Because of the depressed real estate market, a lot of people are improving their existing home rather than buying a new home. Likewise, those who do need to sell even in a down-market are spending money making their home as attractive and easy to sell as possible. There are many ways of improving the visual appeal of real estate. Landscaping and improving the exterior look of a structure are certainly among the most effective. This is where manufactured stone and
concrete stone molds
What is manufactured stone? It's man-made stone created in special
. The process can be used to make floor tile, stone veneer, statuary projects, decorative concrete, steppingstones and many other types of stone easily and inexpensively right at home or in a shop. Learning how to do it isn't difficult, and it's something homeowners, do-it-yourselfers and certainly craft persons or landscapers can easily handle. Getting perfect results takes practice, of course, but even beginners quickly get the hang of it.
Why make stone when you can buy it? Because using
to make cultured stone is far less expensive, because manufactured stone weighs less, and because there is a huge selection of craft molds and cement colors for just the type of stone you want.
Stone made at home costs from barely more than a quarter to 60 or 70 cents per square foot, depending on the thickness desired. That's a fraction of what real stone costs. Yet, after a bit of practice, most people get results that look indistinguishable from the real thing. That's because the molds are made from real stone and thus have the same texture and patterns as real stone. For natural stone, molds use various sizes and patterns so that there is no repetition. Even for things like brick or tile, good molds will imprint the little differences and imperfections real bricks and tiles have. The result is a natural look virtually indistinguishable from real stone.
Will manufactured stone last? Definitely. The concrete mix used for the process results in stone and tile that can last hundreds of years. That even applies to stone being used in extreme temperatures with frequent freeze-thaw cycles thanks to special concrete mixes that include
entrainment agents. Cement sealers and paver sealer also help ensure durability.
Why does manufactured stone weigh less? The concrete used for making the stone doesn't weigh less, but you only need to make manufactured stones and stone veneers as thick as you want them to be. That way, you get the natural stone look, but at far lower weight than using real stone.
How can you get the coloring and surface of real stone when you use just cement and concrete? That is where special concrete color and sealers come in. Depending on the intended use and look, these materials are mixed in, or applied to the surface, resulting in natural colors and looks ranging from rough surfaces all the way to high gloss and sheen.
Using manufactured stone is the secret that can transform an ordinary-looking property into one that stands out, increasing value and functionality all at once.