three-coat stucco to grade?

Originally Posted By: Sarah Dreier
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I am working on a home where grade hits several feet below the top of the foundation wall. We are using a true stucco, but don’t know how to address the transition from wood framing to the concrete wall. We would like to avoid a massive horizontal joint going around the building. Any thoughts on the transition area or if we can take true stucco a few inches below grade (to avoid the oh-so-ugly 8 inches of exposed foundation wall that commonly occurs with this situation)? Thanks…

Originally Posted By: dvalley
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Welcome to NACHI.

You may not like the appearence of that horizontal line around your house but Stucco should always be six to eight inches above grade to protect the structure from water and termite damage. Also water vapor transmission caused by inadequate waterproofing on the Stucco will cause the Stucco to discolor and possibly to spall off the wall, which is not a good situation.

The exposed foundation that you see under the Stucco is designed to withstand the moisture in the soil. But Stucco is not. Again, you may not like the appearance of exposed foundations, but from a functional standpoint, I would want to see them.

David Valley
MAB Member

Massachusetts Certified Home Inspections

"Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go."

Originally Posted By: jhagarty
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.

-Don Carpenter
Carpenter Construction

How are other builders addressing weep screed issues when you have a gap between the weep screed and the foundation?

-Nova Taylor
Supervisor of Customer Service, Arvida


Don, we recommend finishing the walls beneath a weep screed with a stucco scratch coat or paint tinted to match the stucco. If the weep screed has perforations, be sure not to fill them with paint or the scratch coat. It?s imporant not to extend the stucco finish below grade, as stucco will wick water through capillarity. The optimum distance between the grade line and the weep screed is six to eight inches.

Nova, we recommend dropping the weep screed one to one and a half inches below the sill plate. This will ensure that the stucco line is clean and doesn?t highlight any imperfections in the foundation. To seal the gap between the weep screed and the foundation, use a low expansion spray foam and then caulk the weep screed to the foundation wall.

-Anthony Grisolia
Building Performance Specialist

Joseph Hagarty

HouseMaster / Main Line, PA

Phone: 610-399-9864
Fax : 610-399-9865

HouseMaster. Home inspections. Done right.