Stucco is universally acknowledged for its ability to exude European charm and is perfectly suited to the climate (and history) of Southern California.
Modern architects like Frank Lloyd Wright, Richard Neutra, and Frank Gehry used stucco on some of their most famous houses. Stucco is a great building material, when in the hands of the right designer; because there are a variety of textures and colors that will exude the charm you are looking for in your home.
Just think, if the Romans and Greeks used an ancient form of stucco on some of their structures that are still standing to this day, then it is probably worth considering for your home.
But the advantages go beyond the design aspects. Here are some more reasons why stucco is so popular in Southern California include:
- Suitability. It is perfectly suited to our warm, dry climate.
- Durability. Stucco is extremely durable. It is fire-resistant and has the ability to expand and contract with the seasonal shifts. It is known to last for up to 50 years before needing to be replaced.
- Maintenance. With stucco, maintenance is minimal. An annual checkup is recommended to make sure there are no cracks or mold. Once everything checks out, a thorough cleaning is in order.
Added Bonus: You will also never have to worry about termite damage or wood rot.
- Variety. Because of the large variety of colors to choose from, stucco is compatible with almost any home exterior. This also gives you a great deal of control over the final look of your home.
- Cost effectiveness. While the up front costs to installing stucco may be more expensive, over the long run, because of its easy maintenance and longevity, it will eventually pay for itself.
- Versatility. It can be applied to both concrete masonry and wood frame buildings.
- Less noise pollution. Cities in Southern California, including beach cities in the South Bay area, always seem in high demand. That means more people, cars and noise. Stucco can help reduce sound transmission.
It isn’t absolutely perfect, but it is perfect for Southern California.
Stucco does have its drawbacks.
Financially, the up front costs are considerable. The majority of the costs will go to labor, as several layers of installation will be needed.
Stucco is able to tolerate moisture and expansion up to a certain point. Brick veneer and vinyl are more efficient at keeping water out of exterior walls during times of heavy rain. However, this isn’t much of an issue in Southern California.
Also, stucco leaves less room for error when changing color plans. If you decide you don’t like the color scheme, it can be painted over, but the paint will need to be sandblasted off. This means more time and invariably, more money.
While stucco isn’t absolutely perfect, it can be the perfect exterior finish choice for your Southern California home.