There are many factors to consider when weighing stucco repair costs after discovering damaged stucco siding on your home. While certain approaches may cost you less money in the short term, they could leave you vulnerable to future damage, more costs and more headaches down the road.
Here’s everything you need to know about calculating stucco repair cost.
What is Stucco Repair?
Stucco repair usually refers to re-sealing the stucco around windows, flashing and joints, or removing certain “chunks” of damaged stucco and installing new stucco in its place. Compared to a stucco remediation job, in which the all the stucco siding is removed and replaced, stucco repair is more of a quick fix.
Stucco repair may cost much less than remediation, but the danger in opting for a repair rather than a remediation is that you may not find all the damaged areas and since you’re not fixing the underlying issue—the improper stucco installation—you will most likely have more issues to solve (and more stucco repair costs to cover) a few short months or years down the road.
Why Would I Need to Repair Stucco?
Stucco failure usually results from water invading a home’s exterior walls, causing damage to materials under the siding. Usually, failed stucco is a result of the original siding installation being done improperly, without the necessary moisture barriers in place. The first sign of serious problems is usually “tears,” the greenish-black stains that appear to be “crying” on your exterior walls—especially near windows—that indicate moisture intrusion. Other indicators of stucco problems include musky odors near the stucco, large cracks and missing chunks of stucco.
The only way to know for sure that you need stucco repair is to hire a professional moisture tester. Using a specialty moisture meter, the intrusion specialist will be able to tell you if there’s a problem.
Stucco Repair Cost Factors
Price is often a homeowner’s first worry, but when you’re weighing different stucco repair costs and options, it’s important to see the full picture. The money you spend now could pay off in the long run. Here are the most common stucco repair cost factors you will need to consider:
INSPECTION COSTS – An inspection is a crucial first step in diagnosing the problem. Moisture meter readings involve inserting small probes in suspicious areas of your walls to determine the amount of moisture in the wall cavity. After the reading is complete, holes are caulked over and resealed.
Estimated cost: $500*
CONTRACTOR LABOR – Fixing stucco requires expertise to ensure a proper repair. Labor costs vary widely, and in our experience many inexperienced contractors sell second-rate services using unskilled labor. Buyer beware.
Estimated cost: $400 – $1,000*
MATERIAL AND TOOL COSTS – Stucco mix, application tools, paint, paint brush, new weather barriers and flashing, ladder, gloves, eye protection, etc.
Estimated cost for stucco application materials: $300 – $1,000*
EXTENT OF DAMAGE FACTOR – Larger homes and extensive stucco damage will demand higher costs.
Estimated cost: Depends on your situation.
FUTURE REPAIRS FACTOR – Often under-valued, the potential for future damage should be a top stucco repair cost priority. Since improper installation is almost always the underlying culprit, simple stucco repair cannot remove all the risks of future water intrusion in your home’s walls. When new damage arises, all of these costs will repeat. Replacing the stucco with a trustworthy, warrantied material – such as James Hardie fiber cement siding – is often worth it for peace of mind alone.
UPKEEP FACTOR – As a porous material, old stucco siding requires regular upkeep. Periodic cleaning, spraying, painting, inspecting and repairing will be required in order to detect future failures in the stucco.
RESALE VALUE FACTOR – Another common misstep for homeowners is failing to consider the effect stucco siding can have on a home’s resale value. Widespread stucco failures (especially in Southeast Pennsylvania) have made home buyers nervous about investing in stucco real estate, so consider whether a home buyer in your community would be comfortable purchasing your home if you leave the stucco in place. We also recommend scheduling a professional stucco inspection before listing your house in order to avoid any expensive surprises when a potential buyer requests an inspection.
HEALTH RISKS FACTOR – Mold, mildew, and rotting wood present giant health risks to families. Unfortunately, stucco repair leaves the home vulnerable to continual moisture intrusion, leading to more mold. The resulting indoor air pollution can lead to health problems for building inhabitants ranging from respiratory issues, hemosiderosis, infections, eye irritations, and more.
*These stucco repair cost estimates are provided as a guide and the accuracy cannot be guaranteed. Costs vary widely and depend on location, the size of your home, and other factors.
The True Cost of Stucco Repair
Although simple repair jobs may cost you less money today, an overhaul of your failed stucco siding will save you money and stress in the long term. While you may need to perform stucco repair again in a few short years, remediating the problem now is likely to solve the problem for life: failed stucco may need to be repaired again in 5 years, but new siding products such as James Hardie siding will last for 100 years.
Stucco Repair Cost Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How Much Does Stucco Siding Cost?
Exterior stucco pricing will depend on your location. It is an expensive material, and will usually run you about $6 to $9 per square foot. Installation or repair labor costs will also increase the total price of your stucco repair. On average, a full stucco installation will cost about $4,000 but can range between $1,000 and $9,000 or more.
Q: Should I Try to Repair Stucco Cracks on My Own?
Although it depends on many factors, most stucco repair is not a do-it-yourself job. Even though some cracks may seem easy enough to patch on your own, stucco that needs repair is often a sign of stucco failure—which is a serious issue. If there was an improper installation, it is imperative to find out. A professional stucco inspector can help you. After confirming the presence of serious stucco problems, a professional stucco contractor like Precision Contracting Services can help you decide on the best solution.
Q: How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Stucco Repair Contractor?
Again, this will depend on your unique situation, but a common quote from a stucco repair contractor will usually start at about $50 per hour. The amount of time it takes to finish repairing your stucco will depend on the extent of the damage. Unfortunately, there are many inexperienced and predatorial businesses looking to cash in on stucco homeowners’ misfortunes, so it may not be a good idea to go with the lowest bidder. Be sure to get multiple estimates for any stucco repair or remediation job, and compare not only price but experience and trustworthiness.
Q: How Can I Tell if My Stucco is Even Salvageable?
When considering the merits of repairing versus replacing your stucco, look at the extent of the damage. Your stucco inspector will have given you a good idea of how much damage is underneath your stucco. If there is any indication that the stucco was originally installed incorrectly, then there will be more repairs down the line unless you remove and replace the system now.
The Best Solution for Repairing Stucco Siding
At Precision Contracting, we urge homeowners to seriously consider the long-term health of their exterior siding. A full stucco remediation is the best solution for fixing stucco failures once and for all. Our team has been in the remodeling business for over 35 years, and we take pride in providing precise, high-quality stucco solutions for our customers.
See how we can transform your stucco problems into a beautiful new look for your home. Using advanced techniques, expert craftsmanship, and the best siding materials in the business, you’ll be amazed at your home’s increased curb appeal. Visit our services page to find out more about the stucco remediation available at Precision Contracting Services or contact our team to schedule a free consultation.
Want to learn more about whole home remodeling in PA? Check out our Ultimate Guide to Remodeling Your Luxury Home.