While stucco construction is popular throughout the country, it comes with its own distinct advantages and disadvantages. Stucco can look impressive, but it can also lead to some moisture problems and have a flat look from a distance. Some pros of stucco construction include the durability and its relatively inexpensive cost compared to other forms of siding. Also, it is possible for individuals to apply stucco on their own.
One of the main disadvantages of stucco construction is the fact that it will look like a plain, flat finish from a distance. This is one disadvantage that cannot be overcome. As individuals get closer to the home, the texture of the stucco becomes visible. To counteract this negative effect, some individuals may choose a neutral stucco color with high contrast colors in shutters, and corners and other features of the house to create an appealing view from a distance.
More than just aesthetics, the other major disadvantage of stucco construction is in the material's susceptibility to moisture. Without the proper barriers in place, moisture can penetrate and move up the stucco finish. This can cause premature peeling, especially in the lower portions of the stucco material. Peeling can be repaired, but it will take time and money and the symptoms will reappear in time without taking care of the underlying problem.
A major advantage of stucco construction is the cost. It is one of the cheapest of siding materials to put on a house. Moreover, homeowners can further reduce the costs of the stucco by choosing to apply it themselves. While this is not something all homeowners will decide to do, applying stucco is not very technically demanding and can be learned relatively quickly.
The moisture issue notwithstanding, the durability of stucco is another pro that many find appealing. Stucco can last for many decades and very rarely needs painting. This makes stucco construction one of the most maintenance-free choices of all siding materials. To help increase the life of the paint, homeowners should use a masonry paint that can penetrate the stucco, rather than just coat the surface of the material.
Stucco also has a number of practical benefits that can improve safety and save money. For example, the material is fire resistant, which is not true of all forms of siding. It also can help provide some additional insulation, which is ideal for those in both warm and cold climates. Therefore, a stucco house may actually help a homeowner cut down on energy costs.