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Stucco Siding Cost

Stucco Siding Cost

National average
$10,500 - $12,000
(installation of traditional stucco over a 1,500 sq.ft. home with standard trim)
Low: $8,000 - $10,000

(one-coat stucco with standard trim)

High: $12,900 - $14,000

(decorative trim and painting)

Cost to install stucco siding varies greatly by region (and even by zip code).
Get free estimates from siding contractors in your city.

The average cost of installing stucco siding is $10,500 - $12,000​.

In this guide

Pros and cons
Prep work
Traditional 3-coat stucco installation
Thin-coat stucco installation
EIFS installation
Labor
Maintenance
Brick vs stucco siding
Enhancement and improvement costs
Additional considerations and costs
FAQ

How much does it cost to install stucco siding?​

Stucco is one of the oldest materials used to side a home or building. Originally, stucco 1 contained lime as its base, and was used by ancient Greeks and Romans to side their homes. In the 1900s, concrete was introduced, and became a better, more workable alternative to lime, increasing the popularity of the material.

Stucco is primarily found in regions with warmer climates, because it doesn’t tend to do well in freeze/thaw areas. Newer materials are emerging, however, that stand up better, and allow it to be used more widely.

There are many different types of stucco, as well as different finishing techniques, which means that the material has a very wide range of costs. The average homeowner who is stuccoing over a timber home finds that they pay around $7 per square foot for the job. This makes a 1,500 sq.ft. exterior around $10,500 for the completed job of three-coat hard stucco with a scratch finish.

Pros and cons

Like any siding material, stucco 1 has its positive and negative attributes. Stucco can last 50 or more years when treated properly, and is extremely fire-resistant. It’s also insect-resistant, and can be applied to many styles of homes and building materials. While it’s primarily used in Spanish-style architecture, it also works well on modern and contemporary home styles, and newer materials mean that it can now be used in more moderate climates as well as hot, dry ones.

It’s important to note that, stucco will crack if the foundation of the home settles, and may sometimes crack even with no settling. It has a very low R-value, much lower than wood siding, and doesn’t do well in particularly damp climates. If stucco cracks, it allows moisture to infiltrate, which can lead to mold issues over time. It can also be difficult to repair, often necessitating the repainting of the entire home to match the new section.

Prep work

Before your new stucco 1 siding can be applied to your home, some degree of preparation must take place. First, any old siding material must be removed. This includes not only the siding itself, but anything beneath it, such as old wrap, rigid foam board, vapor barrier 2, or any type of existing lath. Stucco can be applied over brick, masonry, and concrete, so these materials may be left alone, provided they are in good condition.

The house is given a new layer of wrap, which in this case will be a water-resistant material, such as asphalt 3 paper, and a metal lath 4 or a mesh screen is applied to the exterior. This is what the stucco will be applied to and will hold it to the house, and it may vary in type depending on your home, your area, and your builder. There are generally a few types of lath, including woven wire, welded, and expanded metal, and in many cases they can all work well beneath stucco.

Depending on the type of stucco you are having applied, there may be additional steps, such as installing foam board before EIFS stucco.

Traditional 3-coat stucco installation

Traditional stucco 1 is sometimes called 3-coat or hard-coat stucco, because it’s applied in three distinct layers over the course of several days. After the water-resistant wrap is applied to the house and the metal lath 4 installed, the first coat, known as the scratch coat, is installed. The scratch coat is a thin layer of cement-based stucco that is applied roughly to the lath. It’s meant to give a rough surface to the home that the next coat of stucco can adhere to. Keep in mind that for masonry or brick houses, a scratch coat is unnecessary, as the rough texture of the existing walls is enough for the next coat to go on.

The second coat of stucco is known as the brown coat. The brown coat is the structure of the siding. It’s what adds strength and integrity to the walls, and provides a surface for the final, finish coat to go on.

The brown coat needs to cure slowly over a few days. It’s important to keep the stucco wet while it cures to prevent it from curing too quickly, which can cause it to crack.

The finish coat is the final layer of the job. This is hand-troweled on in a variety of textures and aggregates to give the home its final look. Pigments are often added to the finish coat in lieu of painting the stucco.

Labor costs start at $4 per square foot, and go as high as $10 per square foot for this type of stucco application. The stucco itself can be purchased pre-mixed in each of the coat materials, or aggregate can be added separately. This adds around $2-$3 per square foot to the costs of the project.

