Tag Archives: exterior insulation

The Complications of hiring an EIFS/Stucco Contractor

I was driving to an appointment with a homeowner this week while I was stopped at a light and noticed this sign on the street post.

INTERLOCKING
STONE
CUSTOM DECK
STUCCO
905 884 ****

Aside from how unprofessionally crafted this sign was, (it was spray painted) I kept thinking that this person will surely get calls from deal-seekers who want stucco on their project. We all want to save money, we don’t want to overpay for anything, especially something that requires an investment on your investment. At the same time, we do not want to underpay either. A fair price is market value, not more, not less.

So would it be the right decision to hire a company who specializes in many areas as opposed to a company who focuses on just one? It’s part of The Focus Philosophy’s core lesson of doing one thing really well… and saying no to everything else.

Hiring a specialist in EIFS/Stucco will only serve you. EIFS is a complicated system. It’s not the same as applying brick or stone on the wall. It’s made up of many different layers that function as a system. If one layer is done incorrectly, it will surely fail, resulting in costly repairs or complete re-dos. We have seen it happen and can attribute this to one reason: the wrong person was hired for the job.

When EIFS is properly installed, it’s a beautiful thing. Aesthetically, it adds to your projects curb appeal with its versatility in design. Available in a vast array of colour and textures, combined with exterior foam mouldings, you can achieve many great things in design with EIFS.

In between the layers, it serves to protect your home by providing valued insulation where needed, saving you thousands in energy bills. It protects your project from moisture problems which almost always lead to mold issues.
And again, costly repair bills.

We are Stucco and Mouldings Experts!. We don’t do bathroom renos and can’t serve to install your new kitchen. But the one thing we will do is complete your job the way it was meant to be. No hassles. No headaches. No worries.

We are Toronto’s most trusted and reliable stucco contractor, servicing areas Peterborough, Oshawa, Whitby, Pickering, Ajax, Scarborough,  East York, Vaughan,  Markham, Richmond Hill, Aurora, Newmarket, Woodbridge, Maple, Nobleton, Bolton, Barrie, Etobicoke, Caledon, Peel Region, Brampton, Mississauga, Oakville, Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, Hamilton, St. Catherines, and London.

To get in touch with us about an estimate for your project, please fill in the form below.

Until our next post.

Tell-tale signs of a reputable stucco contractor

For those looking for a contractor, it may be tough to separate the reputable ones from the not-so reputable. But there are little ways that if you add them up, can paint a clear picture on how they stack up.

BUSINESS CARD
We know everyone has one (or at least should have one) but what kind of information is on there? I remember showing up to a job-site once and when I arrived, the general contractor had about 10 of them in his hands and was sorting them into two piles. When I asked what they meant, he simply replied, “I’m putting the ones with no address on one side and the ones with an address in the other. The non-address ones are going in the garbage.” It’s genius. Do you really want to deal with a contractor that only has a business name and phone number? If something were to go wrong, would you know where to find them?

WEBSITE
Everyone should have one of these too. It’s an extension of their business card and will display a wealth of useful information. Look for ones that list who their material suppliers, the types of systems that they use and past project pictures. The ones who take the time to earn your business by clearly conveying what they’re about are the ones worth dealing.

WORK TRUCK
And by work truck, we don’t mean a Honda Civic with the seats ripped out and a bucket in the trunk. Reliable stucco contractors have invested in their business and equipped themselves not only with the proper tools but the proper mode of transportation. It may seem silly but when your contractor asks you to pick up some supplies because they won’t fit in the car, it won’t seem so funny. And we’ve seen it happen.

PROJECTS IN PROGRESS
Ask for an address they’re currently working on. Great stucco contractors will always have a project on the go and would be glad to showcase it. Ask if you can go see it and take note of the job-site conditions. If it’s always clean and looks respectable, you’ll know they’ll treat yours the same way.

We are Toronto’s most trusted and reliable stucco contractor, servicing areas Peterborough, Oshawa, Whitby, Pickering, Ajax, Scarborough,  East York, Vaughan,  Markham, Richmond Hill, Aurora, Newmarket, Woodbridge, Maple, Nobleton, Bolton, Barrie, Etobicoke, Caledon, Peel Region, Brampton, Mississauga, Oakville, Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, Hamilton, St. Catherines, and London.

To get in touch with us about an estimate for your project, please fill in the form below.

