How much does repairing stucco cost?
On average, stucco repairs cost $500 to $1,000. How much you pay will depend on the location and size of the damage or crack, the type of stucco you have, its texture and whether you need to paint or color-match it.
|Materials or Service Needed||National Cost (per sq. ft.)|
|Labor (e.g., contractors)||$8-$50 (or $40-$50 per hour)|
|Repair materials, traditional stucco||$0.05-$0.10|
|Repair materials, synthetic stucco||$0.25-$0.50|
|Vapor barrier sheathing||$1|
Stucco, a hand-troweled masonry plaster made of cement, water and sand, has been used as siding since the days of ancient Greece. It's a durable, fire-resistant option that protects a house from the elements and lasts an average of 50 years. Essentially a coat of concrete for your house, stucco is tough. It's also attractive, coming in textures ranging from pebbled to swirled to smooth. And, it's a definitive feature of Spanish, Mediterranean, Italianate and Pueblo Revival architecture.
However, stucco can be damaged by harsh weather or a settling house foundation, causing it to crack, chip or warp. Stucco cracks can let moisture reach a house's wood framing, causing rot or mold. Even a hairline crack can lead to significant and expensive damage to your home's structure.
Before you let your stucco cracks get any worse, get an estimate on the repair costs and hire a stucco repair professional to help.
What's included in this cost guide?
How much you pay to repair stucco walls will depend on the type of stucco you have, the extent of the damage, and whether you need to paint and color match the new stucco.
Nationally, contractors charge $40 to $50 per hour, on average, to repair stucco. Expect to pay between $8 and $50 per square foot for stucco repair. The range is big because the price you'll pay depends on the damage revealed when the pro removes the old stucco. Most homeowners will pay around $2,000 to replace stucco on a single exterior wall of a garage.
Type of stucco
There are two basic types of stucco used in residential construction, and which one your home has will impact the cost to repair damage and cracks:
- Traditional stucco: $0.05-$0.10 per square foot
- Synthetic stucco: $0.25-$0.50 per square foot
Also known as classic, hard coat or cement stucco, the traditional variety is made of cement, lime, sand and water. It's the old-school recipe that's been in use since the early 20th century. This type is porous, absorbing and then releasing water, so it stays away from the wood framing of the house. It's also more affordable than synthetic stucco, costing $0.05-$0.10 per square foot for materials.
Traditional stucco is troweled over a base layer called a lath that's usually made of sheets of metal wire attached to the exterior walls of a house. Pros generally put three coats of traditional stucco on a wall: the scratch or base coat, the brown coat and the colored top coat to which pigment has been added.
Synthetic stucco, or Exterior Insulation and Finish System (EIFS), is made of acrylic resins, polymers, crushed quartz, and sand and has been in use since the 1950s. It's applied over a layer of foam board insulation that's attached to the exterior wall of a house. Its topcoat has pigment and acrylic polymers that seal out water.
Synthetic stucco is completely waterproof, which is great — until water gets trapped behind it. Synthetic can't breathe like traditional stucco does, so when synthetic stucco fails or cracks, you're likely to have more extensive damage. And the damage will happen a lot faster.
It's also more expensive, at $0.25-$0.50 per square foot for materials, which is five times as much as traditional stucco.
The house's structure
It costs more to put stucco over walls made of wood substrates than walls made of masonry or concrete. Wood walls need a scratch coat and masonry walls do not, so the pro will need to apply more layers on wood walls than masonry ones.
Cost to remove old stucco
You may also pay a fee of $1.05 to $1.25 per square foot to haul away old stucco, though prices will be higher for multi-story houses. This is necessary if you have stucco that's bulging, has large stucco cracks or is falling off in chunks.
If this is your case, the pro will pull off the metal lath and vapor barrier to check for water damage before patching or repairing any damage or cracks.
Location of damage or cracks
If you have damage or cracks in a place that's tough for the pro to access — like the second story of a house or a wall with ornate trim — the repair will take longer and you will pay more in labor costs.
