Did you know that stucco is one of the oldest siding materials available that is popular for use on both residential and commercial buildings? It has an ancient history that can make you wonder as to what the actual stucco siding cost is today. Originally, this material had lime in it as a base, and the ancient Romans and Greeks used it to side their homes before concrete got introduced in the 1900s. This replaced the lime as it was more workable and longer lasting, and you’ll typically find stucco in warmer planting zones because it won’t do well in areas that see annual freezes and thaws.
There are several different styles for finishing techniques and different types of stucco available to use, and this can make your stucco siding cost fluctuate. Also, it can make it more difficult to pin down an accurate price estimate before you take on this project. Larger projects will take more time and materials, and this can increase the costs. This is especially true if you hire a company to come in and take on this project for you instead of doing it yourself.
On average, your stucco siding cost will range from $9,5,00 to $11,500 for installation. Most people pay upwards of $10,500 for a traditional stucco siding on a 1,500-square foot exterior that gets outfitted with standard trim. It only uses a thinner coat of stucco for the project, and this can lower your total stucco siding cost estimates to around $8,000. However, it yoru stucco siding costs can also rise upwards of $18,000 if you have trim and use EIFS stucco over a 1,500-square foot home. These prices do include the material cost, stucco installation supplies, and labor.
The type of stucco you use, your location, and how complex the project is will all factor into your final stucco siding cost. Since this can be a large-scale project, our goal is to give you everything you need to get a rough estimate on how much money you want to set aside for it. It’s always better to have more than you need instead of running out halfway through, so factor in as many variables that apply to you as possible.
Stucco siding can create a unique look for your home, and this is why it’s so popular in warmer regions of the United States. It also has a very long-lasting durability about it that can help justify the upfront costs. Stucco by Eric Allix Rogers / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Stucco Siding Cost by Square Footage
One of the biggest driving factors for your stucco siding cost is the square footage of the project. Stucco is a unique way to cover a home, unlike vinyl that is more traditional. You don’t apply a solid material to your home, but you’ll apply it wet and let it dry. This lowers your overall material costs but it can increase your overall labor costs.
Generally speaking, the average stucco siding cost per square foot will range from $6.00 to $8.00 installed. If you want a decorative finish, this will increase your costs. Single-coat or thin coat stucco can lower your costs, and newer forms of insulation stucco can increase the price. The average costs are:
- 500-Square Feet – $3,000 to $4,000
- 1,000-Square Feet – $6,000 to $8,000
- 1,500-Square Feet – $9,000 to $12,000
- 2,000-Square Feet – $12,000 to $16,000
- 2,500-Square Feet – $15,000 to $20,000
How Type of Stucco Impacts Your Stucco Siding Costs
After you get a ballpark size of the project, the next big stucco siding cost factor is the type. There are a few types available. Traditionally, stucco used lime, and then it went to a mixture of lime and cement that is still popular today. However, some types of stucco are much easier to clean than others, last longer, and they have a faster installation process. They also insulate better and are more durable. The most common types include:
Many people think of cement as a material for a patio or driveway, but it actually works well in stucco as well. In hard form, stucco uses lime and Portland cement. This will increase your stucco siding by $0.50 to $3.00 every square foot, including any materials you need. You can apply it traditionally by laying coats up to three layers deep over a metal lath.
You can also use it in faster and easier thin coat applications that only have a single layer. Cement siding is durable and strong, but it’s not as long-lasting as other options. It has a varied texture too over your home’s surface, and this means that most people use it for specific styles like tabby shells.
This is the newest development with stucco, and it’s the most expensive. This style will increase your stucco siding cost by $3.00 to $5.00 a square foot. EIFS stands for Exterior Insulation and Finish System. It has several thin layers that go over foam insulation. There is a topcoat on it that will help resist moisture, and it gets made by using adhesive to stick the substrate to the foam. Then they add a base coat to the foam board.
Your contractor will embed lath or mesh into your base coat before letting it cure. Once it does, they add a finish coat. The final coat has polymers that make it a much more flexible option that is less likely to crack. It also improves how water-resistant it is. You can have it pigmented and finished to create different textures, just like other stucco.
