The average cost of stucco is $10,000-15,000 installed on a 1,600 sq.ft. ranch house. Stucco is a high end siding material, which is most commonly used on Contemporary, Mediterranean, Ranch and Spanish-mission style homes.
One of stucco’s greatest benefits is that it works well on its own, or in combination with other siding materials, such as: fiber cement, metal, wood and stone. Moreover, you can paint it in a wide array of colors, creating a truly custom look for your house.
How much does it cost to stucco a house?
Stucco is one of the most expensive siding materials. Homeowners across the US report spending $6-9 per square foot to install traditional stucco (materials and installation). This is equivalent to $600 – 900 per square installed (100 square feet). Overall, you can expect to spend $6,000-9,000 for 1,000 square feet of stucco installation.
Synthetic (acrylic) stucco is considerably more expensive. Synthetic materials alone can be 4-5 times more expensive per square foot than traditional stucco, due to the presence of polymers used in the mix.
If you are putting on stucco as a replacement siding, you also need to fact in the cost to remove and dispose of old siding. This can range from $450-600 depending on the amount of work required.
An 80-90 lb bag of traditional stucco costs $10-15. This provides 100-180 sq.ft. of coverage. This roughly amounts to the price of $0.05-0.10 per square foot. A bag of finishing coat stucco costs $18-22. However, since the finishing coat is thinner, you will need fewer bags.
Comparatively, a 5 gallon bucket of synthetic stucco costs about $40-50. This provides 100-250 sq.ft. of coverage, depending on the texture you choose to do. This cost is equivalent to $0.25-0.50 per square foot.
As you can see the price for synthetic stucco mixture is about 5 times more expensive than the classic one.
What is the difference between traditional and synthetic stucco?
Someone looking at a stucco house will not be able to tell the difference between traditional vs acrylic(EIFS) mix. While having a nearly identical exterior look, the two types of stucco have a very different material composition.
Traditional stucco is made up of Portland cement, lime, sand and water. It is the most common material of choice for siding installers and has been used for hundreds of years. Its also known as “classic” “hard coat” or “cement” stucco finish.
Its applied over a mesh screen or a lath base. Usually 3 coats are put on and finished with a special acrylic polymer finish that protects the wall from cracking.
Synthetic stucco is composed of acrylic resins, polymers, crushed quartz and sand. It has been developed in the late 1940’s and became increasingly popular since the 1970’s. Its also known as “acrylic”, “EIFS” or “elastomeric” stucco.
Its applied over a rigid foam insulation board. Then one coat of EIFS is put on, followed by a fiberglass mesh screen, and finished with a top coat synthetic stucco.
Which material is better?
While acrylic stucco is significantly more expensive to put on a house than traditional stucco, it boasts some major advantages:
– Provides better insulation than traditional mix, due to its multi-layered application
– Greater energy efficiency, which translates into monthly savings on energy bills
– More flexible material, which can be applied over fancy architectural house details and accents, making it popular with high-end homes. This type of ornate application is not possible with traditional stucco.
– Its designed to repel water and is considered water-resistant.
– Unlike the classic mixture, synthetic stucco color will not yellow or fade over time. This means you will not need to spend money on the cost of repainting further down the line.
– There is a greater variety of acrylic colors than classic ones. They are also brighter and have a much better consistency, compared to traditional stucco colors.
– Each bath of cement based stucco will actually have a slightly different color, which is a big disadvantage. Consequently, if using traditional mixture, its recommended to go for very light colors, where these variations will not be noticeable.
– Many different textures can be achieved, which are not possible with hard coat stucco. Some manufacturers offer specialty textures that are made up of different size sand particles, so you can achieve a highly customized
Here are some of the unique synthetic stucco textures, manufactured by Dryvit:
Cost of Labor
Typically, siding contractors charge $40-60 per hour to install stucco. The price variation depends on your geographic location, as well as the size and architectural complexity of your house. If you have a two storie home with numerous architectural details, you may get as much as a 50% up charge on labor.
Its important to note that applying acrylic stucco requires more skill and experience that a traditional cement mixture, because it dries much faster.
Avoid hiring cheap contractors
Because stucco is a highly rigid material, professional installation is necessary to avoid cracks and other problems.
Another danger with poor installation is the potential for moisture to seep in between the siding and sheathing. Eventually, this will cause rot and mold, and will cost thousands of dollars to fix. In fact, if a contractor does not properly seal stucco, moisture and subsequent rot will infiltrate the material. This will eventually cause very ugly stains, known as “stucco tears”. It can cost up to $200,000 or more to do major repairs and install new siding.
Moisture infiltration is a particularly serious risk with synthetic stucco. Chemicals that are used to make the material waterproof also trap moisture. As a result, if you apply synthetic stucco to walls which are not solid (most homes in USA don’t have solid walls), or around windows and doors, it will be highly susceptible to moisture infiltration, and all the resulting problems. Only a highly trained professional can install synthetic stucco in a way that will avoid this problem. But, this will considerably drive up the cost of stucco installation.
Overall, because improperly installing stucco can have many problems and very high repair costs, it is very important to only hire a very experienced contractor. Always ask for at least 3 references of recently completed jobs.
Cost to paint stucco
Typically stucco is a whitish or grey color. It can be painted any color of your choice for an additional charge. You should budget between $750-900 for every 1,000 sq.ft. of siding that need to be painted. It is very important to wait for about 6 weeks for the stucco to set in, before painting it.
Average paint prices are $30-50 per gallon depending on the quality of finish and the brand. Typically, painters apply a coat of primer and two coats of paint to achieve the desirable stucco color.
The most popular colors used for stucco applications are:
– white (various shades)
– grey (typically light to medium shade)
– two tone color combinations
To add some accent colors to your siding can increase your total cost by at least $300-400. This will depend on the number of extra colors you want, and the overall scope of work.
If you want to add more texture to your stucco siding, this can cost an additional $450-550 for every 1,000 sq.ft. Despite the added cost, this may be a good enhancement project, since extra texture helps protect your walls from cracking.
If your siding happens to have a lot of dirt, it will need to be thoroughly cleaned before applying fresh paint. Depending on the size of your house, this can add $250-350 in labor costs.
Stucco Repair Cost
If you are considering stucco siding, you should be aware that its repair costs are significantly higher than for other types of siding. The average price to repair stucco siding start at $550-1,700.
Depending on the amount of damage, you will spend $250-1,200 to fix cracked or chipped stucco. Prices to restore stained stucco range from $350-900 depending on the number and size of stains. Budget for an additional $450-800 to repaint the affected area.
If large sections of siding need to be replaced, the cost is significantly higher, and can range from $3,000-8,000, depending on the size and scope of the project.
Since stucco is prone to moisture related problems, its possible that mold will develop as well. Expect to spend $12,000-16,000 on mold remediation and stucco repair, especially if a large area of the walls is impacted.
Keep in mind that all repairs that need to be performed above ground, using scaffolding and ladders will have at least at 25-30% labor upcharge.
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