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Stucco for your home’s exterior – saves energy?

James Paterson | Posted in Energy Efficiency and Durability on

Hi there,

Our new home has just been constructed, but its exterior is still pretty bare. So, our local contractors suggested that we cover the walls with stucco. I am pretty eco conscious and I would like our home to be warm so we don’t use much energy to heat it.

Is stucco good at keeping the energy bills low? Should we use their stucco service, or we are better off with using some other type of construction technology and if so, what type? Any word on stucco vs siding vs Hardie board? Many thanks for any piece of advice.

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Replies

  1. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #1

    James,
    I'm surprised that you have already built a home without having any idea what type of siding to install!

    Stucco is a type of cladding (siding). Like other types of siding, it does not contribute appreciably to a wall's R-value. (However, it may reduce air leakage compared to other siding types. While this has its benefits, it also has serious drawbacks, since stucco is likely to trap water in walls. In general, it's best to create your air barrier at the sheathing plane or the drywall plane -- not with the stucco.)

    If you want to save energy, you need to raise your wall's R-value by including insulation.

    One type of synthetic stucco, EIFS, includes a layer of rigid foam, which has a significant R-value. Using EIFS can improve the energy performance of your wall.

    For more information on stucco, see To Install Stucco Right, Include an Air Gap.

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