I'm very glad I've found this forum. Seems like a lot of great projects and advice out there! I took a week of vacation and started on my island last week... Here are some pictures of my progress if anyone is interested: http://myrooftopkitchen.blogspot.com/20 ... hotos.html
I framed it in 20-guage steel studs and I had planned to use hardibacker for the sides with a stucco or stucco-like finish. Now that I've got the thing framed, I'm getting very nervous about the siding. I spoke with a stucco contractor the other day, and he suggested that an aggregate product like Durock would be better than Hardibacker for the stucco. He plans to do a base coat with a fiberglass mesh and a synthetic stucco on top of that; said it would be about 3/8 of an inch think. After trying to face a section with the Durock, I'd much rather be using hardibacker! It is much easier to cut and a lot cleaner edges.
Anyway, I have several questions about the siding:
1. Does the procedure that I've described above seem like the way to go, or is there an easier lighter method? One concern is that I'm on a rooftop deck, so weight is a bit of a concern. The Durock and stucco seem like they will be very heavy. It will be in direct sunlight, and it is hot here in Texas!
2. My contractor's concerns about the Hardibacker were that it is not "approved" for outdoor use where the Durock is and that Hardibacker is impervious to water, so it is more likely to "blister" the stucco finish if water got behind it (no drainage). Does anyone have an opinion on that? It seems like most people use hardibacker and so do many of the commercial units - I'm assuming it will hold up well for this type of application.
3. Assuming I go with the Hardibacker, can I get away with 1/4"? I'd like to save on weight, but my stucco guy said that 1/2" would be more sturdy and help reduce cracking. (again, maybe I've got the wrong approach on the stucco)
4. I've got some adhesive 2" mesh tape to seal the seams. I also got a product called Top and Bond (http://www.basalitedrymix.com/products/repair_topn.htm) per the advice of a guy at Lowes', but I'm not sure that it's the right stuff. Can anyone recommend a product?
5. The screws I used on the framing protrude by about 1/8 of an inch. Someone recommended a product called Integrity Gasket foam tape (link: http://www.designbuild-network.com/cont ... /shadwell/) to run between the screw heads and achieve a flush fit and reduce cracking of the backer board. Gave me some comfort... while this may not be necessary, does this seem like a reasonable thing to do? Any harm?
6. Anything else I should be considering?
Basically, I'm looking for a proven light-weight stucco. Can anyone recommend specific products and techniques? Thanks in advance for any advice! I'll keep you all posted on my progress and lessons learned.