Do It Yourself EIFS Installation

As a precursor to this article I’ll say this: While it may seem like a good, money saving idea to install the EIFS yourself, it’s very technical work that even the skilled tradesmen run into problems with at times, so don’t do it yourself. Paying a professional contractor to install it will always prove to be less expensive in the long run, and they can do it much quicker than you.

There are people who want to do it regardless, on a detached garage or a dog house. The amount of time it takes you to install EIFS can be 2-3 times as long as a skilled contractor, so count on paying yourself less than than $10/hour in terms of cost savings. The damage that you can do is minimal on a garage or pet house so here’s a guide.

First

Get familiar with the manufacturer’s system that you’d like to use and their installation guidelines. We recommend DuROCK, located in Vaughan with a long standing history of solid materials and cutting edge innovations that make installation simple. While an installation guideline can’t teach you how to float the finish coat or how to determine what 1/8th inch of base coat looks like, it can tell you what specifications to aim for. Following manufacturer guidelines will ensure that your new EIFS cladding lasts as long as possible. Read through it, make sure you understand it, and bring your questions to the order desk at the manufacturer.

Material Estimates

First you’ll need to know the Area (square footage) that you need done. Measure the width and the height of the walls to get the area, and add 10% to account for waste. Don’t remove regular sized windows and doors from this total. Coverage for materials varies depending on thickness but some guidelines for our example are as follows:

  • DuRock Polar Coat (air barrier): Area / 110 square feet per pail = X pails
  • PUCCS Insulation: Area / 240 square feet per bundle = X bundles of styrofoam (comes in packs of Y 2′x4′ boards)
  • Fiberglass Mesh: Area / 400 square feet per roll = X rolls of fiberglass mesh
  • Polar Bear (base coat): Area / 120 square feet per pail = X pails
  • Finish Coat: Area / 200 square feet per pail = X pails

For obvious reasons, you won’t be getting the contractor discount on materials. Expect to budget $4.00-$4.50 per square foot for materials.

Warranty

Manufacturers spend a lot of time and money training new contractors and following up on their first few jobs. Over the course of months or years and dozens of projects, they develop a relationship that allows them to warranty a project. Doing the stucco yourself means that the manufacturer has no idea who you are or what kind of job you’re going to do, and likely will not warranty the project. That means that you’re going to want to follow their specifications as closely as possible.

You also want to contact your home insurance company to notify them that you will be undertaking a home improvement project. Your home owners insurance will really be your only protection, and there may be exemptions under your coverage for work you performed yourself. Finally – performing the work yourself leaves you completely liable should you sell your house and anything happens.

Why Do It Yourself?

There are a number of reasons people do their own EIFS home renovations. On smaller, detached buildings (a shed or poolhouse) it might make for a fun summer project, but it will not save you money. You can count on spending 2x-3x as long completing the project as a professional contractor would, and risk missing some vital part of the installation. You take the burden of a warranty and insurance onto your own shoulders, and likely will not have the same level of finish quality at the end.

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  • What is Stucco?

    "Stucco" is typically what people in the Toronto area use when they're looking for EIFS (Exterior Insulation Finish Systems, or "synthetic stucco"). We use the two terms interchangeably.

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