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Advances in materials provide more options than ever for building projects. One choice on the market to consider is EIFS — Exterior Insulated Finish Systems. EIFS is a non-load bearing cladding system used primarily for commercial building projects.

These multi-layered products are often chosen for providing both functional and aesthetic qualities in a single system. EIFS may also be referred to as variations of other products including Stucco, but they are different due to the multi-layer process used for installation.

Aesthetically, the versatility of EIFS allows them to be installed to replicate other commonly used materials on the market or create a more unique appearance. Many EIFS is so accurately installed to look like masonry products it is hard to tell the difference.

EIFS is a desirable option for building exteriors for several reasons:
  • Provide an energy efficient building envelope system and adding R-Value to your structure. Compared to standard brick or wood construction, EIFS can reduce air infiltration by as much as 55 percent. Because they act as a continuous insulation system, EIFS can help reduce building operation costs.
  • Offer design flexibility including the ability to add cornices, moldings, medallions, and reveals for increased aesthetic appeal. Multiple looks can be achieved with the same EIFS as well, although it would appear to be different materials used to create the look.
  • Control moisture through several available waterproofing options prior to application. These systems perform better compared to other cladding and siding systems to eliminate moisture intrusion.
  • Reduce maintenance and upkeep since EIFS rarely needs to be painted. Many of the available systems on the market today are formulated with a 100 percent acrylic binder. This formula provides superior resistance to chalking, yellowing or fading.
  • Resilient enough to absorb some building movement when walls expand or contract due to rising or falling temperatures. This helps avoid unsightly cracking problems common with other exteriors finishes.

Although EIFS was introduced in the 1960’s the product on the market today is an evolved offering designed to perform better than earlier versions. If you are considering EIFS for your next project take the time to learn about enhancements to this option including changes in the waterproofing process and products.

EIFS may be marketed under several well-known brand names from leading manufacturers. Although each manufacturer has details unique to its offering, the underlying principle of EIFS is the same. The basic construction of the system creates the insulating properties that make it desirable for so many projects. Most are comprised with polystyrene insulation board that is secured to an exterior wall using an adhesive or mechanically fastened. The board is reinforced with acrylic plaster and fiberglass mesh on top. The next layer is a polymer and acrylic coat which is what makes the EIFS crack-resistant and durable to fading or color loss.

Standard available systems provide 40+ years of lifespan and excellent durability maximizing on the investment of the project. Forza Construction Services is certified to furnish and install all major EIFS manufacturers and systems — Parex, Sto, Dryvit and Synergy.

Photo of EIFS Building

Block, brick and stone are classic finishes that have been consistently used for residential and commercial construction projects over time. For centuries, architects and engineers have applied masonry to a range of jobs, from some of their simplest to their most challenging design work.

Aesthetically speaking, masonry finishes are incredibly versatile. These materials come in hundreds of colors and decorative finishes, allowing them to be easily used with many architectural styles. Masonry can also be used to create design elements by building an arch, circle, or changing wall directions.

Beyond the appearance block, brick and stone can create, these benefits make each of these masonry finishes desirable for commercial construction:
  • Durable. These versatile materials offer increased resistance to wind, water, sound and fire.
  • Green. Masonry building systems are generally environmentally-friendly.
  • Functional. Limiting moisture penetration and can be paired with additional waterproofing for select installations
  • Less Maintenance. Masonry does not rust, shatter, warp, dent, buckle or rot. There is no need for cleaning of repainting for materials as they are installed originally.

While each of these materials can be categorized as masonry finishes, there are factors that set them apart as well. Take the time to compare each option both aesthetically and for performance.

Reasons to consider Brick for exterior installations
  • Fire Protection. Since brick’s primary ingredient is clay which is fired to around 2000 F, it is a non-combustible material. This makes brick an excellent cladding choice to resist or confine fires.
  • Inherently Natural Ingredients. Being made predominantly from clay and shale, some of the the most abundant materials available on earth should be considered for Green building projects.
  • Timeless Aesthetic Appeal. Bricks not only have a history of lasting for hundreds of years, in many cases they can even begin to look better over time.
Reasons to consider Block for exterior installations
  • Concrete masonry blocks can provide high sound absorption, high insulation values and fire ratings.
  • Depending on the blocks, there is the ability to create single load bearing walls that are finished on both sides. This can be a popular choice for warehouse or industrial applications that will not require additional finish work for at least part of the structure.
Reasons to consider Stone for exterior installations
  • Certain varieties of stone can offer a more unique appearance due to the non-uniform stone sizes, shapes and colors
  • Stone can be used as an accent with other materials. It is also a popular choice for carrying into the interior design of the project.

