How To Build Stucco Houses
Stucco houses offer special characteristics and an inviting look that other varieties simply don't. You are probably familiar with these textured walls and ceilings inside homes and business establishments however, you may not be aware that stucco is a fabulous material to use on the outside of your home. In fact, if you live in a dry, hot climate, it is an ideal choice because it will keep your home much cooler.
What Is Stucco?
For centuries, stucco houses have been a reliable choice to use on the outside of buildings for its durability. In ancient times, stucco was created by mixing lime, water and marble dust to create a plaster that was able to be molded and painted. Greek and Spanish style architecture is well-known for the stucco houses that have been created through the years in those locations to reflect heat and offer a warm-looking decor.
Today, stucco is made with lime, water and sand. These ingredients are made into the same workable paste that was used centuries ago. Since lime is soluble, any cracks that happen to form actually fix themselves when moisture is added.
Building Stucco Houses
Traditionally, you will begin with a wood-framed house. It is important that if you are not qualified to handle this level of construction, to hire a contractor who can show you samples of stucco houses that he has built and provide references for.
On the exterior walls, you will build a wooden lattice so the stucco has something to stick to. Some people find it helpful to install wire mesh on their walls because this won't rot if a lot of moisture is absorbed by the stucco.
The great thing about this material is that you will never have to paint your home because you mix pigments right into your stucco before you apply it. Of course, you can always use the stucco as its natural color or you can whitewash it too.
When choosing the texture for your home, take your time in making this decision, it is a very important one. Your stucco mason will be able to provide you with a few choices.
It is vital that you make sure that two coats of stucco are applied. The first coat sticks to the mesh or lattice and leaves a nice smooth finish by filling in spaces. Then, the second coat of stucco is the one that is tinted with your pigment, if you decided to go with color. This is also the coat that is textured. If you decide after that you want to paint the stucco, you have to wait at least a year so that it has time to cure completely.
Stucco houses need waterproofing or else the stucco will chip away from the moisture. To begin, you will apply painter's tape around every edge. Therefore, if the stucco lies against brick or siding, the tape will be applied to the edge of the other material.
Stir the sealant or waterproofing paint really well until the consistency and color are uniform. Apply the sealant about four inches from all edges with a paintbrush and then you can use a roller to apply the substance to the rest of the walls.
Depending on the waterproofing sealant that you use, you may only need to apply one coat however, some brands may require two. Always be sure to read the manufacturers specifications and follow them. When the sealant is completely dry, you will gently and slowly pull the painter's tape away.
It is always a good idea to apply caulking around the exterior edges to prevent any moisture from getting in behind it.