It's a pleasure, and thanks in advance. I've learned a lot scouring over this site and I'm already indebted to many without having ever posted.
On to my project I have undertaken and may need to call the undertaker on: the mortar/stucco 1/8" to almost 3/4" layer which surrounds a portion of the exposed basement and concrete slab portions of our tri-level. This layer has been cracked, lifted, and otherwise in bad repair due to some vine-like "flowers" the previous owner had cultivated around the house. So I have removed most of the mortar/stucco below the brick and am planning on finishing the wall prep work this weekend.
1. I plan on pressure washing. What else should I do to prep the surface for max bonding of the new mortar or stucco or whatever? This will, of course, change depending on the exterior finishing method I suppose.
2. Do I need to use some sort of leveling agent to smooth out the pocked concrete before the mortal is applied?
3. Any ideas of an exterior finish I can use besides mortar? I don't know if stone veneers would stick out and look bad, or if I might use some cool looking tiles, or something other than mortar?
4. Is mortar or stucco the cheapest/fastest route to finishing this project? I assume I can color the mortar as well (though I would probably opt for the neutral finish).
5. On several corners of the house, the concrete looks to be somewhat chipped out. Would I need to repair this as well, or give an extra special dose of mortar in this area?
6. If I chickened out and opted for a mason to do this, how much might a sq ft cost?
All tips, slaps, ideas, instructions, and help are much appreciated. Btw, this home is in Louisville KY for climate and cost considerations. Thanks tons,