Acrylic or synthetic stucco is also a newer form that will give the finished product more uniformity. It works well for all three layers when you apply it, as well as EIFS installation and thin-coat installation. This is slightly softer than traditional stucco because the traditional stucco is rigid and hard. It’ll increase your stucco siding cost by $1.00 and $4.00 a square foot for your materials.
There are some very slight variations with this type of stucco, but it’s very hard to tell the difference between synthetic and natural stucco. If you get a hole in the siding, you can look at the underlayer. Natural has a mesh underlayer on it while synthetic comes with foam.
Choosing a Finish
The finish you pick out for your stucco will play a large role in how your home looks. The stucco siding cost includes a final layer that gets hand-troweled onto the exterior of your home. It can come in several designs and shapes, and this will depend on your installer’s skill level and your preferences. Some finish methods are very common while some are not, and most won’t impact your stucco siding costs. You will have higher costs if you need additional material as you do with tabby shell stucco.
Cat Face Finish
One of the more unique finish options you have is the cat face. This is a mostly smooth texture that has ridges or bumps showing through it. If your installer does it correctly, the finished product will look like there is a cat peeking through the stucco. You can request a small or large texture, and you can spread them out or have them closer together. This allows you a lot of room to customize your finish.
This is one of the most common textures available for stucco, and it’s what you typically see on homes. It’ll give you a rough texture with deep shadows and a pronounced appearance. You may hear this option called roughcast stucco finish. If you don’t have a specific finish in mind, this is usually what your contractor will end up installing and include in your stucco siding cost. It works well on almost any home style or type without clashing.
This is an extremely distinctive pattern from any other textured stucco finishes. You won’t get a rough finish that is so popular, but you’ll end up with a smooth finish in a circular pattern. The half-circle design will constantly overlap across the face of your home. This makes it a slightly more decorative finish, and it can increase your stucco siding cost slightly due to labor. It’s not very common, and you want to use traditional stucco with it rather than synthetic ones or a single coat.
You’ll get a unique sand texture with this stucco, and this is where the name comes from. It’s a very slightly textured option that is more popular than dash finishes. The contactor will lightly press or float the trowel into your stucco instead of pressing in firmly. This will make your stucco look like wet sand when it dries. If you want something smoother than dash but you don’t want to give up texture entirely, this is a good choice that won’t drive up your stucco siding costs.
You’ll put small pebbles or pea gravel into your stucco after you applied the final coat with this finish. Pea gravel is popular in gravel driveways, but it works here too if you want to get a textured, solid wall of stones. This is a slightly less common option than most stucco walls because they usually use plastering materials instead of gravel.
It has a similar stucco siding cost to other textures, but you could end up paying $1.00 per square foot for it. This will depend on the technique and stones you use. The finish will need less plaster, and you can usually toss or throw the stones at the stucco, so this cuts down on labor costs.
This stucco finish originated in Santa Barbara in California, and this is where it’s still extremely popular. If you want to create a California-Abode look on the outside of your house, this is the finish you should go for. It falls halfway between a textured and smooth finish. You’ll get a very light texture with some small sand pieces added right into the plaster. The contractor will apply the finish with a pool trowel, and this will give you a very specific appearance that is semi-smooth.
Better known as a lace finish, this is a very easy and quick way to add texture to your stucco. You can use a hand trowel or spray it on , and it works very well if you use traditional stucco. It has a forgiving texture to it, and it can hide any signs of wear on your home’s surface.
If you made repairs, it can hide those too to give you a new, smooth look. You can get a rough texture that adds shadows or high casts, but you can also smooth it out for something more refined. You can change it as you go along to give your home more depth.
If you’re someone who isn’t a fan of textured stucco, you can go smooth instead. This is very uncommon when you compare it to other options. It’s more labor-intensive to drive up your stucco siding cost because your contractor has to apply it by hand. You’ll end up paying between $5.00 and $10.00 a square foot instead of the normal $2.00 to $4.00 a square foot. However, it works well with all stucco types.
Unfortunately, smooth stucco isn’t very forgiving when it comes to the structural flaws in your home. If it forms cracks over time, they are usually very noticeable. They’re also more difficult to blend in and repair with this finish option.
