By Reggie Bullard
||We are currently building a house
Clarksville, MD area that will have a traditional stucco exterior. The
Tyvek home wrap is up and the metal lath attached.
In the attaching of the lath, the installer has placed an
From a look perspective, my wife and I hate all these joints. Also, our house is designed around a center courtyard which has mainly windows and glass doors surrounding it. The courtyard is not huge, and with all these vertical expansion joints, it looks like you could play tic-tac-toe on the walls. My wife asked the general contractor what the difference was between getting cracks and having cracks preinstalled. Actually, a little minor cracking would be acceptable over the look of the expansion joints.
The general contractor and the stucco sub have said that the placement of expansion joints at all corners of the windows and doors is per the "specifications". If we wanted any of the joints taken down, they said we would have to sign something saying we requested this and that if cracks occurred, it would be our problem. Also, we would have to pay to have the joints taken out.
Is there any way of filling the expansion joints so they are not noticeable? Also, the sub is pushing an elastometric finish coat from Finestone (supposedly to help reduce cracks) on top of the traditional 3-layers. Is this OK to use with traditional 3-coat stucco? Do you recommend keeping the expansion joints? Can we take just a few out? Is there a rule of thumb on where these joints would go (if we decide to have some)? Are you available for hire to inspect/consult/help us understand and make decisions (I've already had to hire a structural engineer to consult on a problem, but that's another story...)?
The sheathing on the house is plywood. If the floors are any indication, I do not believe they spaced the sheathing at all. I'll check.
Thanks for any advice.
Expansion joints are ugly, particularly the metal
I write my own specifications, which say expansions
The only specification I know of is by United States Gypsum
But the condition is that the lath be broken at the joint,
If the joint is nailed over the lath, which is probably the
Another thing I think looks ugly is synthetic finish.
The spacing recommendations are stamped on every
I would go rip off those expansions with a crow bar.
I am only available to hire in the evening because
Hope this helps.
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