture inside the shed...but then, the inner walls were still bare studs so any moisture that might have gotten in had had time to dry out. Nevertheless, we removed the wrinkled felt paper, made sure the OSB underneath was dry, and replaced the felt paper with fresh before installing our Hardie.

I've seen Tyvek left exposed for several months...tho, if it were my house, after about 60 days, I'd absolutely insist that they put on a fresh layer before installing the housewrap.

Just my take.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2012 at 2:02PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

"Nevertheless, it is still your home's PRIMARY barrier against moisture intrusion thru the walls."

No it is not.

The drainage plane behind the siding is the actual barrier.

Even brick houses get a drainage plane.

Siding is to protect the actual drainage plane.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 10:09AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Quote taken directly from Dupont Sheathing Membrane Installation:
"DuPont™ Tyvek® products are secondary weather barriers, not the primary water barrier. The outer façade is the primary barrier."
See: page 12 of pdf that is downloadable at

Quote taken directly from Barricade Building Products website regarding their housewrap called R-wrap:
"R-wrap® is a weather resistive membrane designed to defend against rain, wind, air, and moisture and provides a superior secondary line of defense against Mother Nature and her elements. R-wrap Protective Housewrap is a non-perforated polyolefin membrane that is installed beneath the exterior siding to reduce air infiltration and act as a weather resistive barrier. R-wrap Protective Housewrap is designed to provide a secondary line of defense against bulk water penetration and is not intended for use as a primary water barrier."

Asphalt felt manufacturers typically discuss use of their products on roofs rather than in walls however they agree that asphalt felt is a "secondary water barrier" not the primary water barrier. For example

Quote taken directly from Tarco Organic Asphalt Felt brochure:
"Asphalt Saturated Organic Felts are designed as an underlayment product to be applied over the
roof deck prior to the installation of asphalt shingles. Install Asphalt Saturated Organic Felts as a
secondary barrier to moisture caused by wind-driven rain and ice damming."

Finally, a quote taken directly from seminar presented at WESTCON ASTM E 2266 Seminar entitled The Enduring Mystery of Weather Resistive Barriers and the Need for Standards:
"What Is a Weather Resistive Barrier(WRB)?
• Component of a drainage wall system
• Secondary barrier to water penetration behind cladding" (underlining in the original)

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 12:01PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

It comes down to,
No, it is not normal.

And, I'd be asking a lot of questions to my builder.

And, I'd probably also be looking to require a mold inspection at 3, 6, and 12 months after siding does finally go up. (But that is me. And mold is easy to grow in my climate).

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 12:16PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

They Finish putting the mesh and some kind of black paper up(Doesn't look like tar paper that i have ever seen).
The Builder is telling the reason they waited is that Stucco does better when no one is banging on the walls inside the house. That's why they waited. My outside was sealed using Tremco Enviro-Dri Weather Resistant Barrier Home Wrap System.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 1:41PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Still seems to me like it would have been better to do the outside first and then use sheetrock screws to put up the interior sheetrock instead of nailing it. You get a better sheetrock installation with screws than nails anyway. (No nail pops to worry about later.) And I can't think of any other reason that there would be much heavy banging going on inside the house once all the framing is done.

Trim is put up using either small finish nails (which don't require heavy banging) or staples that are shot in with a staple gun. And my cabinetry was all screwed into place as well. I think the carpenter who built our cabinets would have died of apoplexy if anyone had started swinging a hammer anywhere NEAR those cabinets while installing them!

However, I found a website with FAQs about the Tremco Enviro-Dri WRB System and it says that it "can remain exposed to UV for up to 4 months." If true, and your builder doesn't delay too much longer in getting your exterior claddings up, you should be fine. BTW, the Tremco is an asphalt based emulsion that is apparently applied as a liquid (sprayed or painted on like tar?) so that you don't have any seams or nail punctures or anything like that in it.

Here is a link that might be useful: Tremco Enviro-Dri Weather Resistant Barrier FAQs

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 6:43PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

i don't know if your house finishes are similar to mine, but my contractor is not doing stucco or tile roofing until after he paints exterior gutters and trims. he also is doing drywall inside the house before he does stucco. apparently, the movement from the drywall installation (even though you use screws for drywall) can crack stucco, so he says you have to do stucco after drywall. stucco requires several coats. the first few coats must take time to cure before the final coats are applied.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2012 at 5:22PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Stucco is usually done AFTER drywall is hung at the least. Drywall is a very heavy product and will actually change the shape of the walls enough that it would cause additional cracks in the stucco (stucco will have some cracks after curing anyway).

    Bookmark   June 22, 2012 at 1:38PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Frank Betz Chapman from Start to Finish
Following in the footsteps of 'jnjmom,' our family...
New Build Floorplan, timberframe house, input appreciated
So I’m yet another person looking for input on a floorplan....
Windows question
How is this look achieved? Are these casement windows? What...
Working on plans, need advice
We're building in Missouri on 24 acres. We want one...
Have a personal build blog? Link it here!
I have LOVED looking through all the blogs that have...
Sponsored Products
Area Rug: Candice Olson Driftwood Brown 5' x 8'
Home Depot
Eastwood Leather Ottoman - Brighton Lemon Grass Yellow
Joybird Furniture
Hammer Bottle Opener
$7.99 | zulily
Contemporary Indoor/Outdoor Area Rug: Chandra Rugs Thomaspaul Chocolate/Cream 7
Home Depot
Art Virtuoso Turning Leaves Framed Art Print-P9897E-05646
Beyond Stores
Safari Rocking Chair
Classic Hostess
Bridgeport Brushed Nickel Three-Light Pendant
$339.99 | Bellacor
Textured Granite Outdoor Wall 1-Light
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™