Tabby shell is another unique option for your home or extension. The contractor will cover the stucco completely in shells instead of in pebbles or allowing the plaster to show. You will have to use traditional stucco to use this finish, and you can’t use it with synthetic materials or thin-coats. The shells will create a very unique texture with shadow and depth to the surface of your home. It’s also more durable, and you can go longer without having to repair it or worry about cracks. Your stucco siding cost will go up by $1.00 to $2.00 a square foot with this finish option.
Depending on the type of stucco you pick out, it can be a relatively quick or very time-consuming process to apply it correctly. Since this creates the foundation for your siding, it’s important that you do it correctly. Stucco by Dwayne / CC BY-NC 2.0
Cost to Apply Stucco Over Siding
If there is already siding on your home, it’s very tempting to leave it as-is and simply apply the stucco over it. However, doing this over vinyl or wood siding isn’t a very good idea. The stucco needs a firm surface to adhere to, and existing siding isn’t as secure as the frame, cinder-block home, or a brick-sided home. If the wood or vinyl siding were to crack under the weight of the stucco or get moisture damage, your stucco siding costs would go up because it would fail and need repair.
If you’re someone with vinyl or wooden siding on your home, it’s a good idea to plan to remove it before looking at and repairing any substrate as needed before installing the stucco. Yes, this will increase your upfront stucco siding cost, but it’s manageable instead of having to pay out to repair it.
Stucco Over Brick
It is possible to apply stucco over brick, including brick siding and masonry brick. Your stucco siding costs will fluctuate between $4.00 and $6.00 a square foot to install it on a brick home. You can exclude a scratch coat from the process because the brick itself will lend the stucco the integrity and strength it needs.
This reduces your stucco siding costs down from three coats to two, and it can save you in labor costs. It will cost slightly less than an average stucco project over a timber home. EIFS stucco will work over brick with no additional cost reduction.
Stucco Over Cinder Block
Your stucco siding cost to add it over the cinder block ranges from $4.00 to $6.00 a square foot. Cinder blocks function the same way bricks do by adding strength and integrity to the stucco. You also won’t need a scratch coat with cinder block walls. However, you can apply a brown coat on top of it. This will help save you money and time, and there is no difference in the stucco siding costs or installation processes for EIFS stucco.
Stucco Siding Costs for Labor for an Average House Project
One of the bigger factors that can drive your stucco siding costs is the labor because it can be a very labor-intensive project. No matter what system you choose to use, the materials and layers have to be applied by hand. Traditional stucco also features curing time between every layer, and this can drag the project out more. If you try to rush it, it can lead to shrinkage and cracking in your siding.
However, there are related labor costs for each of the three types of stucco. Traditional stucco is the most expensive because it takes more time between coats, and thin-coating has the lowest stucco siding costs associated with it. Usually, your labor costs will range between $4.00 and $5.00 a foot, but your home’s condition and the finish you pick out can make the final stucco siding cost fluctuate.
This is a very labor-intensive style of stucco that will have larger labor costs attached to it. However, it’s easier than the triple coat system. Your contractor will install a layer of foam insulation to your home’s exterior before applying a scratch coat with an embedded lath. Then, they’ll add thin layers of synthetic material one layer at a time. This cures faster than the triple coat system, even if it has more layers.
The exact amount of layers you need will vary by project, but four to six are very common. The contractor can texture or tint the final coat like traditional stucco. It doesn’t do well with very deep textures, tabby, or pebble dash, but it can handle any other texture. This installation will increase your stucco siding cost by $4.00 to $7.00 per square foot.
This is also called one-coat stucco instead of thin-coat. It’s a harder stucco that mimics traditional stucco, so calling it hard-coat stucco is also common. It can be challenging to find a contractor who has experience working with it since it’s more rare to use. They will use a metal lath like traditional stucco. They apply a single coat with fiberglass and a mixed material instead of a scratch and brown coat.
This speeds up your installation process because there’s no time sitting around and waiting for each coat to cure before applying the second one. They’ll apply the finish coat straight away, and it comes strong enough to last without cracking. You can finish it with several textures or pigment it. You can’t use it with thicker textures or textures like tabby or pebble dash. It can help lower your overall stucco siding cost because it’s quicker, and you’ll pay around $1.00 to $3.00 per square foot for materials and $2.00 to $5.00 a square foot for labor.
