Stucco has long been a popular cladding for new homes, in markets ranging from Florida to California and at every price point.

But during the building boom, and even the decade before it, builders got a little sloppy with newfangled EIFS and one-coat systems that were designed to save energy and labor costs but often ended up on 60 Minutes or in a courtroom instead.

As building quality makes a comeback as part of an overall push to improve housing performance and durability, the old yet reliable three-coat stucco application is making a comeback. Sure, it takes more time, but would you rather extend the schedule a few days to do it right from the get-go or suffer the consequences of a callback—or worse?

Consider the basic steps below for a proper three-coat stucco job, and consult with your mason or stucco contractor on the finer details to ensure a long-lasting application.