Expect to pay $500 to $1000 for stucco repair on average nationwide, or around $2000 to replace stucco on one side of an average garage. New stucco installation, for instance, on a new 12x12 addition, can cost $4,000 to $5,000 to install stucco on three walls.
Stucco specialists can repair, replace or apply new stucco to the siding of a home or building. Stucco is a finish that is applied to the exterior of a home to protect the framing and structure from the elements— a siding material that serves the same purpose as aluminum siding, vinyl siding or wood siding. Trying to coat stucco onto existing walls or handle stucco repair on our own is not a home improvement project for the average homeowner. Certainly stucco installation on an entire house is a job for a professional stucco company, as they'll know how to not only make the job look good, but ensure the stucco installation is done properly. This will protect you, and everything in your home, from the elements, and keep your home cozy and dry.
What’s in this Cost Guide?
- What can affect the cost to stucco a house?
- Stucco Cost per Square Foot
- Traditional Stucco vs. Engineered Stucco
- Stucco Siding Cost
- Stucco Repair Cost
- Stucco Application Techniques
- Stucco House Colors
- When to Repair Stucco
What can affect the cost to stucco a house?
The type of stucco used (engineered or synthetic stucco or traditional stucco), whether or not old siding needs to be repaired or removed can all have an affect on the total cost of adding stucco to a house. Stucco siding requires different techniques than wood, vinyl or aluminum siding, so it's a good idea to talk to a stucco company specifically rather than a general contractor when getting an idea of stucco siding cost or stucco repair costs. Remember that labor costs vary from region to region, so always call up a couple of local companies when looking for an idea of total cost. A stucco company in Los Angeles may have different rates than one in Minneapolis, but they'll also have experience in your area which is important when you consider weather and moisture concerns.
Stucco Cost per Square Foot
Expect to pay between $6 and $9 for stucco installation per square foot on national average. The type of stucco used (engineered or synthetic stucco or traditional stucco), whether or not old siding needs to be repaired or removed can all have an affect on the total cost of adding stucco to a house.
Traditional Stucco vs. Engineered Stucco
Stucco has been used in architecture for centuries and is prized for its durability, resistance to heat and beauty. Lime-based, or traditional stucco is quite different from the synthetic stucco products that have come to market in recent decades, says Tim Hanson of Tim Hanson Services in Elk River, Minnesota.
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. Engineered stucco has a much thinner and smoother final texture and is usually applied over a foam-based product, says Hanson of Tim Hanson Services. Engineered stucco is more likely to crack, which is why stucco in general has a developed a bad name among homeowners. Several factors affect the cost of having traditional stucco applied to a home.
Stucco Siding Cost
Expect to pay around $2000 on average to replace stucco on one side of an average garage. Stucco siding requires different techniques than wood, vinyl or aluminum siding, so it's a good idea to talk to a stucco company specifically rather than a general contractor when getting an idea of stucco siding cost or stucco repair costs. Remember that labor costs vary from region to region, so always call up a couple of local companies when looking for an idea of total cost. A stucco company in Los Angeles may have different rates than one in Minneapolis, but they'll also have experience in your area which is important when you consider weather and moisture concerns.
Stucco Repair Cost
A basic fist-sized stucco repair can cost nearly the same as a window-sized repair, says Hanson of Tim Hanson Services. One might think it would depend on the square feet to be repaired, but there is more involved. For stucco companies, it’s not just the material and the size of the repair, but it’s also the company’s business overhead—the stucco jobs not taken that day in lieu of selecting the current job, drive time and other business-related factors that determine cost. For this reason, many companies will have a flat rate or project cost instead of charging by the square foot. Here are some average cost examples for stucco repair and application from Tim Hanson Services:
- Window-sized or smaller stucco repair: $500
- Stucco repair around two windows and two doors: $1,000
- Stucco replacement on one side of an average garage: ~ $2,000
- New stucco installation on a 12x12 home addition: $4,000–$5,000
This job requires specialty matching to ensure that the three new exterior walls of the addition match the home’s existing stucco.
Stucco Application Techniques
The traditional technique of applying stucco to a home has been used for centuries, says Hanson at Tim Hanson Services, who learned the trade from an artisan in the 1970s. A wire lath (to reinforce the stucco) is installed over a water barrier of roofing felt. Two coats of stucco mud are applied (called the scratch coat and the brown coat) over the top at approximately ⅝-inch thick. The third and final layer is typically hand troweled for a smooth or textured finish.
Stucco House Colors
Color can also be added, says Hanson at Tim Hanson Services, 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, says Hanson. So always look for a stucco company that has a proven track record. While general contractors may have some experience in stucco, an experienced stucco company is your best bet.
When to Repair Stucco
Homeowners should inspect stucco siding regularly for cracks. Having issues repaired early can prevent leaks and rot—and save big money.
Vinyl, cement and wood siding are all prone to leaks, 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, says Hanson of Tim Hanson Services. "Stucco water infiltration is near invisible until it’s too late. Regular inspections for cracks and failing window sills are a must." His company operates in the upper midwest where freezes and thaws occur hundreds of times each year. 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 Hanson. By filling any voids found in stucco right away homeowners can keep their home 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, says Hanson of Tim Hanson Services. Wood swells in a wet environment so older, wood windows would push against the stucco in the rain, preventing moisture from seeping in. After clad windows became the norm, over time many homeowners discovered that these windows weren’t providing that same moisture barrier. Many homes suffered from rot, and stucco developed a bad name. 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.