Thursday, October 23, 2008
In North Carolina, sellers are required to disclose if a house’s exterior is actually artificial stucco-EIFS Stucco-instead of concrete stucco. EIFS is basically a form of styrofoam placed on the outside of the house with a “stucco” look-alike finish on the surface. While a house with EIFS can absorb the inevitable settling of the house over time without cracking, it does come with other hazards. Unfortunately, EIFS stucco applied on a wood-framed home (especially if not applied properly) tends to hold moisture inside the walls, which can cause the houses wood and frames to rot. If you fall in love with a home with this artificial stucco, before purchasing the home you should insist the seller replace the stucco with an appropriate new finish, and make any repairs needed at their own expense. It may even prove helpful to request an engineer’s report and documentation of repairs.
Concrete stucco homes are less able to absorb settling changes without cracking, and it is important to make sure the foundation is engineered to support the extra weight of the stucco. Whichever kind of stucco you encounter, a professional inspection will alert you to any problems, notify you of any areas you need to keep caulked, and alert you to what to potential signs of trouble in the future.
Especially if you’re a first time homebuyer, you need to be aware of how different systems in your home impact energy costs, contribute to home values, and require upkeep in the years ahead. An experienced realtor can point out some things to consider as you balance these concerns, but the blog posts below might be helpful as well: