Friday, August 4, 2006

de-stuccoing the house

With the basement on hiatus, we're moving on to the outside. I've been stripping and painting the outside of the basement windows, and redoing the putty, where it's cracked. This has to be done before the rainy season. Last year (or was it 2 years ago?) we took off some of the stucco on our house. Like a lot of old houses in Vancouver, ours was covered in stucco, circa 1950 or 1960. The stucco is up to 2" thick in places. Underneath is cedar siding, at least on the bottom of the house. It could be shingles on the top, which is popular around here too. The siding is in decent condition, I think it was only painted twice. There are a lot of nail holes and splits from nailing on the lathe, on the section I took off. We'd like to take it off the whole house, it's a huge job though. I've read that using an air-hammer with a compressor works well, and the starting at the top, and then peeling it down is good too. For this year though, I'm just going to be cleaning up the mess that I started. I have a diamond blade for my grinder, so I'm going to neaten up the transition between stucco and clapboard. Then repair and paint the clapboard. At least the weather has been ideal, I'll probably start on the stucco this weekend. Next year, if we're up for it, we'll start taking it all off, as well as the terrible stone work at the front. We may find a way to do it in stages though, it's a huge job.


Paul said...

I didn't know they just put the stucco over siding!

(Jim &) Brandy Brow said...

The paint on your wood siding is probably lead, so be wary about using any stucco removal method that will make old paint fly more into the air or onto the dirt. After one of our children was lead poisoned from our old house we remodeled (not our current project), we're very conscious of the serious hazard lead paint is for kids who can even ingest it from playing in dirt. If your kids are not yet teens, I recommend periodically requesting a lead test from your doctor (or WIC office)--a good idea for any house remodelers with kiddos.

Best wishes--your house is looking good.

Brandy of The Building Brows