Tips for Choosing the Right Stucco Contractor
Whenever you’re in need of a stucco contractor, whether it’s for stucco repair or you need completely new siding for your home, you should choose your contractor carefully. It’s important to take the time to research contractors and filter through them or you could end up receiving sub-par service. This could result in you having to hire a second contractor to fix what the original one had done. So, before you hire a stucco contractor for your project, be sure that you are taking the necessary steps.
RESEARCH MULTIPLE CONTRACTORS
The first thing to avoid is hiring the first stucco contractor that pops up in a Google search. While you may end up actually hiring that contractor, you still want to research a handful of different companies before making a decision. The main thing you should look for is a company that specializes in stucco. General contractors may offer stucco services, but a contractor that specifically specializes in stucco will deliver the high-quality results you want.
ASK FOR BIDS
Before you make a decision about which contractor you’re going to hire, you’ll want to ask at least a handful of them to send you bids for the project. This will allow you to compare prices, experience, and estimated project timelines of each contractor. Remember, the cheapest price is not always the best option. Take a look at each bid carefully and try to narrow your choices down to two or three contractors.
Once you have your choices narrowed down, you should ask each of the remaining contractors for a list of references. The only way to truly know how well a contractor will do the job is by seeking advice from previous customers. Ask each of the references how their projects were handled from start to finish. They will be able to tell you how the contractor communicates throughout the project and how friendly or accommodating they were. At this point, you should be able to select the contractor that you would be most comfortable working with.
ASK ABOUT THE PROCESS
Once you’ve chosen the stucco contractor for your project, you should ask what the process will be like from start to finish. This means asking when they will begin and end their work on a daily basis. You may also want to ask about what happens when the project is complete. Most stucco contractors will ensure your property is left exactly how they found it but be sure to ask how your contractor plans to clean up after the work has been completed. You may be told that a dumpster will need to be placed in your driveway throughout the project. This will be something you and your family need to plan around. It is strongly recommended that you get the entire scope of the project in writing. This is good for both parties so there is no confusion about any phase of the stucco installation or repair.
Invest Some Time When Choosing a Stucco Contractor
When a home improvement project requires a stucco contractor, most homeowners will likely not have the names and phone numbers of any installers stored in their computer, smartphone, or address book. Since the need for a stucco contractor may be a once-in-a-lifetime circumstance, the first reaction of a homeowner might be to ask a friend or a family member if they or someone they know could recommend a reputable company.
While this could provide a viable lead, it will in all likelihood merely scratch the surface of what will be needed to make a comfortable and informed decision on the contractor who will ultimately be awarded the project. In other words, it would be prudent to invest some time in doing research, or homework, before settling on a stucco contractor – and while there are indeed several stucco companies to choose from in Toronto and the GTA, homeowner diligence upfront will pay dividends in the long run from the standpoint of return on investment.
First and foremost, it is suggested that homeowners obtain a minimum of three written estimates from various stucco companies – this is no different than shopping around for a new roof, interior/exterior painting, or kitchen renovations. While this may seem like a somewhat tedious process, it is an important element in making an informed decision on how the money will be invested – and should any contractors hesitate or outright refuse to provide a written quote, this should be a ‘red flag’ to direct research time elsewhere.
Stucco installations represent a substantial financial investment, and choosing the right stucco contractor is vital to achieving both the desired look and the best return on that investment. Therefore, dedicating an appropriate amount of time for research/homework before making a final decision would also be a wise investment.
Ready to Answer All of Your Questions
A reputable stucco company, such as Canadian Stucco, should basically anticipate that potential customers will want and need to know this type of information and be willing to respond openly and honestly.
How to Repair Stucco
At first glance, the seamless coat of stucco on the East Boston house looked as bulletproof as a sidewalk, the perfect foil against the harsh wet weather of this coastal city. Yet beneath its lush cloak of ivy, the cement shell was a mess of cracks and buckling, signs that water had gotten in and damaged the underlying wood lath.
When properly installed, stucco (a cement- or lime-based plaster) is about as carefree and long-lived a cladding as anyone could wish—100 years is not uncommon. But when big cracks or blisters appear, the time to make repairs is right away, before the damage grows.
