How to Build a Stucco House

Stucco houses provide a warm and cosy ambience, so it’s no surprise home owners opt for the beautiful textures and colours of a stucco home. Though not entirely easy to do, building a stucco house with the help of a licensed contractor and some elbow grease is all you need to get the job done.

Required materials

  • Water
  • Wire lathe
  • Nails
  • Framing materials
  • Screws
  • Paint
  • Staples
  • Stucco mix
  • Staging

Required tools

  • Hammer
  • Level
  • Trowel
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Portable mixer (optional)
  • Drill with assorted bits
  • Paint sprayer
  • Staple gun


Home structure and foundation

  1. The first step is having a strong home structure.
  2. Earthen homes and foundations are good options in the appropriate climate, and have become popular due to their environmentally friendly features.
  3. Standard cement foundations, however, do remain the norm and are suitable for a stucco home.
  4. The foundation should be poured so that the home can be connected to the subsoil. If the home is in a frost location ensure the foundation reaches below the frost line so it will not crack or shift in cold weather.


  1. Any method used to frame the stucco home should provide a system with a wall, insulation and lattice structure.
  2. A stick frame home design can be used so the lath system of narrow boards can accept the stucco. This system works well, but in some cases the stucco absorbs water and rots the wooden lathe it was attached to.
  3. Wire mesh can be used in place of wooden lathe. (The mesh will serve the same purpose as the lathe but will not rot). Wire mesh is also easier and less expensive to install.

Attachment mechanism

  1. Once the basic framing, plumbing and electrical wiring of your home have been completed, begin covering your home with stucco.
  2. If you opt to use wire mesh instead of thin wooden lathes to attach to the wall system, use staples or nails as needed to keep the mesh tight to the wall.

Mixing stucco

  1. Generally a soft ice-cream like consistency is ideal when mixing the stucco. A stiffer or more watery mix may be used, depending on your preference.
  2. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions when mixing stucco.
  3. If you do not intend to paint your house after applying stucco, you have the option of colouring it when mixing.
  4. Use coloured pigment when mixing the stucco until you achieve your desired colour. If you are using powdered pigment, mix it with water before adding it to the stucco mix.

Applying the stucco

  1. Decide on a texture for your stucco home. A stucco mason should be able to give you several ideas.
  2. Apply a scratch coat to fill space and make the initial connection to the mesh.
  3. Lay it on with a trowel in a push and smooth motion (the idea is to push the mortar into the mesh voids).
  4. Ensure the finish is relatively smooth, but not too smooth.
  5. After the scratch coat has been applied, trowel on the final coat.
  6. Apply the final coat less aggressively, forming your desired texture and aiming for an even application.
  7. If the final coat begins to dry out as you work, mist the affected areas with water while avoiding the areas that have been finished or have yet to be worked on.
  8. If you plan to paint your stucco after application, wait a year for it to cure first.
  9. Use paint specifically formulated for stucco and a paint sprayer for an even application.

Tips and Warnings

  • If you are unsure of anything regarding the application of stucco to your home, hire the help of a stucco mason or a contractor.
  • An incorrectly built structure or stucco application can ruin or damage a house.