Exterior of house: stucco over brick vs stucco alone

betsyokSeptember 18, 2012

We are getting ready to start building a new house, which will have a stucco exterior, and are getting conflicting opinions about how to apply the stucco. Our builder feels strongly about first bricking the house and then applying stucco over the brick. He says that this cuts down on moisture issues that tend to be associated with stucco exteriors. However, we have talked to some stucco and masonry companies who feel that if stucco is applied correctly ( with waterproofing layer, etc) there is no need for brick. We live in Oklahoma so not sure if that makes any difference. At this point we are just trying to educate ourselves as best we can and avoid any unnecessary costs (brick plus stucco is substantially more expensive) but we certainly don't want to run into major issues down the road. If stucco over brick offers substantial benefits it would clearly be worth the cost. Any opinions or advice would be greatly appreciated!

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there are several stucco systems available today. a couple of the more popular are EIFS type system and a traditional 3 coat.

i think the first thing you need to explain is how your home will be constructed? A home that was constructed using standard stick framing and OSB seathing would be pretty a traditional method. if that is the case then you can more than likley use either system i listed above. both will require the application of craft paper or tar paper etc to create a barrier between the finish coat and the wood structure of the home. Todays stucco typically has an acrylic topcoat as the final finish, this will have the pigment and sand included to give your stucco the trowl finish you choose.

IMHO in my climate (denver co) i do not like traditional 3 coat stucco finishes. the 3 coat systems dry and crack out over time, even with the use of control joints. if i had to use stucco in my climate i would use a EIFS system with the proper drainage protection between the foam and the home. EIFS got a bad rap in the begining because they thought it was a barrier type finish and never anticipated the leaks around window frames etc.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 3:26PM
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Is this hard coat stucco or EIFS? EIFS I wouldn't have on a bet. . . many lawsuits from years ago and those houses are extremely hard/impossible to sell around here. I had a home with EIFS accents before this one. It sold the first day we put it on the market. I am so thankful because I am not sure it would have passed the moisture meter test . . . I have heard the best way to do hard coat stucco is cement block then stucco. I would think that is much cheaper than brick and would probably provide the same level of water resistance. . .

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 6:00PM
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In the Atlanta area anything other than hardcoat stucco is nearly impossible to sell as athens eluded to. Even hardcoat has can be a tad difficult because people associate it with EIFS. The alternative is to do mortar washed brick. It gives the same appearance. That is very popular down here.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 7:11PM
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One thing you may not have considered is how it could potentially affect your Homeowners Insurance. Foe places in the country that are often hit by problems from highwinds, may find your insurance companies provide a discount due to the added protection. The discount may be signifigant. Even if you are far off from building, your insurance agent/company should be willing to give you a "what-if" quote.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 11:09PM
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Thank you everyone! We are planning to use hardcoat stucco. I will definitely check with my insurance company though... Great idea!

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 12:01AM
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