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Coarse Stucco on a Home’s Exterior: What Can Be Done?

  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Mike in Florida is on the line and needs help with a stucco project. Tell us what you’re working on.

    MIKE: I recently bought a house. Well, I bought it, actually, about a year ago. I moved here from Virginia and I’d looked around for just the right house, you know? Just finding the right house for the right money, then got a great deal on the house.

    TOM: OK.

    MIKE: Very sound house. Have virtually remodeled the whole interior on the house to my liking. I’m very happy with that.

    TOM: OK.

    MIKE: But the outside of the house has a very coarse stucco finish to it. If you rubbed up against it, it’d probably take the skin off of you; it’s that coarse. And I’m just curious, is there anything I can do to reduce the coarseness or take that stucco off without damaging the cinder block underneath? And it is cinder block, of course.

    TOM: OK. So it’s a masonry stucco on top of cinder block, correct?

    MIKE: Correct.

    TOM: So I mean you could add additional stucco to it and put a different finish on it but it’s a heck of a big project, Mike, for what you’re going to accomplish. And the adhesion is really important, so it has to be done right. They usually use a very stickier mix of stucco to get it to grab onto the old stuff. If it’s very rough like that, that can actually help you with the adhesion, help it hold on. But you’re going to have to have a mason come in and re-stucco the entire house to get that done.

    MIKE: Well, it would have to be – in order to take up all of this, I would say there was going to be anywhere from an inch to an inch-and-a-half of stucco additional.

    TOM: And you know what that’s going to do to your windows and doors, don’t you? You’re going to – all the window and door wells are going to be that much deeper.

    MIKE: Yeah.

    TOM: You know what this sounds to me like? It sounds to me like the kind of outside you’re going to have to get used to. So, I might think about a décor solution, I might think about changing the color, I might think about changing the landscaping. But the stucco itself, I’d probably leave just like it is.

    MIKE: Yeah, yeah. Maybe I’ll just – maybe at the other – a paint scheme of some sort would soften it.

    TOM: Exactly.

    MIKE: OK. I appreciate it. Thank you.

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