Here is a reason why cast stone window surrounds are used in both new houses and older houses undergoing renovation. Cast stone looks good, can be manufactured to fit and is relatively inexpensive. It would be impossible to apply all those qualities to quarried stone.
Cast stone is often called artificial stone. It is a man-made material that replicates the properties and look of real stone. A pattern drawer is employed to draw out a plan for the mould, which will be made from wood.
The mould can be made to any specifications, which is why it is so ideal for bespoke renovations and restoration work. The stone itself is made using a mix of different coloured cements and sand. A recipe of crushed natural stone, along with gravels and mineral pigments, is used to recreate that natural stone look.
As cast stone is manufactured, additional elements can be added into the process, such as a core inside the stone to lighten it (and so that less material is used) or the inclusion of reinforcing materials.
However, in theory it would be possible to add any substance to the stone, as long as it did not detract from the structural integrity.
After installation, cast stone weathers in the same way as natural stone. This provides a great deal of design freedom for the homeowner, who may wish to install new window or door surrounds or may be building their own property.
It is possible to include in detail work or colours to complement existing brickwork or other features of the property.
Artificial stone can also be used to provide an unusual shape to a window, as, for example, integral reinforcement could allow the window to protrude from the exterior of the house.
Cast stone window surrounds can be used to replicate the traditional, or to create a vibrant contemporary look