The Stucco Book – The Basics

 Everything you need to know for a perfect conventional stucco job, written in a

fun-to-read style

By:  Herb Nordmeyer

From the Preface:

“My friends tell me I should write a book about stucco. My clients tell me I should write a book about stucco. I look at the internet and find that I am a leading expert on stucco. I just cannot get started on the book, but when my granddaughter’s father told me this afternoon it was time to get started, I started developing an outline. Since I have been told that when the plan is complete, the job is half done, I guess I should call him and announce that my book concerning stucco is half done. I have an outline, which is a plan.

“Seriously, I have been in the construction materials business for most of my life. My father and his father were in similar businesses, and as I was growing up, I listened and remembered when my father talked. This has given me about 90 years of experience to draw on. Often I do not remember some of these experiences until someone asks a question, then it comes flooding back. An example is the plastering of the ceiling in the Edinburg, Texas, Railroad Depot. It was being redone for use by the Chamber of Commerce. The plaster had little red and blue flecks in it. When these flecks were mentioned to me, I remembered that my father had told me that when he was a teenager, they were building the depot and someone had brought 1/8” pieces of red and blue thread from Reynosa, Tamaulipas, and that they had mixed it in with the final coat of plaster.”

The Stucco Book – The Basics was published February, 2012, and is available from,, and from this website.  If ordering from this website,  go to the Home page and then down to the approprate Google Button.  If you would like an autographed copy, please add an appropreate note as you are filling out the instructions after clicking on the Google Button.

 This was going to be a nice little 250-page book, but then I started writing and found that it would not fit into 250 pages, so I decided to publish three volumes concerning stucco.  After you read The Basics, you can start looking forward to:

The Stucco Book – Forensics and Repairs

Everything you need in order to determine why a stucco job went bad and to correct the problems, written in a fun-to-read style.

To be published in 2017

 The Stucco Book – Creative Stuccoing

Even if you never plan to plaster a straw house or plant moss in a natural-looking rock you created from a cardboard box and stucco, you need to read this book for the fun of it.

To be published in 2018

The Adhered Concrete Masonry Veneer Book 

Adheared Concrete Masonry Venner (aka as Cultured Stone, but that is a particular brand of ACMV) is one of the fastest growing segments of the building materials industry. Recently ASTM published an installation guide and a standard for the units, but questions remain. As a result, Herb Nordmeyer are writing a definitive guide on the subject. We are aiming for a 2017 publication date.

Comments by Reviewers:

Herb Nordmeyer is one of the industry experts I go to when I need technical assistance.  He has the ability to take a complex subject and explain it so anyone can understand it.  Last night I started reading a draft copy of The Stucco Book – The Basics, and could not put it down.  Besides being chock full of information, it is written in a humorous style.  Have you ever read a construction book that was interesting to read?  This one is.  While reading the book, it felt like Herb was sitting in the room talking directly to me as I read the book.  I’ve never had such a special gift before.
Nolan Scheid,

As I was reviewing The Stucco Book – The Basics, I heard that Andy Rooney had died.  I never met Andy, but in reading his writings and listening to him talk, he could make me uncomfortable and at the same time like him all the more, because he was a man who could tell the truth in a more constructive manner than many others.  He not only thoroughly knew what he is talking about, but he also cared very deeply.  I’ve known Herb for a number of years and find that, like Andy, he thoroughly knows and cares about any subject he addresses.  He is not afraid to poke fun at himself for the mistakes he has made gaining experience and wisdom.  If you are a caring professional involved with stucco, this is a must-read book.  If you have the good fortune to know or to meet Herb Nordmeyer, you will have no doubt that he not only knows his subject, but he also cares deeply about it.
John H. Koester,  Founder and CEO of Masonry Technology

Sylvia Scheid posted a review on the Mortar Sprayer website that is definately worth reading.  

Online Classes

Vertical Artisans has a class presented by Herb Nordmeyer with a title Stopping Cracks in Their Tracks. Information about that class can be found at


The response to The Stucco Book – The Basics has been so strong that I have had to slow down my writing of The Stucco Book – Forensics & Repairs to develop a line of stucco products. When I worked for corporate America, I was never given the freedom to develop the best possible stucco products because there was always an executive who would value engineer the formula. As you know, value engineering does not add value and it sure is not engineering. Now, working with Nolan Scheid, we are developing be best possible formulae we can.

Rather than putting all of the components in a bag, we have developed Core Mixes. The user adds the commodity products – the cement and the sand – at the job site. As a result, we can ship all over the US from one location, rather than having a bagging plant every 500 miles.

Following is a quick summary of our progress.

For more information, go to the HerbCrete website.

Stucco Core Mix – designed as an all-round stucco – formula finalized and the product is on the market.

Carveable Core Mix – a stucco that can be built out 1.5 inches in one pass and then carved to look like natural stone – formula finalized and the product is on the market.

Veneer Core Mix – a bonding mortar to keep Adhered Concrete Masonry Veneer, and stone veneer on the wall for the next 100 years – formula finalized and the product is on the market.

 High-Relief Carvable Core Mix – a stucco that can be built out 4 inches in one pass and is carvable to look like natural stone – we have developed the formula, but need to do a lot of testing before we release it to the market.

Structural Core Mix – everyone knows that stucco is not structural, but we are trying to change that – sprayed a number of formula and we are currently zeroing on what we need to do.

Stampable Core Mix – This is a stucco for a vertical surface that is stampable. The Stucco Core Mix works well for this process, but Herb believes he can do better.

Straw Bale Core Mix – There is a lot of controversy in the straw bale community whether one should use a durable stucco that is not breathable or an earth or lime plaster that is breathable but not as durable.  We have a stucco formula that is very breathable. Once we get the testing done to demonstrate that it is very breathable, maybe the straw bale community can put that controversy to bed.

During the construction process, straw bale walls are vulnerable to rain and to fire. We are developing a specialty product that can be sprayed on straw bale walls as they are being laid up so they will be water resistant and fire resistant.

Panel Core Mix – We believe that Structural Concrete Insulated Panels can be used to build green structures that are major hurricane, tornado, and earthquake resistant – the Stucco Core Mix works well, but Herb belives he can do better.

Note from Nolan – It is hard bringing a product to market when the developer is not only a world-class expert in the field, but also a perfectionist. Down the road, we will all thank him for being a perfectionist. 



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