Boston experts answer member's stucco question

Boston experts answer member's stucco question

"My 2,200-square-foot house has a horrible texture coat all over it. Bids for stuccoing over it are extremely high. I'm thinking about having the texture coat removed, and then painting the house. However, I can't seem to find anyone to remove the texture coat. Help!"

 - Susan Riess

"The best bet is to put a skim coat over the whole thing," says Brad Stearns, owner of highly rated CSA Home Services in Somerville. The licensed handyman says he subcontracts with an expert masonry contractor who has "the finesse to get it done."

But preparing the surface properly is critical to the application. "Preparation is 95 percent of success," Stearns says. "You want the surface to be nice and clean and sterile. Then you can apply a bonding agent to it."

Gavin Curd, owner of highly-rated Olde England Painting in Boston, says he would prefer to see the texture before offering any solutions. "We don't change whole surfaces," Curd says. "We never sandblast."

To follow the new lead-safety laws that went into effect in April, Curd says, his crews will lay plastic around the house and scrape it by hand or with a HEPA sander that prevents dust from disbursing into the air.

If the texture is like old stucco, the problem could be underneath it, says Fernando Kempes Bento, owner of highly-rated F. Kempes General Contractor in Malden. If it's pure concrete with metal lattice underneath, he says, it will be very expensive to remove it all.

"She has an option of skim coating the existing surface and painting, or covering it up with vinyl siding or cement siding," Kempes Bento says.

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