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Thread: Reason for banning Dryvit

  1. #1
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Reason for banning Dryvit

    The following images are just one example of why the use of dry-vit (EIFS, fake stucco) is insidious and harmful.

    This a condo conversion of a 1920s small apartment building in my streetcar suburb of Chicago.


    The building was built with a nice yellow tone finished brick on the street sides of the building from foundation to parapet with nice simple limestone banding and lintels for accent.

    Well, the developer comes along and covers the perfectly good brick of the ground floor with dry-vit of a beige (puke) color. The next photos show the crime almost complete.









    I don't know the specific reasoning for the dry-vit, but I can't think of any good reason to cover the wonderful, good condition brick, and why spend the extra money for it.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    The ends can justify the means.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Jeff's avatar
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    Am I the only one who doesnt think this looks all that bad??

    Was this framed out first? Something we arent seeing underneath?

  3. #3
    I don't think it looks bad. If I had my way we'd all ban vinyl siding. That's my own personal definition of ugly. Different strokes for different folks.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by passdoubt View post
    I don't think it looks bad. If I had my way we'd all ban vinyl siding. That's my own personal definition of ugly. Different strokes for different folks.
    I'd have to agree with the sentiments above. I think that the developer could have matched the colors of the EIFS with the brick better, but I think that it doesn't look too bad.
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Trail Nazi's avatar
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    I agree about the vinyl siding (which is what is up on my house, but it came that way). The stuccoing does not look too bad on the building (minus the color issue) but I'd prefer the brick. It definitely should have remained brick because it just look like it had half of a facelift and ran out of money.

  6. #6
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Jeff View post
    Am I the only one who doesnt think this looks all that bad??

    Was this framed out first? Something we arent seeing underneath?
    Nope....dry-vit foam board glued directly to face brick.

    Effectively....the orginial finish of the brick and 80 years of patina have been destroyed in one fell, stupid move. To restore the brick in the future would be costly and never look as good.

    Aesthetics aside...I just find it amazing that a developer would go to the extra cost of the dry-vit, when it was not necessary.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    The ends can justify the means.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian boiker's avatar
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    It doesn't look all that bad, but it also doesn't look all that good.

    #1 reason for banning dry-vit. It is not a maintenance free exterior. It does require quite a bit up-keep every 2-5 years. In cold climates they are more likely to be victims of freeze/thaw disintegration. The surface tends to look or get dirty rather quick and the surface is really nothing more than a hard foam. It dents and cracks and chips rather easily.

    All these things can be mitigated. Ownership of these dry-vit clad buildings too often assume the material is as durable as CMU or other masonary and neglect regular maintenance.

    No exterior is maintenance free, but there are many that offer low maintenance...such as brick/masonary.

    In all, the material holds a lot of promise in being affordable and virtually limitless in its application of design, color, and texture.
    Dude, I'm cheesing so hard right now.

  8. #8
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by boiker View post
    In all, the material holds a lot of promise in being affordable and virtually limitless in its application of design, color, and texture.
    Granted, but I don't like stucco-ish finishes in general.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    The ends can justify the means.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Fat Cat's avatar
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    Fat Cat

    The dog doesn't seem to thrilled with it.

  10. #10
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Off-topic:
    Quote Originally posted by Fat Cat View post
    The dog doesn't seem to thrilled with it.
    She was pretty tired from a long photo taking walk by the time we got to this building.

    BTW, there is not enough righteous indignation from yous....I am so disappointed.
    Last edited by mendelman; 29 Nov 2006 at 6:16 PM.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    The ends can justify the means.

  11. #11
    Wait till some passing thug realizes he can leave imprints in it with a tire iron.

    I'm all for a material being itself -- e.g. not trying to resemble masonry (garden state brickface) or stucco (EIFS a/k/a dry-vit), but there's a long history of exactly that (cast-iron notably as a substitute for limestone).

    I'm with mendelman: why cover perfectly good masonry with a synthetic material if there's no reason to do so?
    Je suis Charlie

  12. #12
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mendelman View post
    Nope....dry-vit foam board glued directly to face brick.

    Effectively....the orginial finish of the brick and 80 years of patina have been destroyed in one fell, stupid move. To restore the brick in the future would be costly and never look as good.

    Aesthetics aside...I just find it amazing that a developer would go to the extra cost of the dry-vit, when it was not necessary.
    It didn't bother me as much until I read that it was glued directly to the brick. That is just stupid stupid stupid. I, too, cannot understand why the developer would put a crappy synthetic over perfectly good brick.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  13. #13
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Dry Vit does not belong in the vernacular style of great lakes cities.

    Is that your dog?
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  14. #14
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Off-topic:
    Quote Originally posted by DetroitPlanner View post
    Is that your dog?
    yes, that's her.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    The ends can justify the means.

  15. #15
    Cyburbian Greenescapist's avatar
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    The building I live in has been installing EIFS to reinforce the exterior. They are only putting it up on the walls that face away from the major streets to preserve the brick facade. It's taken months to get to the point where my side of the building is done. It looks a little like the outside of a Linens 'n Things now, but it feels very solid. The owner told me he thinks he'll get trememdous energy savings now that the leaky brick and mortar is all covered up.

  16. #16
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    Though I realize the original posting probably isn't meant to be taken literally, I find it odd to ban drivet or sto EIFS just because someone used it to cover up something else...unless you advocate also banning paint on the basis that paint is covering up brick on half the historic rowhouses out there.

