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Pros and Cons of Stucco

Written by John Rinaldi - Architect on June 19th, 2008

Stucco in this blog means cement plaster with a stucco finish.

Pros:
1. This is a 3-coat process, with metal lath over an underlayment paper
a. The first coat is the Scratch Coat of cement plaster
b. The second coat is the Brown Coat, also of cement plaster
c. The finish coat, of stucco, has color and texture
2. Structurally, stucco adds stability to a wood or metal frame
3. The material is fluid and adapts to any architectural style needed
4. The material can have the color and texture desired
5. It is fireproof
6. It is maintenance free
7. It reflects quality of construction
8. Stucco has insulation qualities
9. It is environmentally friendly
Cons:
1. Stucco will generate minor expansion cracks, like concrete. These, however, can be tolerated, or they can be easily patched
2. It has a flat look from a distance, with no texture like siding
3. Stucco can be a messy operation
4. Stucco debris removal can cost extra

For more architectural advice and articles, to see one of our many projects, or to learn more about our office and the services we offer, go to our main website: Architect Atascadero

 

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Raised Wood Foundations versus Concrete Slabs

Written by John Rinaldi - Architect on March 31st, 2008

Concrete Slab
Pro
1. Less expensive
2. Faster to install
3. Can adapt to radiant floor system
4. Six inches above grade – no steps or low ramp
5. Convenient for handicap access
6. Garage access = same level
7. Easier for seismic frame transfer forces
8. Better termite protection
9. Longer house life
10. Fireproof
Con
1. Possibly harder on feet and back for standing
2. Will develop small cracks
3. Closer to ground – 6″ minimum from grade
4. Has lower look, architecturally
5. No access below grade for utilities
6. Some utilities to be in attic

For more architectural advice and articles, to see one of our many projects, or to learn more about our office and the services we offer, go to our main website: Architect Atascadero

 

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Raised Wood Foundations v. Concrete Slabs

Written by John Rinaldi - Architect on March 20th, 2008

Raised Wood Foundation
Pro
1. Gives home a raised-platform look
2. Wood floor is easier on the feet
3. Can feel warmer with wood flooring over a sub floor
4. The crawl space required can pass utilities under the floor
5. Gives better access to plumbing and other utilities
Con
1. More expensive
2. Takes longer to frame
3. Uses wood members = expensive
4. Need concrete stem-walls
5. Required 18″ minimum crawl space
6. Transfer of interior shear walls is tougher
7. Floor system sounds hollow
8. Tougher to insulate to Title 24; R-19 underside
9. Usually requires steps up to floor – handicap requires ramp
10.Usually requires steps to garage
11. In some areas, ground squirrels and gophers can be a problem
12. Not practical for radiant floor heating
13. If not installed properly, squeaky floors result

Next Week: Pros and Cons of Concrete Slabs

For more architectural advice and articles, to see one of our many projects, or to learn more about our office and the services we offer, go to our main website: Architect Atascadero

 

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Pros and Cons of Steel Frame for Commercial Projects

Written by John Rinaldi - Architect on March 12th, 2008

Pros
These are the same as steel framing for residential jobs, with two additions-
1. Light steel framing is faster than wood framing
2. Light steel framing is generally used in light commercial projects
Cons
1. There may be a learning curve, depending upon the contractor’s experience
2. There may be an expense for renting or buying power tools like screw guns, power cutters, generators and compressors
3. Plywood is still used for floor and roof sheathing
4. Steel must be very precisely cut, unlike wood

For more architectural advice and articles, to see one of our many projects, or to learn more about our office and the services we offer, go to our main website: Architect Atascadero

 

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Pros & Cons of Steel Frame for Residential Projects

Written by John Rinaldi - Architect on March 5th, 2008

Pro
1. New code, C.B.C. 2007, can give certain advantages to the use of light steel framing
2. “Stick” steel is termed to be light U-channels
3. Two U-channels can be put together to form 2×4, 2×6, 2×8, etc.
4. Steel member walls are light in weight
5. Steel framing members usually have stamped openings for utilities to pass through
6. Steel framing is very quiet
7. Screw guns and power cutters are used
8. No waste of wood debris
9. Light steel framing can be faster
10. Low fire danger
11. Lower insurance costs
12. No termites
13. Whole metal house is grounded for lightening
14. Save trees
15. Steel is recyclable
16. Building departments look favorably on light steel construction
Con
1. Because light steel framing is fairly new, learning curve can be slow and expensive
2. General contractors or framing crews must obtain or buy new tools
3. Some building departments can be slow to adapt to light steel construction
4. Plywood still needs to be considered for roof sheathing
5. Wood rafter ends could take longer
6. Steel is difficult to trim, unlike wood

For more architectural advice and articles, to see one of our many projects, or to learn more about our office and the services we offer, go to our main website: Architect Atascadero

 

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