BUILDER sibling JLC's Matt Risinger demonstrates how to install stucco the right way.

This is quasi-traditional three-coat stucco with a not-so-traditional substrate assembly, using a combination of a vapor-open weather barrier, Roxul board insulation, and Boral's Drain-N-Dry synthetic lath. The scratch and brown coats have fiber reinforcement, and the finish coat is a LaHabra integral-color finish coat.

This system would work in any climate zone, as long as you have sufficient continuous insulation in your assembly. Will it crack? Yes. As Matt is fond of explaining, there are two kinds of stucco: stucco that has cracks and stucco that will soon have cracks. The key is to tell clients to expect them and do a good job of waterproofing under the stucco so water that gets behind it doesn’t matter. This is why this method of building a ventilated drainage assembly is important.

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