Toronto Stucco/EIFS Average Price/Cost

An Updated version of this article is available for 2012 at: 2012 Guide To Budgeting For Your Stucco Renovation


When it comes to attaining a budget price for your home renovation, there are various (dozens, actually) of things that need to be taken into account. Some of them are:

  • Time of year
  • Time frame
  • Size of walls – height
  • Detailing of walls – protrusions, windows, number of surfaces
  • Amount and type of stucco trim/moulding and decor
  • Missing / not-included work items
  • Condition or removal of existing siding
  • Distance of project from contractor

You should be able to budget around $10 per square foot, but realize that this is just an estimate. Getting an actual quote is the best way to find out how much it will truly cost.

As is always possible, you can bargain and haggle the price down, just be aware that whether you are aware of it or not, you are sacrificing quality which will decrease the longevity of your wall system. It’s the author’s opinion that anyone considering renovating or building with EIFS (exterior insulation finish systems) educate themselves on common practices, then pay a little more than what they could get as cheaply as possible.

Look at it like this: If you have 1,500 square feet of wall space that needs to be done, and you might get quotes around $13,000, $15,000 and $19,000. That’s a huge range. More than likely, the $19,000 quote is from a contractor who doesn’t need the extra work but will do it anyways if it’s worth his time, but because they’re overloaded you probably won’t get the attention you need either. At this point, most home owners will go for the $13000 quote, because it is within what they read is “normal” from other home owners, who may or may not (probably the latter) know what they actually got. They think that they are saving $2,000.

But this contractor, unbeknown to the home owner or his competitor – priced the project using mechanical adhesive (screws) and no weather barrier (against the manufacturer’s instructions). Within a few days the the plywood substrate is covered and no one who is knowledgeable on the subject saw the project, or bothered to say anything to the home owner.

Now… even a poorly installed EIFS cladding will last for years, maybe decades. Not only that, but in that time frame it may have even paid for itself in energy savings. Because there is no weather barrier however, and the home owner didn’t know any better, in 15 years a home inspection is done and mould is discovered. It has rotted the plywood and moved into wall studs. The home owner is told that the mould may be harmful to their health, and is compromising the structural integrity of the wood studs, and needs to be replaced immediately. The home owner ends up incurring cost after cost:

  • $4,000 for mould remediation…
  • $5,000 to remove the defective EIFS…
  • $4,000 for a carpenter to replace the wood studs and plywood…
  • …and in a perfect world $16,000 for the EIFS to be properly re-installed.

That’s over $29,000 of out of pocket expenses, and another $30,000 to sue a contractor… if you can find him. Unfortunately, the reputation of EIFS is frequently (and wrongfully) tarnished in these situations, because of the unscrupulous morals of a single contractor and the lack of discretion from a home owner. In the end, it always benefits the home owner to pay the little extra and ensure the job gets done right the first time. That isn’t to say that paying more will ensure your job is done properly though.

When all is said and done, most people end up around the $10-12 per square foot range, when doing a large part of their home. When doing a smaller part (less than 300 square feet), it’s more common to see prices in the $15+ per square foot range.

Sign up to receive a stucco quote the main page to get information on what to look for and ensure that you your home renovation project is done right.

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  1. Chris

     /  April 16, 2010

    TOTALLY AGREE with ALL that. I personally had many cases. I’ve EVEN seen tears from 1-2 customers asking for help. I’ve seen rot BADLY. I’ve seen it ALL.

  2. It does not matter

     /  July 13, 2010

    The article is informative, but has faulty/misleading reasoning. The author’s argument is you get what you paid for and because you settled for a $13000 job you get a bad job. What the author fails (briefly did) to emphasize is that it is also possible to pay $19000 for the job and still get a bad job.

    The real problem is the “unscrupulous” contractors and not the price you pay.

    The author should consider discussing how to avoid bad contractors or better yet make recommendations on how to select a good contractor. For example: are they insured do they have proper accreditation, references.

  3. Admin

     /  July 18, 2010

    Yes and no. You really do get what you pay for, and paying 80% of what a project should actually cost will mean that somewhere, that 20% is being taken from the quality of the project. This isn’t speculation, it is what I have seen first hand. You are right that over-paying for a job won’t guarantee a good job either.

    You are spot on with your second point though. A lack of business ethics is the true root of the problem. There are hints and recommendations scattered throughout the blog as to how to find the right contractor and compare quotes effectively. Obviously, submitting a request through the main site is one such way. We are currently working on a guide that will be distributed to all home owners who request a quote.

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      "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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