Felt paper and metal lath
The scratch coat
The final stucco coat with the wrong color
The final stucco coat with the correct color


While most of the front of the house is brick and stone, the back and sides only have a brick wainscot about four feet tall. The rest of the back and side walls are finished with stucco, a common and popular choice in our area.

Although not as beautiful as brick or stone, stucco provides some visual interest to the house (as a contrast to the masonry elements) and it is much more cost effective than brick or stone. Like brick and stone, if properly installed, stucco should last a lifetime.

Other than color, there are not a lot of choices with stucco. However, choosing the color of stucco is somewhat scary. There are thousands of colors to choose from, and it is going to be there for a *long* time, so we knew we had to get it right.

Instead of trying to choose a color from stucco manufucturer's brochure, we got in the car a drove around to find stucco colors we liked. Of course, finding a house with a color was liked was only part of the story - we still needed to identify what color it was. Fortunately, we really liked the stucco color that our builder had on his house, and of course he knew exactly what color it was. And since the guy who was doing the stucco on our house also worked on our builder's house, it made it easy.

HOWEVER, somehow, the stucco contractor confused the color! The stucco finish we chose was a slight two-tone that with a finish that gives it a bit of "dimension" - more a less a faux finish that looks like suede. The base color on our builder's house is a rich tan color, and the highlight color is a few shades lighter mixed in here to give it the proper finish. The stucco contractor reversed the colors, doing the light color as the base, and the dark as the highlight, which looked *much* different. Uggh.

I showed up at the sight the day they did the finish coat of the stucco, and they were about 15 minutes from being done. Right away I knew it was wrong - but it was too late, the work was already complete. Mark (our builder) was out of town for the weekend, so we waited until he returned to call him and let him know. He drove up to the house to see how it looked, and as soon as he saw it he too knew it was wrong.

He called the stucco contractor who first tried to tell us that we had told him to do it that way, but eventually he realized that he indeed and reversed the colors and said he would be back up within a week to fix it. Unfortunately, there is no easy way to fix the color, the only option is to do a completely new finish coat. Needless to say, he is not too thrilled about it. The color was just too light - it did not look right with the rest of the house.

It took the stucco contractor almost a month (after countless calls and unfulfilled promises) to get back up to the house and put on the correct color. Finally, he got his crew up to the site and put the correct color on the house, and it looks much better - much more like we were expecting.

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