Customers Recognize Benefits of Cement Board Stucco 1000 Wall System
Greg Herman of Western Wallboard has been personally installing stucco and EIFS for more than 30 years up and down the west coast. Serving the Boise area for nearly a decade now, Herman has seen a thing or two when it comes to stucco innovations coming and going. But, he says, he has never seen anything that has so improved and rejuvenated the process like Senergy’s Cement Board Stucco (CBS 1000) System from Master Builders Solutions.
“I really like this system—it gives great results for the customer and it saves me time and money as a contractor,” Herman said. “In fact, it saves so much time compared to traditional stucco methods that it can get a project that’s far behind schedule right back on track.”
With the Cement Board Stucco 1000 system, the stucco process starts with installing cement boards as opposed to scratch coat and brown coat, potentially shaving weeks off the early stages of stucco installation.
“With the CBS 1000, the labor concept is just completely different,” said Herman. “I can have four guys putting up the board quickly as opposed to nine plasterers doing scratch and brown coat, with all the curing time and waiting that entails. You can get to the mesh and base coat steps right away.”
Speaking of base coat, Herman notes that the more “traditional” stucco aspects of CBS 1000 are often superior as well. “The Senergy base coat is better, my guys like it better than anything we’ve ever used in the past,” he explained. “It spreads a lot better and overall is easier and faster to apply.”
The Senershield fluid-applied weather barrier used with the system is another huge point of differentiation for Herman and his team. “Other weather barriers we’ve used tend to be thinner. The Senergy product has more aggregate and lets us get great coverage easily in just one coat,” he said. “It bonds very well too, never any issues.”
All this adds up to time savings and cost savings for him and his crew, as well as the valuable ability to help general contractors “time travel” a little bit. As an example, Herman mentions one recent job where the challenge of getting supplies in due to COVID was setting the whole project back significantly.
“They had built in ‘traditional stucco time’ for the project, and we came in to do our portion of the job and we were in and out so quick and saved so much time we brought their schedule right back in line and put them back on the track for the desired opening in the fall,” he recalled. “Needless to say, the whole team was thrilled.”
Herman notes that in recent years stucco has sometimes been getting a bad reputation due to tendency to crack, especially when not installed optimally. The CBS 1000 system, applied to a robust board rather than built up from scratch, avoids those issues entirely. “We don’t see anywhere near the problems with cracking in the stucco you see in the traditional lathe, scratch and brown coat methods,” he said.
Herman is also impressed with the long term “curb appeal” that the CBS 1000 system delivers. “The way the finish holds the color is really excellent—even bright reds,” he noted. “The colors spread well, go on fast and don’t fade. They really stay vibrant for the long term.”
Herman notes that, surprisingly, the CBS 1000 wall system had not been well known in the Boise area, and he finds himself touting the benefits to unaware stakeholders all the time. His team has been proud to work on a number of recent projects with ESI, a large and well-respected general contractor in the region—including large multi-family residential/retail complexes such as The Cartee in downtown Boise—and they were also quick to understand the benefits of CBS 1000 early on.
“We pointed out that it was less money and a better system, and they looked into it and saw that it was true, so it’s hard to beat that combination,” said Herman. “And the warranty, well that’s some great icing on the cake.” Herman notes, the warranty around CBS 1000 is as much of a paradigm shift in the industry as the labor savings.
“With the traditional scratch and brown coat stucco system you have different manufacturers for the lathe, the cement, the acrylic finish and other related products and if there is cracking and water leaks down the road there is a lot of finger pointing and it’s hard to get anyone to take warranty responsibility. And the warranties tend to be only one year anyway!” said Herman. “By contrast, the CBS 1000 is a complete system, with one point of contact. If there is any issue, there is one manufacturer responsible—Master Builders Solutions, and we know that they always stand behind their products. Plus, their warranty is 10 years! It’s a huge difference. We love it, and the building owners and architects love it too. It gives everyone tremendous confidence.”
Herman notes that, once he helps “convert” an architect or building owner from a traditional stucco system, he is gratified to see how impressed they are when they come to the job site to see the Cement Board Stucco 1000 wall system in action.
“It looks great, but unlike stucco, CBS 1000 looks great forever it seems—with no cracking for the long term,” Herman explained. “When the architects and owners we work with do a walkaround once its applied they are always super impressed at the look and the process. Third party consultants too. If they’ve never seen it before, they’re like ‘what is this stuff, it looks so good,’ and we’re glad to tell them about it. And you can bet, the next building they are involved with, they are considering specifying it or telling people about Senergy’s CBS 1000 system. And that’s good for our business at Western Wallboard too.”