Stucco can spice up your exterior or interior walls and add value to your home. However, improperly installed stucco can turn out to be an expensive nightmare. As such, you need to be careful when choosing a stucco contractor or installer.
Follow a structured process that involves using reliable sources to find contractors, due diligence, asking the right questions, and signing written contracts. The contractor you choose should have the right documentation and proven experience installing stucco.
While most people may have their own approach to hiring contractors, following a structured process like the one below can help you avoid quacks. Feel free to alter it to suit your current situation or needs with an aim of finding a reliable and trustworthy stucco installer.
Step 1-Define Your Problem First
You probably have an idea of what you want to do. However, it is good to come up with a work draft or plan regarding the job that you can present to candidates. For instance, where do you want the stucco siding installed and how big is the wall? Have you done any measurements? Do you have a design in mind?
Step 2 – Do Your Research
Do you understand what it takes to install stucco? What design are you going for and how much do you think it might cost? Take some time to read about stucco before you start looking for contractors. This way you will have a better idea of what to look for in a contractor.
For instance, you might need to find out what design or style you want so that you can choose a contractor based on their portfolio. There are several types and styles of stucco to choose from. The most common ones are float and sand, dash, cat face, worm, Spanish lace, Santa Barbara, synthetic stucco, and traditional stucco.
Step 3 – Find Top-Rated Contractors And Make A Shortlist
It’s very important to look in the right places if you want to find a reliable stucco contractor. Avoid websites, directories, and review websites that have a reputation of having fraud contractors. Some of the best places to find reliable stucco contractors include:
- Google My Business Pages
- Local directories
- Industry association listings– e.g. The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC)
- Home Garden Guides contractor search tool – We have a free tool that can help you connect with top-rated stucco contractors near you. To use it, just jump to the top of this page, enter your zip code in the search box, and hit search. We will link you to at least three contractors in our database.
- The BBB (Better Business Bureau) database
Step 4- Ask for Quotations or Bids
Only after you have selected at least three contractors that match your needs can you invite bids or quotes. Provide as much information as you can about the work you want to be done for more accurate quotes. This will make it easier for you to select one contractor.
Step 5- Ask the Right Questions
Get in touch with the contractors who sent their bids and ask questions that can help you decide whether they have what you are looking for or not. This is the most important step in the process as it will inform your final decision.
Some of the questions to ask a stucco contractor include:
- Are you licensed in my state?
- Do you have insurance or bonds to cover damage and work-related injuries?
- How long have you been installing stucco?
- What type of stucco or design do you have the most experience installing?
- Do you have a warranty or a workmanship guarantee?
- Do you have a portfolio or can you show a project you worked on recently?
- Are you able to start immediately?
Step 6 – Select One Contractor
From the information you have gathered from the previous steps, you should be able to choose one contractor from your shortlist. Make sure the contractor you choose is available to start according to your schedule.
Step 7- Ask for Work Estimate and Sign A Contract
The last step in the hiring process is to get in touch with your chosen contractor. Request them to draft a work estimate that includes labor and materials and discuss it with you before you sign a written contract with them. It’s advisable to have an attorney look at the contract before you both sign it.
What to Look for In A Stucco Contractor
Tip 1- The Contractor Should Be Licensed
Working with an unlicensed contractor is risky. You will have no protection if something goes wrong or if they do not deliver. Your contract with them can be nullified in a court of law and you may also find trouble adding your costs on official documentation for taxes or state home improvement grants.
Tip 2- The Contractor Should Have A Good Portfolio
Ask them to provide evidence of work they have completed recently. Great stucco contractors can provide detailed information about past projects that include pictures, project timelines, location, testimonials, etc.
Tip 3- The Stucco Contractor Should Have A Good Reputation (Reliable)
Check what other customers are saying about the contractor on review websites like Google My Business, Social media, Better Business Bureau, etc. Avoid businesses with less than a four-star rating and those with negative unresolved reviews.
Tip 4- The Contractor Should Have A Local Office (Proximity)
Choose a contractor that is near you for easier coordination and to save on transportation costs. The closer they are to your site the easier it will be for them to transport workers and materials to and from your site.
Tip 5- The Contractor Should Offer A Warranty
Avoid contractors that do not provide a warranty on their work or workmanship guarantee. The warranty is useful if you discover problems with the installed stucco after completion.
Tip 6- The Contractor Should Be Transparent About Costs
Some contractors will try to hide costs in tiny print or will not be forthcoming about their charges from the word go. Ensure that you agree on the total cost of the project from the start.
Benefits of Hiring Stucco Contractors for Your Home!
- Expert workmanship
- Faster delivery
- Less wastage
Expect to spend an average of $8500 to stucco a 1,500 sq foot house with labor and materials factored in. Costs range between $7,000 to $15000 depending on the type of stucco, labor costs, and design of your house.
Stucco is made from cement or tough synthetic compounds that can last for years. Properly installed stucco requires little to no maintenance over its lifespan. However, you must ensure that the materials used are of high quality and the installation is done properly to avoid problems.
Yes, it is possible to install new stucco over old stucco turning the old layer into a substrate. The new stucco must be installed properly using a quality bonding agent to ensure it stays put.