Until our next post.

Turning something old into something new: Retrofitting with stucco/EIFS

If you live in a large Metropolitan city, the reality of looking for a new home at an attractive price point is getting increasingly difficult given the current state of the real estate market.

Jason and Valentina from Mississauga are a text book case. “We were tired of the bidding wars”, says Jason. “We went to an open house last weekend, Val and I both loved the house, we could have definitely called it home but we saw there was plenty of interest from all the agent cards left at the front door. Our own agent advised the house might get an extra 20-25k above asking.” If you were listening and watching Jason tell their story, you could tell this was a battle they didn’t win. “When it came time on Tuesday to make an offer, we didn’t even get a call back. We found out the next day that the house sold for $181,000 above list! How can we compete with that?! We’ve made a conscious decision to stay here but it does need some improvement. Instead of putting money into buying a new home, we’re going to improve ours.”

Renovating or retrofitting with stucco/EIFS is a good choice for older homes. First and foremost, you’ll be adding curb appeal to your home by giving it an exterior facelift. Second, you’ll be bringing your home up-to-speed in terms of energy efficiency. And third, stucco/EIFS requires very little yearly maintenance.

CURB APPEAL
We could always use more, the exterior of our homes is usually the first and only impression it will make to passers by. And when it comes to curb appeal, EIFS ranks as a top choice  with its endless array of options. First, you can pick any colour under the sun. So if you want a Peacock Blue home, you can have it. Second, there are many different textures you can select.

ENERGY EFFICIENCY
The old adage certainly applies when we say, “Things just aren’t built like they used to be”. And it’s no different when we speak about houses. Older homes are great, they have a certain aura of design that is rarely seen in today’s construction. While modern building can certainly take some notes on design of old, there is still one thing that needs to be addressed. And it’s a big one. Energy efficiency.

The perfect and inexpensive system for retrofitting.

If you live in an older home, you’re probably used to high heating costs in the winter and cooling costs in the summer. The fact is, insulation standards have a come a long way since then and living green not only for the sake of the environment but for our pocketbook as well is an issue that won’t go away unless it’s dealt with.

The EIFS system to the left is a popular choice among retrofit projects because not only does it properly address the issue of energy efficiency, it also comes at an attractive price point.

Here is how it is put together;
1. Membranes
2. Polyisocyanurate board
3. Basecoat and mesh
4. Finish coat

The insulation factor is supplied by #2, the polyisocyanurate board, hard to pronounce, even harder working. Polyisocyanurate are very light insulation panels whose compressive strength and components allow them to be installed directly on a building’s vertical furrings.  Add this and you can put those savings from your energy bills into landscaping the front yard.

MAINTENANCE
Wouldn’t life be better if it were maintenance free? If your lawn just cut itself every week, your garden planted its own seeds and the wood portions on your home re-painted automatically? You’d have more time on your hands than you’d know what to do with. Unfortunately, such is not the case. While you can put Astroturf on your lawn to rid of the weekly cutting, there’s a way to reduce the amount of time spent on re-painting exterior wood portions on your home. Replace it with stucco/EIFS.

Imagine getting rid of removing peeling paint, priming, 1st finish coat, 2nd finish coat… and this just doesn’t only apply to walls, but for mouldings too.

Pre-based foam mouldings are made from foam and cement, a completely inorganic duo that is  unaffected by Mother Nature’s elements. Rotting? No. Warping? No. Insect troubles? No. And the only reason why you would have to re-paint? If you wanted to change colour. And it comes in plenty of styles to suit your home’s design.

We may be biased because we work in the stucco/EIFS industry but with what other material can you get maximum curb appeal, optimum energy efficiency and an exterior that requires little yearly maintenance?

We are Toronto’s most trusted and reliable stucco contractor, servicing areas Peterborough, Oshawa, Whitby, Pickering, Ajax, Scarborough,  East York, Vaughan,  Markham, Richmond Hill, Aurora, Newmarket, Woodbridge, Maple, Nobleton, Bolton, Barrie, Etobicoke, Caledon, Peel Region, Brampton, Mississauga, Oakville, Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, Hamilton, St. Catherines, and London.

To get in touch with us about an estimate for your project, please fill in the form below.

Until our next post.

