Home/Blog/EIFS and Stucco: Which Is Right for My Home?
The problem with installing fancy bathroom and kitchen fixtures is that you can’t exactly boast them as a feature to passersby. Although it can improve your home’s property value through online listings, these home improvements don’t do much to your home’s curb appeal.
Exterior home renovations may seem like a luxury expense. However, they sell to most homeowners who want to have a living space that’s attractive inside and out. For this reason, stucco sidings make an excellent addition to provide layers and dimensions to your home’s exterior. Besides traditional and synthetic options, there’s another brand of material that’s sweeping the market in the form of External Insulation and Finishing Systems (EIFS) technology.
Understanding the benefits of traditional stucco
Regular or traditional stucco uses a three-coat system that uses water, cement, and limestone powder solution over a base mesh, similar to chicken wire in pattern. Afterward, contractors use a trowel to spread the mixture over ceilings, walls, or other surfaces requiring additional finishing. Homeowners can choose from a selection of finishes and colors, matching their home’s style and visual design.
Traditional stucco is an affordable finishing option since it cures quickly and doesn’t require extensive renovations. Although it’s logistically a better finishing material, it has several structural weaknesses. First, traditional stucco is considerably heavy, weighing 10 pounds for every square foot. Additionally, it’s also prone to cracking, peeling, and chipping, which can spread from the finishing to the entire wall.
Recognizing the advantages of EIFS
External Insulation and Finishing Systems (EIFS) stucco use synthetic materials to ensure a long-lasting fit for your home. It uses a polystyrene foam board, fiberglass mesh, and finishing coat bundled together for a lighter yet more durable product. EIFS provides added insulation to your home, which results in making it more resistant to cracking or crumbling due to thermal expansion. Additionally, it’s comparatively higher than traditional stucco but has a higher R-value of 4 or greater than stucco’s 0.20.
However, EIFS isn’t completely free of weaknesses. Since it utilizes synthetic materials, the installation process is more complex and takes much longer than traditional stucco. Any inconsistencies in attaching it to your home lead to long-term damage, weakening its durability and making it prone to water damage.
Knowing which finishing option will work best for your home
It’s important to get an overview of your opportunity cost when choosing between one construction method over the other. For example, traditional stucco can be a better fit for your home if you’re on a tight budget.
EIFS is the better option if you’re going for durability, especially if your home is in a region that faces harsh climate conditions. It’s an excellent way to save on future repairs and renovations from hot summers and strong rainfall. On the other hand, EIFS may not be necessary if your home’s location generally experiences favorable weather all-year-round. Remember to double-check if you have enough budget to accommodate the finishing option of your choice.
You need to consider several construction processes and material properties when renovating your home or building a house from the ground up. Choosing between traditional stucco or EIFS is just one way to approach an architectural dilemma. For example, you can also revise and adjust your finishing design to use less material and spend less of your renovation budget. It’s an example of a potential solution you can develop when collaborating with a professional contractor.