A stucco to siding transition may sound daunting, but it’s very achievable – as long as you’re prepared with an actionable plan. There are many reasons homeowners put off a stucco to siding transition, but the longer you wait, the higher the risk factors become, as visible damage can advance quickly with traditional stucco siding.
Instead of avoiding the issue, get prepared for a successful stucco to siding transition that can beautify your home and enhance its value. This guide provides key areas to consider when planning a stucco to siding overhaul.
When is a Stucco to Siding Transition Necessary?
Traditional stucco needs to be in immaculate condition to be considered attractive and desirable on modern homes. Unfortunately, this requires a significant amount of ongoing maintenance, including time, money, and energy that most homeowners don’t have. Unless a traditional stucco exterior has been maintained flawlessly, it’s likely to start showing signs of deterioration, which can be ugly.
Cracks are a common complaint of homeowners with traditional stucco siding. Because stucco is made up of aggregates – very similar to a concrete composition – it tends to chip and crack with everyday exposure to the elements. Cracks can also be problematic for structural reasons. While cracks can be filled using traditional stucco crafting techniques, the damage is usually already done.
Even the smallest fissure in stucco siding can expose the inner layers of the structure to moisture. This is where the bigger problems come up. When moisture seeps into cracks and chipped areas, it can linger, and create the perfect conditions for mold and mildew to flourish. If mold reaches the wooden structural beams of a home, you’re going to have a huge issue on your hands.
Cracking and mold growth are the biggest concerns that spark a stucco to siding transition, but some homeowners may simply want a more on-trend exterior that reflects their style better. A stucco to siding transition is sure to be a dramatic change, so it’s a great way to ‘flip’ the home and create a fresh face for the structure.
6 Tips for a Smooth Transition from Stucco to Siding
No matter your reasons for tackling a stucco to siding transition, having the right approach can be a game changer.
Here are six tips to keep in mind when planning a big remodeling project that includes a stucco to siding transition:
1. Stucco Removal Requires a Hard Hat
Don’t let the idea of stucco removal stop you from taking on this project. Yes, removing stucco can be a pain, but it’s not as difficult as you may imagine.
Instead of chipping away at the surface inch by inch, you may be surprised to find that large chunks of stucco can come off at once during the demo, depending on the installation technique used when the stucco was put in.
In general, stucco removal usually goes faster than anticipated. Nonetheless, be sure you’re prepared for some heavy lifting, and get the hard hat ready.
2. Investigate Underlying Issues
If you’re doing a stucco to siding transition because of cracking or other signs of deterioration, be sure to determine the extent of the issue.
Replacing the siding alone isn’t going to solve certain problems, like compromised structural beams, broken flashing, or weak joists.
Sometimes the stucco itself is to blame – but other times, there’s something else going on that you’ll need to address if you want the new exterior to last.
3. Install Insulating House Wrap
Traditional stucco was sometimes installed directly over framing, without a reliable building envelope. If that’s the case on your project, it’s best to install insulating house wrap before putting on the new siding to enhance the energy efficiency of the building.
4. Replace Stucco with a Durable Siding Material
A stucco to siding transition is quite a big change! Don’t botch this opportunity by installing a sub-par siding option, like vinyl or wood.
Modern materials like fiber cement can deliver long-lasting durability and weather resistance, which can ensure your new siding stays beautiful with minimal effort.
Plus, fiber cement is fast and easy to install, so it is highly recommended when conducting a stucco to siding overhaul.
5. Consider All the Styles Available
It’s also important to recognize the stylistic opportunity available when making such a dramatic change on the exterior. A stucco to siding transition opens up an abundance of options – including modern lap, board and batten, shake, and more.
If you’re doing a remodel to address deterioration but still find yourself captivated by the look of traditional stucco, keep in mind that there are modern materials that imitate this classic style without relying on outdated aggregates that are likely to break down. For example, you could consider a stucco-style fiber cement siding product that provides better durability and less maintenance.
6. Coordinate Trim in Advance
Don’t forget the trim! When making such a huge change, many homeowners forget about the little details, like coordinating the trim, fascia, and soffit with the new siding. Keep these details in mind during the planning process so you can finish the installation all at once.
Discover the Best in Fiber Cement Siding with Allura
A stucco to siding transition is such an exciting project. Be sure to contact Allura today to find all the modern materials you need, including a great variety of siding styles and colors for your new exterior!