Dryvit vs. Brick: Is There A Price Difference?

What is Dryvit?

Dryvit is the common name for an Exterior Insulation and Finish System (EIFS) that looks like stucco but is quite different in construction type and characteristics. It has been used extensively in commercial buildings in the past however more recently it has made its way into the residential market. Dryvit has excellent insulation properties because of how it is constructed and it provides an aesthetically pleasing appearance similar to that of stucco, which is why some people have referred to it as artificial stucco.

Dryvit became very popular in residential construction in the 1980’s and 1990’s, however there were failures in how the product was installed.

EIFS/Synthetic Stucco Houses

Dryvit being removed from house

This failure resulted in homes that had problems with moisture and rotted wood. If the material is not installed correctly it can allow moisture to enter the area between the exterior and interior walls which contributes to the problem. Due to these problems Dryvit has experienced some stigma, which has affected its marketability and resulted in many owners removing it from their home and replacing it with another exterior siding (see picture).

Is There A Price Difference?

I recently completed an assignment in a subdivision that has a pretty even mixture of Dryvit and brick homes so I thought I would see if there was a price difference between these two types of construction. I collected information on all of the sales in this neighborhood over the past 12 months and looked to see if there were any other potential reasons that a home could have sold for a lower or higher amount. There were some that sold in foreclosure as well as some on superior lots so they were excluded from the study.

Here is a plot of the sales data showing a trend line of both types of homes.
brick vs dryvit homes

 

You can see that there is an obvious difference in pricing between the two. It appears that this difference reflects the stigma attached to Dryvit homes and the trouble that they have had. After looking at both the average and median sale prices of brick and Dryvit homes there is a variance of $15,000 to $20,000 between the two and a difference of about $20 in the price per square foot. It should be noted that these differences in price are specific to the neighborhood these homes are located in and within the price range of homes and could vary depending on other factors such as size and quality of construction.

Buyers purchasing these types of homes might be anticipating potential problems that may occur in the future or they may even be considering the cost to remove the Dryvit and replace it with brick or another type of siding, which was the case with the buyer of a home recently. The agent noted that the price offered reflected the cost to have the Dryvit removed and bricked. I have seen instances where sellers have had the Dryvit inspected and include a warranty to the buyer that the home is free from defects. I can see where this may give some peace of mind but even these homes sell for less than brick.

So, what do you think? Have you been involved in this type of construction and seen differences in sale price between brick and dryvit? Drop me a line below and let me hear your story.

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Comments

  1. Hi there , I have been living in a home made of EIFS for the last 21 years we have had no issues we love it we are living in Virginia. Recently had the roof replaced because of hail damage only one piece of plywood was damage. Moisture can enter any house that is poorly built.

    • Yes, if EIFS is installed correctly it can be a very good product to use, however, some installers were not trained correctly and this resulted in moisture entering the walls and causing the problems we’ve heard about. Glad that you have had a great experience.

  2. Dryvit Buyer says:

    For what it’s worth we ran into this issue when buying our home. It was listed as Stucco and wasn’t until home inspection we even learned what Dryvit (EIFS) is. We were first time home buyers and we furious with our agent for not looking out for us on this topic, given it’s a well known issue. It almost caused our entire deal to fall through. We ended up lowering our offer price 80k (based on cost of recladding) and also requested a 3 year insurance policy. We have since bought the home and are more comfortable with the issue, but understand the resale implications. If you’re ever working with someone who is looking at a home with EIFS, make sure it’s not a surprise to them! There is absolutely a discount applied to these homes.

    • Great to hear that your situation turned out well. I agree that agents should make buyers aware of the issue so they can make knowledgeable buying decisions. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Great graph, Tom. Is this a commonly known issue in your market? In other words, do you think most buyers and agents are informed about the problem? What do MLS statements tend to say when a house has this type of exterior?

    • The problems with Dryvit are commonly known in this area Ryan, and the agents and owners are informed. As I mentioned in the post some homeowners will cut the Dryvit back from the ground to help prevent moisture from getting into the walls and the sellers will offer a warranty in case future problems arise. These homes do sell, however they are discounted. On the other hand, there are owners that are having the exterior removed and the home bricked up, in which case these homes will bring higher values in line with other brick home sales. Owners/sellers need to know the cost to do this and the added value the brick will bring to decide if it is financially feasible for them to do.

  4. Interesting data. In Portland, Oregon, we’re also pretty wet and I have seen stigma associated with EIFS. One agent I know purchased a house for a flip and lost all of her profit when she found out all of the siding needed replaced. I usually have to interview the buyer’s agent because the amount of stigma is usually on a case-by-case basis. Some properties with EIFS have been repaired in the trouble spots and will be good for a long time. Some properties with EIFS have a large overhang and likely will never have a problem. I would be cautious about purchasing an EIFS house with little or no overhang or high weather exposed sides.

    • Wow Gary, that’s gotta hurt, losing all your profit in the EIFS repair. I agree about the stigma being different on a case by case basis. Like I mentioned, there are some people who are willing to buy this type of construction if the siding has been cut back from the ground so that the likelihood of damage is reduced, and a warranty is included. Even at that buyers still want to buy for a reduced price.

      • David Niksich says:

        Only 1 glaring omission Tom – what’s the correction pronunciation of this word…dry-vit or dri-vit? lol Anyway, couldn’t agree more with your synapsis – virtually any property-based aspect that reduces the # of potential buyers/marketability of a property inherently needs to be noted, quanititated & adjusted for…very nice job my friend! Keep ’em coming…

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