We have recently observed that due to the improved construction market some of our builder customers find themselves under pressure to meet tight schedules, so we thought it might be beneficial to point out some ways that builders can accelerate their schedules:
1. Be fully ready for lath – The lathing process will be much more efficient (and much faster) if the project is truly ready. It is beneficial to meet with your Lath Superintendent prior to the completion of installation of the windows and doors. He will walk the project with you to review and discuss areas where backing is needed, locations and elevations for screeds and expansion joints, proper electrical box depth, etc.
Also, it is very important that the roof be loaded prior to the commencement of lath. This is because the settling of the building as it accommodates the loading can distort the lath and tear the moisture barrier in a way that can impact the building integrity. When these conditions are in place, the lath team is able to move efficiently and continuously – helping your schedule.
2. Be ready for scratch & brown – Scratch coat should only be commenced AFTER drywall installation. This is because if scratch and brown are done before drywall, the drywall installation can cause unwanted cracking of the cement matrix. Significant forces are placed on the framing members as drywall screws distort the framing along with other impacts associated with the drywall installation process. Because the drywall is in the critical path of stucco application, its timely scheduling will impact your overall schedule.
3. Use fast curing products when beneficial – The schedule for a typical stucco building (of moderate size) is: scratch coat 1 day, then a day or two cure time, then one or two days for the brown coat and at least a week or two curing before finish coat. This process can be accelerated by using cement blends incorporating components that greatly shorten cure time from as many as 21 or more days to as few as 3-5 days.
Eisenwall is the product we use with the quickest cure time. With Eisenwall, theoretically, you can scratch, brown, and color in the same day. It does cost more (approximately $1.40 per square foot more), but when the schedule is critical, it is an option that can be considered. We have had extensive experience with Eisenwall, and have found it to be consistently reliable.
We hope this information will be helpful. Let us know if you have questions or would like further detail.