Thin-coat stucco installation

Thin-coat stucco 1 is sometimes also known as one-coat stucco. It’s also a hard stucco, like the traditional, and may sometimes be referred to as one, hard coat stucco. It’s relatively uncommon in many areas, and you may have difficulty finding an installer who has worked with it before.

In this case, a metal lath 4 is used like in traditional stucco. But rather than applying a scratch coat and brown coat, a single coat of material, which is mixed with fiberglass 5, is applied directly to the lath. This makes the installation process much faster, because you don’t need to wait for each coat to cure before applying the next. The finish coat is applied right away and, with the fiberglass included, has the strength necessary from the beginning. It can also be pigmented and finished with a variety of textures.

Because it takes less time to install and requires less material overall, it’s also less expensive. Labor costs are closer to $2 to $5 per square foot, while the material itself costs $1 to $3 per square foot.

EIFS installation

EIFS is the latest development in stucco 1 materials. It stands for Exterior Insulation and Finish System, and is made up of many thin layers of material over a foam insulation, with a top coat that is designed to resist moisture. It’s made by using an adhesive to apply the foam to the substrate, then a base coat is put on the foam board. Mesh or lath is embedded in the base coat, and allowed to cure. From there, the finish coat is added. The finish coat contains polymers that makes it more flexible, less likely to crack, and more water-resistant. Like the other types of stucco, it can be pigmented and finished with different textures.

This is a less common method of stuccoing as well and, because of the higher costs of the materials and the labor intensive process, it’s also one of the most expensive forms. Labor tends to be closer to $9 to $10 per square foot, while material is $3 to $5 per square foot.

Labor

Applying stucco to a home is a fairly labor-intensive process. The different layers are applied by hand, one at a time. Unless you are using a one-coat system, there is also considerable curing time between each layer. The curing process must be watched to ensure it’s proceeding at the correct rate. Trying to speed up the process can potentially lead to cracking and shrinkage that can compromise the long-term integrity of the siding.

For this reason, it’s common for labor costs to range from $3 to $9 per square foot for applying stucco to a home. These figures can go even higher if you are also having trim applied or repairing damage to the substrate first. Most people tend to pay around $4-$5 per foot in labor costs, with an added $2-$3 per square foot in material costs for a total of around $7 per square foot for the project, including finish work.

Maintenance

Stucco 1 doesn’t require a lot of maintenance, but you do want to keep up with it to ensure that it lasts its maximum lifespan.

The biggest issue that stucco faces is a settling foundation. For that reason, it’s generally recommended to have your soil checked regularly and to take steps to ensure it is not shifting or moving.

If the stucco becomes dirty, it can be cleaned with a soft- to medium-bristled brush and a garden hose. Do not use a high pressure washing system on stucco, as this can damage it.

Mold can be removed with a water and bleach solution and gentle scrubbing, while efflorescence can be removed with a vinegar and water solution.

Brick vs stucco siding

If you want a long-lasting siding that isn’t a traditional lap material, you may wish to consider both brick and stucco. Both materials have pros and cons that may make one or the other a better fit for your home.

StuccoBrick
Lasts around 50 yearsCan last more than 100 years
Moderate fire resistanceExcellent fire resistance
Low R-valueLow R-value
Susceptible to crackingVery low maintenance
Many colors/finishes availableLimited colors available
$8,000-$12,000 for a 1,500 sq.ft. home$14,000-$18,000 for a 1,500 sq.ft. home


Enhancement and improvement costs

Old siding removal

If you are removing old siding in order to stucco 1 your home, you may have a siding removal and disposal fee of around $500 added to the cost of the project. This cost may be higher or lower depending on the type of material, how easily it comes off, and how it is disposed of.

Painting stucco

While stucco can be pigmented in several colors, many people choose to paint it, particularly after a repair to match up the old and new sections. Painting your stucco adds around $750 to $900 to the cost of the project. Always wait at least 6 weeks for new stucco to cure before painting it.