This stucco is called a hard coat or three-coat because it takes several days to apply the three required layers. The contractor will apply a water-resistant wrap to the house that has a metal lath in it. Then, they’ll apply the scratch or first coat. This is a very thin layer of stucco with a cement base, and the contractor applies it roughly with a lath. This will give your home a rough surface for the next coat to stick to. You won’t need this for brick or masonry houses because they have a rough texture already.
The brown coat is the second coat, and this will add more structure along your siding. It adds integrity and strength to the walls, and it’ll give the final coat a sturdy surface to adhere to. The final layer is your finish coat. Your contractor will hand trowel it on with various aggregates and textures to give you a completed look.
Per square foot, your material and labor costs will be between $4.00 and $10.00. You can buy pre-mixed stucco for each layer, or you can add rock separately. This will increase your stucco siding cost by another $2.00 to $3.00 per square foot.
There are a few ways to install stucco on your home, and each one will have a slightly different price range and process attached to it. Some are newer, or you can pick out more traditional methods. Stucco Replacement in Ukiah by Bob Dass / CC BY 2.0
Cost to Repair Stucco
If you’ve had a lot of rain or you live in an environment that drops below freezing, you’ll find yourself repairing yoru stucco frequently. It’s more common to repair it than it is to replace it. You can add a fresh topcoat to make it look like new, and it’ll add to your stucco siding cost by $5.00 a square foot. If you want to replace it, you’ll have to factor in removal costs with additional installation costs. To remove old siding, your stucco siding cost will fall between $1.00 and $3.00 a square foot.
The condition of the stucco, the home’s condition, and how challenging it is to remove will all factor into your stucco siding costs. You could also encounter extra repair costs before your contractor can install the new. Your total stucco siding cost per square foot to replace it is $7.00 to $10.00.
Cost to Maintain Stucco Siding
Luckily, stucco won’t need a lot of maintenance, so this can save you on your stucco siding costs. A settling foundation is the biggest issue with this type of siding. So, you want to make a point to regularly check your soil and take steps to ensure that it won’t move or shift. If the stucco gets dirty, you want to clean it with the garden hose and a soft to medium-bristle brush. Don’t pressure wash it because it can damage it.
You can remove any mold that forms by using a water and bleach solution and gently scrubbing at it. You can also use a vinegar and water solution. You can perform most of this maintenance yourself and only increase your stucco siding cost by the cost of the bleach, vinegar, or brush. A professional will cost around $75.00 an hour.
Where to Find Stucco Siding Installers Near You
You should hire a professional company to come in and perform this work, but you want to get quotes from a few reputable companies. You can start here:
Frequently Asked Questions
Asking questions when you contact any professional companies in the area will help ensure that you get solid estimates for this project. Additionally, they can help you get a better understanding of this project’s scope. Stucco_hall2 by Chris / CC BY-NC 2.0
1. How long will stucco siding last?
Since you want to get the most out of your initial stucco siding costs, you should know that it can last up to 50 years if you maintain it. You will have to take care of the soil around your foundation to prevent the stucco from cracking from the foundation shifting. It also lasts longer if you have moderate moisture and no freezing temperatures.
2. Is stucco more cost-effective than stone siding?
Yes. Your stucco siding cost will be lower than stone, and brick siding can cost upwards of $14,000 to install on a smaller home.
3. Can you put siding over stucco?
Usually, most professionals won’t recommend that you put siding over your stucco without removing the stucco first. This is because stucco isn’t exactly stable, and it’s not sturdy enough to support the weight of the siding.
Your stucco siding cost will fluctuate based on a range of factors. We’ve outlined the biggest ones, as well as the typical cost per square feet for your project. You’ll have to factor in labor costs for your contractor to come out and do it for you, but you should end up with a professional-grade siding that can easily last for decades with proper care.
Jen is a master gardener, interior designer and home improvement expert. She has completed many home improvement, decor and remodeling projects with her family over the past 10 years on their 4,500 sf Victorian house. She is also a passionate farmer who keeps goats, chickens, turkeys cows and pigs on her farm, and an instructor for her community’s Organic and Sustainable Farming project.