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stucco help

Posted by rockybird (My Page) on
Thu, Nov 22, 12 at 13:14

I have a 1958 midcentury home in Phoenix. The walls are all glass, red rock and block, no stucco. But the home has huge overhangs and soffits in stucco (4000 ft. worth). The stucco is terribly cracked. When I bought the house, there was massive water damage to the stucco from a bad roof (which the owners replaced - but never patched the water damage). I had the stucco repaired but the guy did a terrible job. It is a true eyesore. I finally decided to bite the bullet and get the stucco completely redone. I think I found a good stucco co.

I want a flat look but I dont know what to choose. The lowest price was for a sand stucco finish. The second price was for "synthetic double spread freeform stucco." The highest price was for a cement veneer type stucco. I want the flatest look I can get, but I dont really understand the stucco choices. The ctr. has tried to explain them to me,but I am not sure he understands what I want. I am also reading bad things about synthetic stucco. Thanks for any advice!


He will replace flashing with custom metal one in this pic. Block wall will be finished and soffit cut back.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: stucco help


I was just thinking about you the other day and wondering how your house was coming along. Re synthetic stucco -- the problem typically arises in the installation -- not with the product itself. It has to have the right underlayment, and it has to be handled correctly around doors, windows. I don't know all the details, but I know that's where most of the failures occurred when it first hit the market.

Re the finishes, I would ask him to show you samples of the different finishes he offers. Because one stucco installer's "cement veneer type" may not be the same as the next installer's version. Can he direct you to some of his finished projects? Or can he show you something on a board as an example? that way you both see the same thing at the same time and agree on it. No surprises.

And you could start your decision process by driving around and photographing houses/buildings with the finish you like. That will help you narrow it down and then will give you something to show him.

RE: stucco help

I am waiting for some overdue interior photos :(

What is the underlying structure beneath the stucco? I believe the problems with the synthetic stucco was that it let water IN at improperly done joints around openings and such but did not let water back OUT and the sheathing and insulation and back of the drywall was saturated and the house rotted from the inside out.

RE: stucco help

Thank you guys! Palimpsest! jakabedy! How are you? I miss this forum!

The stucco ctr. (who is licensed, no complaints) is going to stucco over the current stucco. I believe there is wood underneath that stucco. I spoke with the architect whom I couldnt get ahold of earlier and he said I want the synthetic. The ctr. says that the problems with the synthetic stucco were from it being installed incorrectly. He did direct me to a flat synthetic finish on a bank similar to what he would do on my house, but it is a 20 mile drive. However, he is going to do a sample for me.

BUT, since I posted, I decided to replace the roof and return it to it's orignal height before I stucco. If you look in the pics above, you can see there is a 12 inch wide piece of wood covering a gap from the past owners raising the roof. The wood is rotted and ugly and I hate it.

I will get some pics of the inside soon! Not much progress has been done, as I became tired of the whole process...but I'm ready to tackle it again with stucco, landscaping, new roof and paint. :)

original roof line:


RE: stucco help

Why did they raise the roof? Was it to add ductwork or wiring? Wait a minute -- I think I remember your ductwork is in the slab. So maybe they raised it just for wiring (wasy to retrofit when you fix the roof), or maybe because the original roof failed (which won't be a problem when you get it all redone, anyway.

And I can totally understand needing to take a break from such a big project. But we're here for you when you need us!

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