    I don't happen to think that the "after" pictures are really too bad. The color looks to me like limestone, which is believable for the base of a building. Not to mention the original building is somewhat homely anyway - odd proportions, awkward asymmetry, and what looks to me like a truly hideous brick color. This was probably a very pedestrian and sub-mediocre building for its time. We can't deify every single piece of garbage out there just because it is a little old.

    My biggest problem with EIFS is durability, I suppose. Though it isn't quite literally just foam, as many maintain (there is a metal mesh that is somewhat tougher), it obviously isn't brick or for that matter CMU (which itself isn't great on an exterior). But it isn't much different or worse than most non-masonry exteriors of today (including aluminum curtainwall, corrugated metal siding, etc.) some of which are more pricey...and all of which need some maintenance. For most new construction, EIFS should last as long as the building's intended purpose or reason for being.

    I wouldn't personally advocate doing permanent damage to the existing brick, however - and agree with the sentiment that that was probably a mistake though I don't know all the circumstances of this project.

    Rob

  17. #17
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Greenescapist View post
    The building I live in has been installing EIFS to reinforce the exterior. They are only putting it up on the walls that face away from the major streets to preserve the brick facade. It's taken months to get to the point where my side of the building is done. It looks a little like the outside of a Linens 'n Things now, but it feels very solid. The owner told me he thinks he'll get trememdous energy savings now that the leaky brick and mortar is all covered up.
    Good example. They may be trying to cover blemishes in the old masonry that tuck pointing or other fixes would accentuate. It's not that bad, but its a 20 year fix at best.

  18. #18
    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
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    Wait til you see what this stuff looks like after a hail storm.

  19. #19
    Cyburbian Otis's avatar
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    I heard recently that insurance companies were not covering this kind of cladding anymore because of too many claims associated with it. It seems like it's easy to install improperly (like LP fake wood siding) and doesn't stand up well anyway.

    Glued on a brick face seems to me to be an invitation for mold and rot. Unless it's installed perfectly there's going to be some interstices that will trap moisture and cause no end of problems. I wouldn't buy into a building with this sort of thing without a sizeable reserve for those nasty special assessments for repairs.

  20. #20
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    The material was developed for warehouses and the like--essentially temporary buildings (which would now presumably include new strip shopping centers). It has had a lot of problems with moisture. They now make reference to "water-managed EiFS," which I believe basically means "more carefully installed."

    We don't approve it in historic districts except sometimes for mechanical penthouses.

    Back in 2002, CVS skinned one of its local stores with it. They did it without a permit, and we decided to just let it go because it looked OK and was applied to a mid-twentieth-century, flat-fronted, one-story building, and the EIFS was all above the storefront glazing. A few months ago, CVS contacts me about "refreshing" this location. I take a look at the EIFS--again completely out of reach at least ten feet above the sidewalk grade--and it is all dinged. So, with what did they want to replace it? You guessed it, EIFS.

  21. #21
    Cyburbian Plus
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    WOW talk about a lawyer's speciality -
    EIFS Legal Network: http://www.stuccolaw.com/

    I did not realize this siding type was that much of a problem.

    Even the NAHB has some cautions: http://www.nahb.org/generic.aspx?genericContentID=293

    unless a homeowner shows an undue level of diligence to ensure that all openings in the house remain properly sealed and caulked over the life of the house, problems with water intrusion are more likely to occur than with other types of cladding.
    Last edited by JNA; 29 Nov 2006 at 11:50 PM.
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  22. #22
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by dalton View post
    The material was developed for warehouses and the like--essentially temporary buildings (which would now presumably include new strip shopping centers). It has had a lot of problems with moisture. They now make reference to "water-managed EiFS," which I believe basically means "more carefully installed."
    That was part of my comment of it being a 20 year fix. This product really is only meant for application on buildings that are designed to be cheap and functionally obsolete in short order. Is that wrong? Do we want strip and big box to be sustainable? A prediction: There will be no EFIS strip mall historic districts in 2081.
    This specific application apears to be "get pretty for the yuppy and get out" but I admit thats an unfounded observation.

  23. #23
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Chet View post
    This specific application apears to be "get pretty for the yuppy and get out" but I admit thats an unfounded observation.
    But probably not far off the mark, I'm sure.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    The ends can justify the means.

  24. #24
    Cyburbian boiker's avatar
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    I've seen EIFS applied in two different commercial situations.

    1) Small business wants to "dress up" the look of the 1940s-1980s office. They want to do it on the cheap. EIFS it is.

    2) Big time developer wants to develop a new shopping center, quick-serve restaurant, or stand alone box. They want a cheap exterior to reduce their amoritization peirod and flip the development for a quick profit. The development will serve a low-mod/ maybe mod-high income populace.

    I hate it in the midwest because developers seem to think that they can only paint it beige and it can only be applied with a stucco finish. You can really do almost anything with it and paint it in virtually any way.
    Dude, I'm cheesing so hard right now.

  25. #25
    Cyburbian gicarto's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Jeff View post
    Am I the only one who doesnt think this looks all that bad??

    Was this framed out first? Something we arent seeing underneath?
    I like it! Mix of the old and new.
    Trying to get my grubby hands on as much stimulus money as I can.:D

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