How much does it cost to stucco a house?
On average, applying stucco costs $6-$9 per square foot. Most homeowners pay only $250-$535 for stucco application. However, prices can reach as high as $5,000-$7,800. It mostly depends on the size of the surface area. For example, installing stucco on a 12x9 wall can cost anywhere from $1,300-$1,700.
The amount you pay to stucco a house will also depend on the type of stucco you need to repair and whether you need to repair or replace existing siding.
|National average cost||$350|
|Average cost range||$250-$535|
|High-end cost range||$5,000-$7,800|
Whether it's one wall or a whole house, you'll want to get an estimate on stucco costs and how much this project will cost you before you hire a stucco contractor to help.
What's in this cost guide?
You can estimate it will cost $6-$9 per square foot to add stucco to your house. The bigger the wall, the higher the cost.
Material and stucco costs will depend on the type you use (traditional vs. engineered). Expect to pay around $2,000 on average to replace or install new stucco on one side of an average-sized garage's exterior.
The cost to stucco a house depends on the type of stucco used (engineered, synthetic or traditional stucco), the number of square feet of siding and whether old siding needs to be repaired or removed.
Traditional stucco vs. engineered stucco
The material costs for stucco siding will depend on if you're using traditional or engineered stucco, also known as exterior insulation finishing system (EIFS). The average cost for traditional, cement-based stucco is $0.05-$0.10 per square foot, compared to $0.25-$0.50 per square foot for EIFS (just for materials, not installation or labor costs).
Stucco has been used in architecture for centuries and is prized for its durability, heat resistance, and beauty. Traditional stucco is a mix of cement, sand-lime and water and is quite different from the synthetic stucco products on the market, says a Thumbtack pro and stucco specialist in Elk River, Minnesota. Both are used for exterior walls and sidings on houses, while plaster is used indoors.
The application of high-end traditional stucco requires a skilled craftsman and generally costs more upfront, but it will last longer and protect the house in a way that saves money in the long run. Traditional stucco is heavy and handles wet weather well.
EIFS has a much thinner and smoother final texture and is usually applied over a foam-based product. Engineered stucco is also more likely to crack but is still energy-efficient and lends itself to more complex designs.
Stucco repair cost
Stucco repair costs are impacted by the square foot size of the area in need of repair. Most companies will have a base rate that means a basic fist-sized stucco repair might cost nearly the same as a window-sized repair.
For stucco companies, it's not just the material and the size of the repair — it's also the company's business overhead and labor costs. For this reason, many companies will have a flat rate or project cost instead of charging by the square foot.
Here are some examples of average costs for stucco repairs and installation from a Thumbtack pro in Minnesota:
- Window-sized or smaller stucco repair: $500
- Stucco repair around two windows and two doors: $1,000
- Stucco replacement on one exterior wall of a garage: $2,000
- New stucco installation on three walls of a 12x12 home addition: $4,000-$5,000
The final project required special matching to ensure the three new exterior walls match the home's existing stucco.
Stucco installation involves a three-coat process. First, the contractor will install a wire lath to reinforce the stucco over a water barrier of the roofing felt. Then, two coats of stucco mud, the scratch coat and the brown coat, over the top at approximately ⅝-inch thick. Finally, they install the third and final layer, which is typically hand-troweled for a smooth or textured finish.
You can add color using powdered ore to either color match the existing stucco on a home or create a new color. New products on the market provide more color ranges than the white, brown and gray palettes of traditional powdered ore.
Matching the color and texture of existing stucco when doing a home addition or a repair takes experience. So always look for a stucco company that has a proven track record. While general contractors may have some experience in stucco, a contractor or company with experience in masonry is better.
Homeowners should inspect stucco siding regularly for cracks. Compared to more popular siding materials, like vinyl siding, stucco tends to need repairs more often. However, repairing issues early on can prevent leaks and rot — and save you money in the long run.
Vinyl, cement and wood siding are all prone to leaks and water damage, but stucco siding material is so airtight that it doesn't let any breeze in to help dry moisture out once it has entered through cracks.
"Stucco water infiltration is near invisible until it's too late. Regular inspections for cracks and failing window sills are a must," says a Thumbtack pro in Minnesota. His stucco company operates in the upper Midwest, where freezes and thaws often occur, raising the risk of water damage.
Concerns about water infiltration and freeze-thaw cycles will differ depending on where you live, so this is one home improvement project where your zip code matters. This expansion and contraction of water causes small cracks in stucco, which eventually turn into sizeable leaks. “Homeowners can save thousands of dollars with a few bucks and some preventative work each year," says the Thumbtack pro.
By filling any voids found in stucco right away, homeowners can keep their homes moisture-free and their stucco healthy for life.
The transition from wood brick mold exterior windows to clad vinyl, aluminum or steel nailing flange windows in the late 1980s caused a lot of problems for homeowners with stucco siding. Wood swells in wet environments. Older wood windows would push against the stucco in the rain, preventing moisture from seeping in. After clad windows became the norm, many homeowners discovered these windows weren't providing that same moisture barrier. Many homes suffered from rot as a result.
In the early 2000s, industry standards changed and building inspectors now check for this issue. In addition, the Lath and Plasters Bureau has developed policies on appropriate stucco installation techniques.
Stucco siding requires different techniques than wood, aluminum or vinyl siding, so it's a good idea to talk to a siding contractor that specializes in stucco rather than a general contractor.
A specialist will be able to give you a better estimate of installation or repair costs for stucco siding. They'll also have experience in your local area, which is important when you consider weather and moisture concerns.
Find stucco contractors near you
Whether you need to re-stucco a cracked wall on your garage exterior, or you're installing new siding on an addition to match the rest of your Spanish-style abode, a contractor can help. Find a stucco contractor near you on Thumbtack.