Watch The Weather
Freezing temperatures can ruin wet stucco. Wait for nighttime temperatures that stay above 40 degrees before tackling repairs. Hot, dry, windy weather can also interfere by sucking out moisture the mix needs to cure properly. Work in the shade so the stucco doesn’t dry too fast. Between coats, keep the patch moist by covering it with a plastic sheet
The alkalis in wet cement can cause burns. So when working with fresh stucco, wear gloves or touch the mix only with your tools, not your fingers. Keep a bucket of water nearby to wash any splashes off your skin.
Finish It Right
No patch, no matter how expertly textured, will match the color of the old stucco around it. To do that, you need to apply a pigmented coating over the entire surface. The patch at this house was covered with a thick, sprayed-on acrylic elastomer that bridges and seals hairline cracks. Other acceptable coatings include concrete paints and stains, mineral paints, lime washes, and “fog coats” of pigmented cement. Whichever coating you use, make sure it’s alkaline tolerant and permeable to water vapor. Otherwise, it will be peeling off in no time.
HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST STUCCO COLOR FOR YOUR HOME
It’s all about curb appeal — whether you’re adding stucco to your home’s exterior or changing the color of old stucco, the color you choose can affect your home’s curb appeal. Much like picking a stucco texture, choosing the right stucco color for your home can be a little overwhelming. If you’re worried about picking the wrong stucco color for your house or are having trouble visualizing how your home will look with the color scheme you’re considering, then this article is here to help you.
When choosing the best stucco color for your home or building, it is probably a good idea to first purchase some samples and do a comparison board. Sure, this may seem like overkill, but wouldn’t you rather find out that hot pink color you fell in love with isn’t going to look so good on your home before your stucco contractor installs 2,000 square feet of it?
Ideally, you should use the same material for your sample board that will actually be on the exterior of the house, because the color will often vary a bit depending on what it is being applied to. Once you have your sample board, take it to the building site and figure out which stucco color looks best against that particular environmental backdrop.
Stucco base coats are usually a cement-based, plaster-like compound that goes on the outside of your home. Whether you’re using a “one-coat” (which usually is actually a two-coat) or a three-coat stucco system, the final coat is called the finish coat. The finish coat can be cement or acrylic based (I recommend acrylic because of its flexibility). You can purchase a stucco finish coat that already has the color mixed in it, or you can pick a color and paint it later (I recommend getting it pre-mixed for a more uniform look).
Location, Location, Location
You ever hear the phrase, “location, location, location” when it comes to real estate? Well, the location of your home is often important when determining the best choice of exterior stucco color, as well.
Home Tips: Repainting Stucco
The stucco on my home’s exterior looks faded. What can I do to make it look new again?
Stucco, like many surfaces, can fade – especially when it’s exposed to direct sunlight. But, making it look new again is easy. Quality paint can revive the look of your stucco, giving your home a fresh, new appearance
What if I want to completely change the color of my stucco?
No problem. Just like any surface (for example, wood siding), stucco can be repainted to suit your color preferences. If you want to achieve a darker shade than your original stucco color, and the surface is in good shape, quality paint can probably provide the coverage you need in one coat. Painting a lighter shade over a darker tone may require two coats. When selecting a new color, don’t forget to coordinate with other exterior colors on your home such as shingles and trim.
There are so many exterior paint products on the market. How do I know which one will be the best for stucco?
Most exterior paint products are formulated for application on a variety of surfaces, from wood siding to brick and stucco. The knowledgeable sales people at Sherwin-Williams can tell you about products like Duration® Exterior Coating, and SuperPaint® Exterior Latex Paint. Just tell them a little about your home’s exterior and your goals, and they’ll help you select the coating that will best suit your needs.
Which are better, latex- or alkyd-based products?
Acrylic latex products perform the best on stucco. Most do-it-yourselfers find that latex products are easiest to use because they are easy to apply and they clean up with soap and water Acrylic latex paints also offer good gloss and color retention as well as good coverage that dries fast.
Do I need a primer?
If the surface of your stucco is in good shape with no exposed substrate, possibly not. However, if you need to make a lot of repairs, using a primer will make your finish coat look great and provide the beautiful, long-lasting results you expect. Ask the experts at Sherwin-Williams to help you pick the right product for the job.