Stucco finishing materials
Anywhere the pro removes old or damaged stucco, they'll need to replace the lath and install a new vapor barrier as well, which adds to the total cost of the project. The average cost for additional materials are:
- Vapor barrier sheathing, $1 per square foot. Also called housewrap, vapor barrier sheathing is a protective cover made of polyethylene. It comes in rolls and is used to wrap the exterior walls of a house and keep moisture out.
- Lath, $1 to $1.30 per square foot. Lath goes on top of the housewrap. It's usually a metal mesh that strengthens the stucco. Some homes use wood lath instead of metal.
Color match and painting
After everything is patched and repaired, your contractor will need to blend the repaired area with the rest of the stucco wall. To do this, they'll match the hue of the new stucco with the rest of the house in one of two ways:
- Paint: For small repairs, a pro may blend the patched stucco with paint mixed to match the color of the rest of the house. The national average cost of exterior painting is $1.60 per square foot, so you would pay around $400 to repaint a 250-square-foot wall.
- Recoat: A basic recoat costs between $3 and $6 per square foot, depending on the condition, type and texture of your walls. For a large repair, you may need a pro to recoat the stucco on a large portion of the house to make the patch color match everything else, as well as seal out moisture. The topcoat will have a pigment pre-mixed into it, so you won't need any paint.
If your home has suffered water damage, you'll need to pay extra for repairs. These repairs range from getting rid of a nasty mold infestation, which costs $265 to $280, to rebuilding entire exterior stucco walls, which costs $1,300 to $1,700. Depending on the type and extent of damage, you may need to hire an additional contractor.
Some stucco damage isn't as obvious as a giant crack running up the side of your garage. If you notice any of the following in your home, your stucco walls may be damaged and need to be repaired:
- Cracks in stucco. Look for large, obvious cracks or hairline ones.
- Chips or chunks missing from stucco surface, as well as loose stucco that's at risk of coming off.
- Gaps or cracks in the caulk around windows or doors. This could be a sign the water has gotten behind the stucco.
- Damp or wet stucco, even a week or more after a storm. Look for water weeping from the walls, along the bottom edge, and bubbles or warped spots on the surface.
- Water stains or dark streaks on stucco under the corners of windows or where the roofing meets the walls.
- Rust spots on stucco surfaces.
- Moldy smell indoors.
Whether you're fixing small cracks or more extensive damage to your exterior stucco, the contractor will generally go through the following steps:
Step 1: The contractor will assess the damage and decide if it's minor enough to repair without removing old stucco.
Step 2: If the damage is significant, old and/or water may have gotten through, the pro will remove the damaged stucco flashing, vapor barriers, wood/metal lath, and any caulk with hand tools and chisel. This allows them to check the house for water damage.
Step 3: If your home has suffered water damage and needs repairs, you may need to contact a water damage specialist.
Step 4: After addressing any water damage repairs (if needed), the contractor will install a new vapor barrier and metal or wood lath.
Step 5: They will then begin patching the damaged stucco. If using traditional stucco, they'll put three layers on the wall, allowing time for each layer to seal before applying the next one. If using synthetic, they'll put one or two coats, depending on the process.
Step 6: The pro will brush a coat of paint over the patch area or recoat the house with a pigmented topcoat so everything matches.
How can you hire a stucco repair professional?
Whether you need someone to help with a stucco crack repair or an unusually bulging wall, be sure to:
Look for a qualified professional: Find a licensed stucco repair company with experience in your area. Look at the company's past projects and read reviews to check the quality of their work.
Get free estimates from multiple contractors and ask what's included in their costs. Will they charge extra to haul away old stucco? Does the price include materials like vapor barrier and lath? Make sure the work is itemized and written down in the quote.
Don't let stucco cracks and damage leave you with a soggy house. Get started on repairs today by finding a stucco repair professional near you on Thumbtack.