North York Stucco Contractor – Just Finished

A harmonious effect is created when the wall colour is the same as the mouldings (Click to enlarge)

We stopped by to see Glen and Erica in North York just after recently finishing their stucco project.

“We love our new home, the stucco looks great and the moulding work is seamless. Our crew explained everything they were doing and aside from a few rainy days, stuck to their timeline and we were really pleased with that.”

And we love this home too. We’re big fans of keeping both the colour of the stucco wall and mouldings the same. It has a calming effect and really works well in light gray.

But what if it were another colour? Say a dark brown, would it give the same effect? In our opinion, not really. We feel when a homeowner chooses this technique, a light hue is the best route to go. This will allow the shadows, midtones and highlights to properly interact with each other  since the base colour is light. If it were dark, all three would get mixed in together and create a chaotic visual. While it may be bold, it will be for the wrong reasons.

That’s not to say we don’t like when the stucco and mouldings are different colours, we do as long as the combination works.

And if you need advice, please give us a call 416 602 4193. We’ll be glad to assist as best as we can. But at the end of the day, you’re the one who will be coming back to your home every night so first and foremost, you should be pleased with it. Not your neighbours.

We are Toronto’s most trusted and reliable stucco contractor, servicing areas Peterborough, Oshawa, Whitby, Pickering, Ajax, Scarborough,  East York, Vaughan,  Markham, Richmond Hill, Aurora, Newmarket, Woodbridge, Maple, Nobleton, Bolton, Barrie, Etobicoke, Caledon, Peel Region, Brampton, Mississauga, Oakville, Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, Hamilton, St. Catherines, and London.

To get in touch with us about an estimate for your project, please fill in the form below.

Until our next post.

Oakville Stucco Contractor – Proposed Concept

We completely transformed this once brick home into a stucco and stone masterpiece

One of the things we love about 3D renderings is the ability to let our imaginations run wild.

We started this  on one of our Oakville Stucco project and our client was very pleased.

We don’t have the before shot handy but here is what the home will look like when it is finished.

To give you an idea, the current lay of the land is all brick. After owning the home for just over a year, Vince and Tara thought it was time to personalize their investment with a complete exterior over-haul by adding their own curb appeal.

The idea is to add a stone skirt all around the house about 3′ in height from the ground. From then on, stucco will takeover, including the roof dormers that are at the moment, aluminum siding.

Vince and Tara requested that the stucco be a similar colour to their roof. We thought this was a wise choice considering their roof is quite high and attracts a high amount of visual attentiveness.

Each window on the lower floor is trimmed with MX126 from Mouldex Exterior Mouldings and uses the stone cap MX201 as the running sill across each elevation. On the dormer windows, a thinner version of the MX201 is used as the sill as a more subtle substitute.

One of the things Vince and Tara really liked was that we were able to match them with a contractor that does  stone as well. Their choice was a cultured stone and various contractors in our network are certified installers as well. So with one hire, they had one contact, one contract and one company which made figuring out timelines and schedules a whole lot easier.

We’re seeing the stucco & stone trend emerge more and more as of late, and why not? It creates a higher level of visual impact whether it’s a 3′ stone skirt or complete accent walls to better define the look of a home.

We are Toronto’s most trusted and reliable stucco contractor, servicing areas Peterborough, Oshawa, Whitby, Pickering, Ajax, Scarborough,  East York, Vaughan,  Markham, Richmond Hill, Aurora, Newmarket, Woodbridge, Maple, Nobleton, Bolton, Barrie, Etobicoke, Caledon, Peel Region, Brampton, Mississauga, Oakville, Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, Hamilton, St. Catherines, and London.

To get in touch with us about an estimate for your project, please fill in the form below.

Until our next post.

Toronto Stucco Contractor: Proposed Concept

3D Rendering of stucco house completed for one of our Toronto Stucco Contractors (Click to Enlarge)

We thought we would share our latest 3D rendering from a project starting next week.

This one was done in collaboration with Anthony and Wendy from Scarborough, ON.

The current house stands with brick and a stone entrance. We took their curb appeal to a whole new level, not only with stucco, but by  adding crown mouldings under the soffit and trim around their windows and doors.

We also used reveals to make their entrance stand out. We like to exaggerate front entrances because it’s the first place on-lookers see when they view your house. Why not make it pop?

And that wasn’t the only thing. To replace the corner quoins, we decided to run pilasters up the side, topped off by the crown at top. The crowns were built out around the pilasters to enhance each top corner. Nice effect that we rarely see.

