Our city inspector wants us to break out the edge of old stucco to expose the wire then tie that back into the new mesh. But when we did that, it became obvious to everyone (inspector included) that the old mesh is thin, rusty, and not worth connecting to:

stucco edge hammered back to expose wire

What do people think of this detail instead? I drilled holes and either used a galvanized screw or an epoxied nail. The goal is to reinforce the join to control future cracking:

stucco edge with metal reinforcing

If you answer please state your authority on the subject, or give a reference to a book!

1 Answer 1


My authority is that I've researched and performed this very task in the past. That doesn't make me an expert, merely someone that had to deal with this.

For starters, I'd suggest getting actual stucco mesh/lathe rather than chicken wire. Neither are particularly strong, but stucco mesh is quite a bit heftier than chicken wire and is specifically designed to 'bite' the scratch coat and keep the stucco in place.

It may be overkill, but I'd also put a few stainless screws in whatever mesh you are using (rather than just staples) as staples would eventually rust.

The screws on the existing stucco...at worst, it won't hurt, and at best is probably a good idea.

All that said, the joint between the new and old will eventually show a crack/seam. Not a whole lot you can do about that. What I did was let the new patch cure for about a year, then came back and filled the seam with masonry caulk, and repainted.

  • The chicken wire is in the existing stucco. Without a time machine set to 50 years ago I can't change that. The new stuff is the right stuff.
    – Bryce
    Commented Sep 4, 2012 at 16:56
  • @Bryce I guess I'm confused. The second photo appears to show new chicken wire stapled outside the felt paper.
    – DA01
    Commented Sep 4, 2012 at 16:58
  • DA01 that chicken style wire was placed by a union stucco contractor. It is a heavy wire, and supposedly the right stuff. See the first photo for diamond mesh used in the smaller gaps.
    – Bryce
    Commented Sep 5, 2012 at 3:42
  • My Stucco experience is limited, but I've never seen anything other than the diamond mesh, but I'll defer to a union stucco guy (I'm surprised there's still a Stucco Union in your neck of the woods...good stucco contractors are a dying breed)
    – DA01
    Commented Sep 5, 2012 at 3:47
  • Make that a former union stucco guy with 30 years experience, now freelancing.
    – Bryce
    Commented Sep 5, 2012 at 6:08

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