What's it made of?
If Mother Nature didn't create it, the stone is a mixture of portland cement, lightweight aggregate (such as pumice), and iron-oxide pigments shaped in a mold.
What's it cost?
Real stone can range from $7 to $19 per square foot. Cast stone will cost you $1.25 to $8. Expect to pay about $10 or more per square foot either way for a pro installation.
DIY or hire a pro?
If you've laid tile, you can handle most projects. Installing veneer on the exterior of a house is best left to a reputable expert.
How much care does it need?
A light dusting or a rinse with a hose is often enough. If need be, nicks in cast stone can be retouched with a color repair kit. To remove crystalline deposits, known as efflorescence, from cast stone, use a mild mixture of 5 parts water to 1 part white vinegar.