We tied the corner pilasters into the design of the windows and doors by using the same shape, just a different size for proportion purposes. Half to be exact. Each window and door uses a 6″ pilaster on the vertical edges and a header along the horizontal. The bottom of the windows have a sill, complete with a slope and drip-edge for water management.

And to finish it off, to hide the expansion joint that would cut through the middle of the house, we used a mid-band that would also act as the trimming for the portico.

We are Toronto’s most trusted and reliable stucco contractor, servicing areas Peterborough, Oshawa, Whitby, Pickering, Ajax, Scarborough,  East York, Vaughan,  Markham, Richmond Hill, Aurora, Newmarket, Woodbridge, Maple, Nobleton, Bolton, Barrie, Etobicoke, Caledon, Peel Region, Brampton, Mississauga, Oakville, Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, Hamilton, St. Catherines, and London.

To get in touch with us about an estimate for your project, please fill in the form below.

Until our next post.

Stucco/EIFS during the winter

A common sight for construction in the winter.

When we get phone calls from project owners looking for a stucco contractor during the winter months, the first question we ask is “Are you looking to start now or can it wait till Spring?” While most can wait, some can’t.

Hiring a reputable stucco/EIFS contractor is especially important during cold weather. But here are a few things you should know  if you’re thinking about completing your project outside of warmer temperatures.

COST
This is by far the number one consideration so we thought we would mention it first. Your project needs to be covered with a tarp and supplementary heaters (propane) need to be put in place to create a warm environment. Unfortunately, the cost for this has to be covered by you. And it can be expensive. For smaller projects, you can expect to pay a minimum of $1000, an average two storey home will set you back an extra $3000-4000. Improper covering and heating will create further problems down the line so it’s best to make sure the setup is done correctly.

MATERIAL STORAGE
Like any liquid material, if not stored properly, adverse effects will occur. In the winter, should inadequate storage be available, you’re at risk of having your materials freeze. If frozen then thawed and applied, the system will fail. When frozen then thrown out, replacement will cost extra. If there is no place on site that will shelter your materials from the cold, request that materials only be brought over as needed.

BEST PRACTICES
- Tarps should be tied down tight. If not, flapping can occur in the wind or worse, your scaffolds could blow over or catch fire from the heater.

- Heaters must be placed a safe distance from any object, including your walls. Remember we’re working with foam here.

- Propane tanks must be outside of tarps, chained together and tied to your scaffolds so they cannot fall.

One last thing, your stucco contractor must have a license to operate propane tanks which is called ROT (Record of Training). Make sure you ask to see it beforehand.

A professional stucco contractor will closely monitor this so you don’t have to. Be sure that you select the right one for your project to eliminate the risk.

We are Toronto’s most trusted and reliable stucco contractor, servicing areas Peterborough, Oshawa, Whitby, Pickering, Ajax, Scarborough,  East York, Vaughan,  Markham, Richmond Hill, Aurora, Newmarket, Woodbridge, Maple, Nobleton, Bolton, Barrie, Etobicoke, Caledon, Peel Region, Brampton, Mississauga, Oakville, Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, Hamilton, St. Catherines, and London.

To get in touch with us about an estimate for your project, please fill in the form below.

Until our next post.

Welcome to our stucco blog

We just finished setting up our blog and our team is excited.

We’re all about providing information, afterall, knowledge is key. Our main website gives you the best and all you need to know about EIFS, stucco, architectural foam mouldings, exterior insulation, stucco colours, textures and more.

Now we’ve equipped ourselves with technology that will help us deliver that information faster.

We invite you to travel with us to our jobsites, read our articles, comments, view our pictures and educate yourself with first hand knowledge that can be invaluable when working on your own stucco/EIFS project.

We are Toronto’s most trusted and reliable stucco contractor, servicing areas Peterborough, Oshawa, Whitby, Pickering, Ajax, Scarborough,  East York, Vaughan,  Markham, Richmond Hill, Aurora, Newmarket, Woodbridge, Maple, Nobleton, Bolton, Barrie, Etobicoke, Caledon, Peel Region, Brampton, Mississauga, Oakville, Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, Hamilton, St. Catherines, and London.

To get in touch with us about an estimate for your project, please fill in the form below.

Until our next post.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 168 other followers