Metal structures are becoming more and more popular for a variety of reasons—and that is leading to builders looking for innovative ways to create distinctive new looks that differ from the usual look and feel of sheet metal siding.
So, what about stucco? Is it possible to install stucco on a metal structure? The short answer is that yes, it is possible—and we’ll show you how it can be done. Along the way, we’re also going to show you the ET&F® (a Beck brand) STUCCOFAST® Model 500MA System, which is a fantastic tool and fastener system designed to help you install stucco substrates quickly and easily.
What’s Behind the Popularity of Metal Structures?
When you think of stucco, you typically think of traditional stick-built structures, which is the type of building system that you’d normally use with stucco. However, metal building systems are gaining popularity—and that’s because they offer numerous benefits that stick-built buildings or other building systems may not offer.
- Metal is recyclable—and that makes it a sustainable material for people who are interested in eco-friendly building.
- Metal components often come prefabricated, which makes the building process fast and cost-effective.
- Emerging trends in metal construction are leading to lots of colors and styles to choose from, which gives you a lot of design flexibility.
- Steel buildings are easy to maintain and renovate.
While the list above represents some of the top reasons why people are choosing metal structures over other building systems, there are many more—and the fact that there are innovations allowing for the use of mixed materials is only fueling this rise in popularity.
Stucco as an Option for Metal Structures
If you want the look and feel of stucco over a steel structure, there are a couple of options: Stucco panels, and real stucco. Before you make the choice between them, the most important thing to consider is weight.
Metal structures are already quite heavy—and real stucco is even heavier yet, especially if you’re using a three-coat stucco system that can weigh up to 12 pounds per square foot. Be sure to check the building’s specifications to determine how much weight it can handle and base your choices on that.
If you need to keep things lightweight, then look for insulated faux stucco wall panels, which give you a lightweight layer of foam insulation topped by a textured layer that offers the look of stucco. You can also use fiber cement board panels with stucco texturing, but these are a bit heavier.
If building tolerances allow for the weight and you want to create a seamless look without joints between panels, then real stucco is the way to go. One and two-coat systems weigh the least, at about four to 6 pounds per square foot—and you can install them faster, too. However, three-coat systems are the most durable (and they generally produce the best results), but again, at between 10 to 12 pounds per square foot, you’ll need to make sure the building can support the weight.
Use the Right Tool to Install Stucco Lathe
One of the biggest differences between installing stucco over wood versus steel is the fastener system you’ll need to install the stucco lathe. While the same principles apply, you’ll need a powerful tool system to drive fasteners into steel.
The ET&F® STUCCOFAST® Model 500MA System is the tool you need. This tool gives you plenty of power so that you can work with steel (and other substrates), and it includes a magnetic washer holder so that you can place steel or plastic washers to hold the lathe in place as you’re driving the fasteners. This tool system helps you hang the lathe quickly and easily without all the extra effort that you’d put in with a hammer and nails or a drill and driver. To learn more about this must-have tool, click below.⤵️