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Old 05-18-2010, 01:04 PM   #1
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ledger stones on stucco wall, but wall is bowed


I’ve decided I want to add a ledger stone veneer to the bottom half of our house in the front. I have some ideas on how to do this from reading books and manufacturer install guides and tiling our bathroom, but there is one problem with our lower stucco wall I’m not sure what to do about. Or if I even should do something about it.

This is the material being applied: http://www.realstonesource.com/10/Craftsman-Panels - 12.5 lbs per square foot.

Our stucco doesn’t have what I normally see on a modern construction house – I think it is called a weep screed – the overhang of the stucco over the foundation wall. Instead our stucco goes straight into the ground in some places, or, on one of our walls, it actually bows backwards like a boat hull. It looks like they just sort of ran the stucco down the wall, and then shaped it back towards the foundation wall. This makes applying the stone veneer a bit harder if either we want to go around a corner, or we want it to be plumb.

The stucco surface recedes back about an inch or so out of plumb over a vertical distance of about 6". It basically begins to recede at the point the wood framing meets the foundation wall.

I can provide a photo of that is too hard to visualize...

Also keep in mind, this is old school 1940's or 1950’s stucco – I think it is almost ¾” thick and is hard. Also, it has chicken wire embedded in it, not diamond lath. This is in California, San Francisco Bay Area. Freezing isn't much of an issue ... the wall is protected by eves as well.

Here is what I’m already thinking – our painter is already cleaning the stucco. Then I will nail a diamond lath to the existing stucco into the studs. A scratch coat (3/8”?) goes on top of the lath, and then I set the stone into mortar on top of the scratch coat. I will end about 4” above the dirt. All of that is more or less per manufacturer recommendations.

I will then either let the stone just conform to the out of plumb wall – OR I was thinking of buying weep screed to make a ledge, nailing that in to the bottom of my lath (into the foundation wall?), and slowly building out the stucco in ½” layers to make the wall plumb.

My concern is whether that is just too much weight/thickness to be ”hanging” there by itself. Will it just shear/crack off?

Would I be better off just living with the bow and not going around the corner? (the bow also turns the corner)

How should I successfully attach the weep screed to the foundation wall? (I'll have to attach it into the foundation concrete - I'm thinking tapcon)

And thank you for any advice in advance!

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Old 05-18-2010, 01:49 PM   #2
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ledger stones on stucco wall, but wall is bowed


I think you have a good shot at it all failing with it hanging on the stucco

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Old 05-18-2010, 02:31 PM   #3
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ledger stones on stucco wall, but wall is bowed


Several things. First, it may well all fall off, but probably not under normal conditions. In seismic areas there specific and non-negotiable codes that you have to follow. That is between you and your engineer.

Second, in applying it as described, you will end up with a probable entry point for water to get behind your new stone where the upper edge is. You will have to address that issue as well.

I would look at removing the old stucco behind the stone, flashing the top edge and using a watertable and finishing the bottom with weep screed.
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Old 05-18-2010, 03:50 PM   #4
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ledger stones on stucco wall, but wall is bowed


Even though I have tar paper layered with stucco already, moisture between the stone and stucco would be bad news? I was thinking it would just flow down to the new weep screed. I'm glad I asked.

How about putting tar paper under the lath? Assuming I could get the top of the paper above the water entry point... (Above the stone installation is a redwood siding rail that sticks out about 1" from the current stucco..)

The wood is not enough to shed the water off the stone, so I'll look at some options for a water table.
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Old 05-18-2010, 04:04 PM   #5
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ledger stones on stucco wall, but wall is bowed


I should add, btw, that I'm talking about 30-36" of stone, starting 4" from ground level.
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Old 05-18-2010, 04:08 PM   #6
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ledger stones on stucco wall, but wall is bowed


sorry thought it was entire wall, still could have water intrusion problems
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Old 05-18-2010, 05:15 PM   #7
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ledger stones on stucco wall, but wall is bowed


Where the stone stops and the (old) stucco starts will be a problem unless you remove the old stucco below that line. That line needs to be flashed over the top of the stone (usually with a watertable to further deflect water and hide the flashing).
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Old 05-18-2010, 05:38 PM   #8
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ledger stones on stucco wall, but wall is bowed


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Originally Posted by Tscarborough View Post
Where the stone stops and the (old) stucco starts will be a problem unless you remove the old stucco below that line. That line needs to be flashed over the top of the stone (usually with a watertable to further deflect water and hide the flashing).

I couldn't agree more, unless you can be guaranteed that you stucco is waterproof. (Odds are it isn't even remotely close to waterproof)

Less applied weight, shorter, stronger fasteners into the studs/framing, proper water barriers in place over the sheating, AND you very well could be getting rid of the bowing in the walls that you're concerned about.

As for the weep screed, I've installed them with a Tapcon anchor every 2-3' before.

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