Additional considerations and costs

  • In some areas you may need a permit before applying stucco 1 to your home. Always visit your local municipality to find out more before you begin.
  • Stucco should ideally be applied on an overcast day with low wind and temperatures between 50 and 60 degrees F. If the temperatures in the week following will be below 40 or above 90 degrees, it’s best to wait, to ensure that the stucco cures correctly.
  • In the US, most stucco homes are located in the West, Southwest, and Florida regions, as these areas are most likely to use the Spanish-style architecture stucco is known for, and also have the right climate. However, stucco is beginning to be used in other areas of the country as well.
  • Always get a minimum of 3 estimates when hiring anyone to work on your home.
  • Stucco is not considered a DIY job, as the process of applying it requires a great deal of knowledge and skill to ensure it does not crack.
  • In the case of rot or moisture issues, your home may need to be repaired or re-stuccoed in places. An average 100 square foot repair costs between $700 and $1,000, although you may also need to repaint the structure to blend the two areas, raising your final costs.
  • To make your stucco project a “greener” siding choice, consider purchasing stucco mixture created with lime, rather than cement, as cement has been found to give off carbon dioxide.

FAQ

  • Is it cheaper to stucco or siding?

Actually, the two are fairly consistent with one another, with stucco 1 costing around $10,500 for a 1,500 sq.ft. home, while siding starts at $8,000 and goes to around $12,000.

  • How much does it cost to stucco a home?

Stucco typically costs around $7 per sq.ft. on average to install, but may cost more or less, depending on the type you choose and the area you live in.

  • How long does stucco siding last?

Stucco typically lasts around 50 years when it’s well maintained.

  • Is stucco siding bad?

No, stucco is a fairly durable and low-maintenance material that looks good on many styles of home.

  • How much does it cost to stucco a 1,500 sq.ft. house?

The average cost to stucco a 1,500 sq.ft. home is about $10,500.

  • Can you put siding on a stucco house?

In most cases it’s not recommended to side over stucco.

  • How long does stucco siding last?

Stucco lasts around 50 years if it’s well maintained.

  • Is stucco cheaper than stone?

Yes, stucco is less expensive than either stone or brick, which both start around $14,000.

  • How much does stucco cost per sq.ft.?

Stucco costs around $7 per sq.ft. on average.

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Remodeling Terms Cheat Sheet

Definitions in laymen's terms, cost considerations, pictures and things you need to know.
See full cheat sheet.
glossary term picture Stucco 1 Stucco: A type of durable plaster finish made of aggregates, a binder, and water (traditionally Portland cement, sand, and water) used on masonry, walls, ceilings, and decorative moldings
2 Vapor barrier: A protective cover, commonly made of polyethylene, used for damp proofing walls and floors
glossary term picture Bitumen 3 Asphalt: A viscous, black mixture of hydrocarbons often used for roofing and waterproofing. It is also used in asphalt for paving roads
glossary term picture Metal Lath 4 Metal lath: Mesh made out of metal, that is used as a support for heavier siding materials like brick or stone veneer
glossary term picture Fiberglass 5 Fiberglass: Plastic that is reinforced with glass fibers. The fibers may be mixed randomly throughout the plastic, or come in the form of a flat sheet, or be woven into a fabric

Cost to install stucco siding varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

picture related to the guide

Labor cost by city and zip code

Compared to national average
Athens, GA
-9%
Austin, TX
+13%
Baltimore, MD
+12%
Barstow, CA
-1%
Baton Rouge, LA
+19%
Bronx, NY
+32%
Brooklyn, NY
+16%
Charleston, SC
-1%
Charlotte, NC
+6%
Chesapeake, VA
-6%
Chicago, IL
+40%
Cincinnati, OH
+6%
Colorado Springs, CO
-3%
Columbus, OH
+5%
Corpus Christi, TX
+4%
Dallas, TX
+10%
Denver, CO
+1%
Detroit, MI
+16%
Fremont, CA
+35%
Glen Ellyn, IL
+42%
Greensboro, NC
-9%
Henderson, KY
-10%
Houston, TX
+24%
Huntsville, AL
-17%
Indianapolis, IN
+6%
Jacksonville, FL
-1%
Jonesville, MI
-32%
Katy, TX
+63%
Lemoore, CA
-8%
Los Angeles, CA
+11%
Louisville, KY
-7%
Mc Kenzie, TN
-28%
Memphis, TN
+11%
Miami, FL
+1%
Milwaukee, WI
+12%
Minneapolis, MN
+25%
Nashville, TN
+21%
Oakland, CA
+36%
Odessa, TX
-5%
Oklahoma City, OK
-12%
Pacifica, CA
+44%
Philadelphia, PA
+40%
Phoenix, AZ
0%
Portland, OR
+11%
Providence, RI
+13%
Puyallup, WA
-1%
Rochester, NY
+6%
Roseville, CA
+6%
San Jose, CA
+33%
Smyrna, GA
+10%
Labor cost in your zip code
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Methodology and sources