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Stucco
Stucco had its origins thousands of years ago as it was used on some of mankind's most significant and historic structures. Today it sets a standard for energy conservation, sustainability and low maintenance. Because of its many features and benefits, stucco continues to be one of the nation's most widely used sidings.

features
and
Benefits
  Water
Resistance
Life Cycle Impact
Resistance
Energy
 
  Value Sustainability Application Increasing Popularity
 
  Versatility Texture Weather
Resistance
Color

  Stucco is accepted in virtually any design genre. Whether you’re interested in Colonial or Victorian, Southwest or Modern, or anything you want to express your individual style, stucco is very accommodating. Like the flat clean look? What about adding a little more curb appeal with quoins, keystones and other aesthetic elements? Stucco can also be combined with other natural building materials. Add a little stone or some cedar for a homier or more rustic charm. Stucco can give you the look you want, at a price that makes sense.
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  The rich dark hue of Aztec Red, to the brilliance of Starch White and everything in between. How about the old world ambiance of Tuscany? Or the mottled look of Adobe” Color can be field mixed to your specifications or it can be defined by manufacturer’s color charts.

  Only limited by the imagination. Stucco finish coats can be manipulated from medium Sand to high build Glacier or Spanish Lace textures. Can't make up your mind? Let us direct you to where you can view some of the more popular styles on-line.

  Get out your hose and spray stucco; although you might be there a while. Contrary to popular belief, stucco is very water resistant. Professional testing conducted by the Northwest Wall and Ceiling Bureau and Florida Concrete and Products Association confirm this fact.

Here are some independent reviews of stucco's water resistance.
Is stucco water resistant?
Yes. Stucco sprayed for over two hours with 112 gallons of water per hour at a pressure equal to a wind-driven rain showed no signs of moisture on the back of the stucco. [ Source: Federal Testing Laboratories ]

Does stucco drain?
Yes. Water sprayed into a designed opening at the top of a stucco wall assembly drains between the water-resistant barrier and the back surface of the stucco. [ Source: Federal Testing Laboratories ]

Can stucco be installed with an enhanced drainage plane?
Yes. Although it may not be necessary in every circumstance, enhanced drainage systems can be beneficial for complex homes with higher than average exposure with driven rain.

Is solar-driven vapor a problem with stucco?
No. Solar-driven vapor does not pose a substantial problem with stucco, when the right combinations of materials are used. [ Source: University of Minnesota Building Physics and Foundations Research Programs ]
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  Because stucco is monolithic (continuous with no seams, laps or breaks) it can rebuff the effects of high wind better than most claddings. We've all seen those horrible news stories where the hurricane or tornado has devastated a town or suburb. Not surprisingly, stucco homes on average seem to hold up much better. Recent studies conducted by the Florida Concrete and Products Association in May 2007 illustrate stucco's effectiveness in holding out wind and rain at hurricane speeds of 155 mph for 4 hours and 180 mph for 24 hours.

  Stucco is noncombustible. It is a Class I exterior cladding with a flame spread resistance rating of 0 and smoke developed rating of 0. The International Building Code recognizes that framed walls comprised of 7/8" stucco on the exterior face and an interior thermal barrier of 5/8 Type X Gypsum Board provide a fire resistance rating of 1 hour. Lessons learned by California fires, such as the Laguna Beach Firestorm in 1993, the Oakland Hills Fire of 1991 and more recently San Diego County, CA 2007, illustrate that stucco homes provide superior fire resistance than claddings of wood or vinyl.

  Have you ever seen what golf ball size hail can do to vinyl siding? What about those pesky woodpeckers tapping on your neighbor's cedar sided house? We dare you! Get out the weed wacker, stucco can take whatever Mother Nature and you can dish out!

  Stucco's mass and air barrier-like qualities make it the energy leader in keeping a home impervious to winter's winds, but comfortably cool in summer's heat.

If your clients care about energy efficiency, saving money in the long run, and being environmentally friendly, let them know what industry experts say about stucco.

"Given that each siding material is performing at its best, and is properly installed, stucco is the best choice for efficiency." [Source: Service Magic, a Fortune 500 company representing 43,000 contractors throughout the U.S. ]

Experts agree that stucco is the right choice for low maintenance and life span are important.
Fact: In Minnesota 70% of all-stucco homes ever built are still standing.
Fact: Most experts rate the life of a stucco wall to be 50+ years.
Expert Opinion: The Minnesota Green Affordable Housing Guide states "...stucco is chosen for residences that require extremely low maintenance and have an anticipated life span of 50 years or more."
Expert Opinion: In Sarah Susanka's book, The Not So Big House, it states, "...stucco will last for decades, and would be easier and more cost-effective to maintain."
Expert Opinion: On the DIY Network segment, "Choosing a Siding Material", stucco was selected because most importantly, "standard stucco exteriors are low maintenance ... lasting more than 50 years."
Stucco is the leading cladding when rated for low maintenance, energy, efficiency and curb appeal.
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  Stucco's market share, since 2000, has increased 29% making it the fastest growing siding choice in the U.S. Today, 22% of all home buyers choose stucco.
Year Stucco Brick Wood Vinyl Aluminum
2000 17 20 14 39 1
2005 22 20 7 34 1

  The average dollar increase in single family homes since 2000 based on MLS sales.
    Stucco ($336,349)
    Wood/Shakes ($291,619)
    Brick/Stone ($235,141)
    Metal/Vinyl ($112,440)
    Other* ($174,628)
    *Fiber Board, Cement Board, Hardboard/Masonite, Other

  The manufacturers of every siding product claim theirs to be green and sustainable. Some claims are partially true. Some are a stretch in definition. The following logic is used by Minnesota researcher Louise Goldberg. Evaluate stucco's claim for yourself.
Sustainable Criteria: Does it save energy?
Stucco's Performance: Yes. Because of its thermal mass, appropriately installed stucco can conserve energy in summer.
Sustainable Criteria: Does it have a long life?
Stucco's Performance: Yes. Stucco homes have demonstrated durability with 100-year service lives.
Sustainable Criteria: Is it structurally robust?
Stucco's Performance: Yes. Stucco homes are more likely to survive storms, tornadoes, hurricanes, and hail.
Sustainable Criteria: Does it contribute to the waste stream?
Stucco's Performance: No. Stucco is recyclable at the end of its service life.
Sustainable Criteria: Is it renewable?
Stucco's Performance: Yes. By using recycled and/or naturally abundant raw materials and solar thermal energy (or equivalent) for its manufacture, stucco legitimately can claim to be a renewable material.

  A life cycle cost study of stucco systems conducted on behalf of the British Columbia Wall and Ceiling Association, confirms that "stucco is cost effective over the anticipated life of the types of building studies. Good design and attention to detailing, combined with good workmanship that conforms to industry standards will result in a durable wall cladding assembly with stucco finish."
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