Stucco is an extremely popular home siding because it’s handsome and durable, offers texture, and is less costly than other high-end exteriors. According to Fixr.com, stucco typically costs $6 to $9 per square foot, compared with $11 to $15 for stone veneer (which has a similar look).
While it’s not a load-bearing material like cement or concrete, stucco can last for hundreds of years. But if you live in an older home with stucco, at some point you’ll need to know how to repair this mixture of Portland cement, sand, and hydrated lime.
Generally, here’s how damage creeps in: Water seeps beneath the surface, causing chips and soft spots. Once the barrier has been breached, the walls can deteriorate, hairline cracks can appear—and then stucco repair becomes a must.
A stucco professional (yes, they exist) will charge $400 to $750 to repair the exterior of a 1,500-square-foot house. And if you seldom have to repair stucco or masonry or work with cement, it’s worth the price because “the homeowner would have to buy all the supplies for a one-time job,” says Sharon Slade of D.L. Boyd, a Hyattsville, MD–based company that specializes in this type of repair. “A professional has all the supplies and know-how to get the repairs done.”
But if you have an older home that needs frequent exterior repair, you can do the work yourself with a little practice for a fraction of that price.
Stucco repair project overview
- Difficulty: Easy
- Timing: Less than an hour per patch
- Warnings: Wear gloves and eye protection when mixing or chipping
Things you need to repair stucco
- Work gloves
- Eye protection
- Mason’s chisel
- Premixed stucco or a patching compound
- Notched trowel
- Plaster finishing trowel
- “Finishing” tool (e.g., whisk, sponge, piece of board)