At Forza Construction Services, our years of experience in the industry allow us to manage a range of projects. From small repairs to complete installation, our team is skilled to complete the job with high quality materials, safe job sites and proven processes. If you are looking to enhance the look of your commercial property with masonry finishes, contact us today.

Photo of Exterior Stone Masonry

Manufactured Stone and Brick Veneers provide the ability to enhance the look of a variety of projects. Designed in several shapes, colors and sizes, these products can often provide a suitable alternative where natural stone and modular brick would be cost-prohibitive or too difficult to install.

The veneers can be an accent for an existing architectural element, cover a large area or create a new focal point. Stone and brick veneers can be installed alone or as part of an overall aesthetic plan which uses other exterior finishes.

Veneers can also be incorporated into elements on the grounds to become a part of the landscape and overall exterior look including sign pillars, walls or benches. Designers may also choose to integrate the veneer look as an element of the interior design on the project. The lightweight qualities of these products make them suitable for many aspects of the project beyond just the exterior building walls.

Compared to natural stone, manufactured stone veneers are:
  • Lightweight, requiring less structural consideration. As an alternative to thick, bulky stone, thinner veneers can be easier to work for projects where you have limited space or weight requirements. Most stone veneers do not need a footing or support ledge that requires anchoring since it can be adhered to the surface.
  • Lower cost per square foot. Like any materials there are variations that will influence the cost of installation. Rely on our experience to guide you through the cost analysis to maximize your budget while achieving the look you want.
  • Less wasteful of material during the installation. Stone veneers are not a natural product that are uniquely formed as individual pieces. Since they are created from molds there is less variance in the size and shape, simplifying installation. This helps reduce waste that can happen from chipping natural stones for a better fit.
  • Maintenance free for long term applications. The overall maintenance will depend on the product used as far as any sealing required. Another factor to consider is that many of these exterior surfaces can be cleaned just by pressure washing.
  • More suitable for year-round installation. Although extreme temps can halt all construction on a job site, stone veneers can be installed throughout most of the year, allowing progress to move forward on projects.

Through the manufacturing process of the veneers, you gain the appearance of natural stone with the benefit of simplified installation and more customization. To create the look you want you can choose a specific color or create a custom color blend, allowing you to achieve the desired aesthetics for the plan. Stone veneer installations can also be further customized when they’re finished with various accessories like shutters, utility vents, and windows.

There are both thin stone veneers and full-size stone veneers. Although these are often categorized together, there are some important differences to factor into selecting the right product for each project. To learn more about manufactured stone veneers for your project, contact Forza Construction Services.

Photo of Exterior Brick Veneer Masonry

Portland Cement plaster has been a reliable building product since the 1800’s, resulting in centuries of installations that have stood the test of time. Even with this impressive history, the stucco industry has continually worked to evolve this durable material, resulting in a product that is more flexible and resistant to cracking.

Today’s stucco systems can be applied to flat or curved surfaces using several different installation methods. Aesthetically, it can be colored and finished in a variety of textures to match any architectural style. While stucco can be painted most new installations provide the ability to add pigments or utilize colored cement. When integral color is used, the need to paint is eliminated up front and reduced over time since the material is color-retentive.

In addition to coloring, the final appearance of the finish coat can be varied by changing the size and shape of the aggregate, changing the consistency of the finish mix, method or equipment used for plastering. The end result of the texture gives substance and character to the plaster surface, so it is important to work with an experienced team to guide you through the details of this selection process.

Benefits of Stucco systems include:
  • Resistant to Rot and Rust. Plaster is breathable with the ability to transmit moisture vapor. As a result, water that gets behind it does not become trapped, making stucco resistant to rot and fungus.
  • Durable and Versatile. Stucco stands up to many climates, from cold to hot and wet to dry. It is also desirable for fire-resistance and its color-retentive qualities.
  • Minimal Maintenance. Aside from cleaning, stucco requires a low amount of ongoing maintenance. Should damage occur, stucco can be often be repaired quickly and easily which can end up being less expensive than repairs to other types of commercial exterior materials.
  • High Impact Resistance. Many exterior products are designed to last. Consider that Portland cement used in Stucco is the same material that is the basis for the hardened properties of concrete. That concrete can be used to build super-highways, bridges, and skyscrapers.

There are several installation options, making it versatile enough to be used for a range of projects. Stucco can be applied directly to a solid base such as masonry or concrete walls. It’s also commonly installed to a metal lath attached to sheathing over frame construction.

For Portland Cement Stucco System installation or repairs in the Tulsa and Oklahoma City areas, contact Forza Construction Services.

Photo of Stucco Building